The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently updated its policy guidelines regarding residency requirements in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) to adhere to the Citizenship for Children of Military Members and Civil Servants Act that was just put in place. The INA was enacted in 1952, and it contains many important provisions of immigration law. However, it has been amended over the years to reflect societal and legal changes. Per the new law, children of immigrants who are stationed overseas for government or military work are automatically granted citizenship.
Immigration and Nationality
Under this new legislation, a child who is not born in the United States can receive automatic citizenship according to INA 320. This applies to a son or daughter who is living in any country other than the United States, as long as the child is recognized as a lawful permanent resident (LPR). Also, his or her parent must be a U.S. citizen and have physical and legal custody of the child. The following must also apply to the parent:
- Is a member of the U.S. military stationed and living outside of this country
- Is a U.S. government employee stationed and living outside of this country
- Is married to a U.S. military member living outside the United States or is a U.S. government worker assigned to work in another country
In addition, the child must meet all relevant requirements to obtain citizenship, with the exception of the typical residence stipulation that is included with INA 320. In immigration cases that involve those who are part of the U.S. Armed Forces, the child and the other parent (who is a U.S. citizen) must have permission to live abroad with the military member based on the member’s official orders....