Legal matters can be complicated and stressful. A qualified parental citizenship attorney can address your individual legal needs, explain the law, and represent you in court.

There are three main pathways to birthright citizenship in the United States:

1. When a person is born in the United States, they’ll automatically become citizens, except for certain rare limitations.
2. Anyone born to a US citizen abroad; these individuals will undergo a process of “acquisition of citizenship”.
3. Anyone whose parents were foreign nationals who were naturalized while the person seeking citizenship was still a minor; these individuals will undergo a process known as “citizenship bypass.”

When you were born in the United States


Anyone born on US soil (except children of foreign diplomats and other types of foreign government officials) will automatically be a US citizen. Citizenship granted by being born on US soil is for life unless a formal presentation of an oath of renunciation of such citizenship is made.
In some cases, those who wish to become US citizens may not be aware that they already have citizenship.


When one of your parents is a US citizen


Those who are children of one or more US citizens can automatically acquire citizenship through a process called “acquisition.” It does not matter if you were born within the United States or in any of its territories. As a US citizen, your children will also acquire citizenship at birth.
The laws that apply to citizenship by acquisition are complex and have been reviewed and modified by Congress throughout history.

It’s common for children of American parents not to know that they can obtain the corresponding citizenship. In many cases, people whose grandparents are US citizens will acquire citizenship.


Citizen by having naturalized parents


If a child is under 18, has a Green Card, and the child’s parents have become naturalized US citizens, the child will be eligible for citizenship. If you want to benefit from citizenship bypass laws, the child must live with the naturalized parent. However, unlike naturalized parents, children applying for citizenship bypass will not need to meet the requirements for naturalization tests.

Like the laws regarding the acquisition of citizenship, the laws on the derivation of citizenship have changed over the years, and it’s important to look at the date your parents naturalized you to determine if you meet the requirements corresponding. The important dates of modifications to the provisions on the derivation of citizenship occurred in the years 2001, 1978, 1952, 1941, and 1934.

Similarly, many young people who have a green card, who already live in the United States, and who don’t know that they will automatically obtain citizenship when their parents naturalize.


In Law Office of Monica Herrera we can clarify the doubts in each specific case.


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