Starting Oct. 29, all non-citizen children residing abroad with U.S. citizen parents who are stationed abroad will not be considered for acquiring citizenship.
Some children born to U.S. service members serving abroad will no longer be considered American citizens at birth, according to a policy alert released by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services on Wednesday afternoon, the latest effort by the Trump administration to further restrict access to citizenship.
“USCIS no longer considers children of U.S. government employees and U.S. armed forces members residing outside the United States as ‘residing in the United States’ for purposes of acquiring citizenship” under the Immigration and Naturalization Act, the alert states. Effective on Oct. 29, 2019, all non-citizen children residing abroad with U.S. citizen parents who are either employed by the U.S. government or are members of the military stationed abroad “are not considered to be residing in the United States for acquisition of citizenship.”
The rule clarifies that it only affects children not entitled to U.S. citizenship by birth—meaning that if a child is born abroad on a military base to parents who were citizens at the time of its birth, the child would still be recognized as a birthright citizen (although not always). The policy would also not affect a child born to a U.S. citizen parent who has had residence in the United States before the child’s birth.