USCIS announced a policy update on Wednesday that could affect residency and citizenship procedures for children born to U.S. citizen parents or government employees abroad. USCIS announced in a memo: 1) temporary visits to the U.S. do not count as residency, and 2) children of U.S. government employees and U.S. armed forces members living outside the United States do not qualify as “residing in the United States” for purposes of acquiring automatic citizenship under INA 320. This means that many children born abroad with U.S. citizen parents will have to apply for naturalization under INA 322. In an update later on Wednesday, USCIS explained that this update only affects 3 groups of people: “children of non-U.S. citizens adopted by U.S. citizen government employees or service members; children of non-U.S. citizen government employees or service members who were naturalized after the child’s birth; and children of U.S. citizens who do not meet residency requirements.” Though the pool of people affected by the update is small, many see this policy alert as the Trump administration eroding birthright citizenship. Acting Director Cuccinelli retorted in a statement: “This policy update does not affect who is born a U.S. citizen, period.  This only affects children who were born outside the United States and were not U.S. citizens.  This does NOT impact birthright citizenship.” The policy change is effective as of October 29, 2019.

– Weekly Immigration Briefing by Olivia Hester, Immigration Law Analyst at Docketwise


Posted in: Immigration