If your child was born in the United States he or she will generally be a U.S. citizen at birth. Additionally, in most instances if your child was born in the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the territories of Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, or the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (after November 4, 1986) he or she will also be born a U.S. citizen. An exception to U.S. citizenship at birth exists for children who were born in United States but not subject to the jurisdiction of the U.S., such as children of foreign diplomats.
While a child born in the United States almost always automatically becomes a U.S. citizen, the birth of the child does not change the status of the parents. If you were not a U.S. citizen prior to the birth of your child, then you will not be a U.S. citizen after your child is born. In the event that you entered the U.S. without having obtained proper government permission and in violation of the U.S. immigration laws you can still be subject to deportation.
However, you may be able to remain in the U.S. and avoid deportation by requesting relief through a cancellation of removal. The cancellation of removal has many eligibility requirements, so the birth of a child in the U.S. does not guarantee that the cancellation of removal will be granted. These requirements generally include demonstrating that your removal would cause an exceptional and extremely unusual hardship to your child, proving that you are of good moral character, and satisfying several other additional criteria. The decision as to whether to grant or deny the cancellation of removal application is left to the discretion of the immigration judge. If you are dealing with a potential deportation you should contact a Maryland family immigration lawyer today. Our firm will carefully review your situation and advise you on all of the legal rights and remedies that may be available to help you avoid a deportation.
In addition to being born in the U.S., children who are born abroad to U.S. citizens are generally U.S. citizens at birth. In most instances, a child will be a U.S. citizen if the child is born abroad to two U.S. citizens and at least one of the child’s parents lived in the U.S. at some time in his or her life. Additionally, if a child is born abroad to one U.S. citizen, her or she will generally be a U.S. citizen provided both of the following USCIS criteria are met: (1) one of the parents was a U.S. citizen at the time the child was born; and (2) the U.S. citizen parent lived in the U.S. for a period of at least five years before the child was born with two of those five years being after the parent reached 14 years of age. In the event the child was born prior to November 14, 1986, the U.S. citizen parent must have lived in the U.S. for at least 10 years and at least five of those years must be after the parent reached 14 years of age.
If you have questions about the U.S. citizenship of your child or have other immigration concerns, we encourage you to contact a skilled Maryland family immigration lawyer at our firm today. Miranda & Weisman offers initial consultations and we can be reached at 410-321-4994 or through our online contact form.