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What is Birthright Citizenship?

Birthright citizenship is a legal right in which citizenship is given for all children born in the country’s territory. Birthright citizenship is different from obtaining citizenship later on in life, such as naturalization. The 14th Amendment grants birthright citizenship under constitutional principles and is categorized under two common law principles, which are:

(1) jus sois (geographic location)

(2) jus sanguinis (blood relations).

Because these are two common law principles, it allows U.S. citizenship to those who are born in the U.S. This means that anyone who is born in the U.S. is automatically considered to be a U.S. citizen, regardless of the citizenship status of the parents. Birthright citizenship is also granted in U.S. territories of Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

In certain scenarios, birthright citizenship can also be granted to those who are born outside of the U.S. This is allowed because the federal laws have a number of statutes in which are based on the jus sanguinis principles. For instance, this allows a person birthright citizenship when they are born on foreign soil, according to parentage. To get a better understanding, here are some examples:

When the parents are married and the child is born overseas, citizenship can be granted if:

  • Both parents are citizens of the U.S. and the child is also a U.S. citizen if one of the parents lived in the U.S. before the child’s birth
  • If only one parent is a U.S. citizen and the other parent is a U.S. national, the child is given birthright citizenship if the U.S. citizen lives in the U.S. for at least one year before the child’s birth
  • If one parent is a U.S. citizen and the other parent is not, the child is only given birthright citizenship in the following scenarios:
  • The U.S. citizen parent was physically present in the U.S. for a time prior to the child’s birth for 5 years and a minimum of two of those years were after the citizen parent’s 14th birthday.

If the parents are not married, then the laws above do not apply and the only time a child is given birthright citizenship is if:

  • The unmarried mother is a U.S. citizen and lived in the U.S. continuously for at least one year, prior to the child’s birth
  • The unmarried father is a U.S. citizen and the father is physically present through clear evidence

If you have any questions regarding birthright citizenship, then it may be in your best interest to seek legal help from a deportation lawyer in Los Angeles. An experienced immigration lawyer in LA will provide great help in explaining citizenship laws, your child’s eligibility in birthright citizenship, and much more. Many people face potential deportation threats if they do not provide the evidence needed to prove eligibility for birthright citizenship, therefore, it is best that you speak to an attorney with experience so you can avoid any misunderstandings, delays, or voidances.

At Alami Law, we are very well-versed in California immigration law and thoroughly understand the proceedings needed in order for you to get the help you need. We understand that the process is arduous, confusing, and stressful; however, we want to be able to help our clients in any way we can to spare them any unfortunate circumstances. If you are in need of legal immigration help in Los Angeles, feel free to contact us any time. We will get you the help that you need.