Transmitting Citizenship — Physical Presence Requirements

  1. Transmitting Citizenship — Physical Presence Requirements
  2. Reporting the Birth of a Child Abroad
  3. Child’s First U.S. Passport

Transmission of U.S. citizenship depends on:

  1. At least one parent having the nationality of the United States at the time of the child’s birth;
  2. The existence of a blood relationship between the child and U.S. citizen parent(s);
  3. Documentary evidence demonstrating the U.S. citizen parent(s)’ presence in the United States prior to the child’s birth, as specified in the Transmission Requirements Table below.

Examples of Documentation

Some examples of documentary evidence which may be considered to demonstrate that physical presence requirements have been met may include (but are not limited to):

  • Wage and tax statements (W-2)
  • Academic transcripts
  • Employment records
  • Rental receipts
  • Records of honorable U.S. military service, employment with U.S. Government or certain intergovernmental international organizations; or as a dependent, unmarried child and member of the household of a parent in such service or employment (except where indicated).
  • U.S. passport stamps may be considered a part of the evidence submitted, but should not be the sole documentary evidence. Drivers’ licenses do not constitute evidence of physical presence.

If you have other children who have been issued with a Consular Report of Birth Abroad, this may be considered as supplemental evidence. Please also read important information regarding Supporting Documents.

Birth to a U.S. Citizen Parent Married to an Alien Parent, or Birth to an Alien Unmarried U.S. Citizen Father

A U.S. citizen parent may transmit citizenship if s/he has been physically present in the United States for a certain period of time prior to the child’s birth.  For children born on or after November 14, 1986, the citizen parent must prove that s/he was physically present in the U.S. for 5 years, 2 of which were after age 14.  It is important to recognize that the burden of proof is on the applicant.  Physical presence may be proven by presenting a combination of records such as school transcripts, social security statements, old and current passports, etc., to show that the physical presence requirement has been met.

Birth to Two U.S. Citizen Parents

A child born to two U.S. citizen parents abroad acquires citizenship at birth, so long as either parent had a residence in the United States or its possessions sometime before the child’s birth.  There is no specific length of physical presence required.

Birth to Unmarried U.S. Citizen Mother

An unmarried U.S. citizen mother may transmit citizenship to a child born abroad if she has been physically present in the United States for a certain amount of time prior to the child’s birth.For children born between November 14, 1986 and June 11, 2017, mother must prove that she was physically present in the U.S. for a minimum period of one continuous year.  For children born on or after June 12, 2017, mother must prove that she was physically present in the U.S. for 5 years, 2 of which were after age 14.  It is important to recognize that the burden of proof is on the applicant.  Physical presence may be proven by presenting a combination of records such as school transcripts, old and current passports, vaccination records, etc., to show that the physical presence requirement has been met.