Gathering Evidence to Prove U.S. Citizenship through Parents

Deciding when a child was born and which law for the acquisition of citizenship was in effect at that time is very important. This is an extremely complicated area of immigration law. Gathering the correct evidence of the parent’s physical presence in the United States may be challenging.

Current requirements for acquisitions

Certain individuals automatically become U.S. citizens when born abroad to a U.S. citizen parent. Under current immigration law, the following conditions must be true:
  • Child with two U.S. citizen parents
  • Child with one U.S. citizen parent and one U.S. national parent
  • Child with one U.S. citizen parent and one foreign national parent

Consular report of birth abroad

Parents of children born outside the United States should apply for a Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA). This document will be useful throughout the child’s life to prove U.S. citizenship. Applicants must request a CRBA before the child turns 18 years of age.

Certificate of citizenship

While it may be known that a parent lived in the United States during certain dates, it’s another matter proving it. When requesting a Certificate of Citizenship, the applicant must supply supporting documentation that proves the parent satisfied certain physical presence requirements. This may be challenging. The good news is that you can rely on a wide variety of documents such as school, employment and medical records to make this case.

Example Physical Presence Evidence for Form N-600

  • Travel Records
  • Rental Agreements
  • School and Medical Records
  • Employment Records
  • Court and Criminal Records
  • Records from Clubs, Groups, and Other affiliations
  • Military or U.S. Government Service Records
  • Affidavits


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