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    Posted by Sookoon, 2 replies

    Hello. We have a baby who was born in Chile last year. She is daughter of a US father, and Brazilian mother. She has a Chilean passport, and a Chilean birth certificate.

    I was told a couple of days ago, that she is required to have a US passport, and that she is automatically a US citizen. We specifically don’t want her to be a US citizen, or to have a US passport. All debates as to “why” aside, that is subject for another conversation.

    What are my options and avenues?

    I read in the State Department information, quoted in an interesting WSJ article, that says,

    “A person born abroad to a U.S. citizen parent or parents will acquire U.S. citizenship at birth, IF the statutory requirements of the Immigration and Nationality Act for transmission of U.S. citizenship are met, and regardless of whether the person is ever documented as a U.S. citizen (by obtaining a Consular Report of Birth Abroad of a U.S. Citizen, a U.S. passport, and/or a Certificate of Citizenship).”

    The operative word for me, is “IF the statutory requirements of the INA for transmission of US citizenship are met”

    Also, in the US Constitution, it says,

    The 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution states (in Section 1): All persons born or naturalized in the Untied States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States;

    The operative words for me, are “subject to the jurisdiction thereof”, which create debate about the meaning.

    Is this an issue that you can assist with?


    2 replies

    Tyler Wells

    It isn’t so simple when one parent is a citizen and the other isn’t. When both are, the answer is yes. When one is, the answer is it depends. You can see the different possibilities at the Immigration and Naturalization website here http://www.uscis.gov/us-citizenship/citizenship-through-parents


    If you take no action such as applying for a US passport or SSN for your child then there is no record of them being a US citizen. The US government has no way of knowing that a US citizen had a child abroad. They will not be officially recognized as a citizen unless you take specific steps so if you don’t take those steps you are fine.

    Now this is just my opinion but I feel that it’s better to not take any specific steps than to take steps to renounce citizenship for your child. Let them make that decision when they are an adult. That way if they ever want to come to the US to study or something, it will be much easier and they will be eligible for student aid and what not. Anyhow, just my 2 cents.

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