USAAre you a United States Citizen?
Citizens of the United States enjoy the full protection of the United States Constitution and may live and work in the United States without any immigration restrictions. If you want to become a Citizen of the United States, see Naturalization.

Birthright Citizenship
If you were born in the United States and within its jurisdiction, you have birthright citizenship and are a citizen of the United States. This citizenship may not be taken from you without your consent; however certain acts such as renouncing your citizenship may terminate that citizenship. Even if you were not born in the United States, you may have acquired citizenship at birth if you meet certain requirements.

If you were born abroad and both parents are U.S. Citizens
1. You are an American Citizen if:
2. Both your parents were U.S. citizens at the time you were born
3. Your parents were married at the time
4. At least one parent resided in the United States before you were born.

If you register your foreign birth record with the U.S. Consulate or Embassy, you can use that as proof of U.S. citizenship. You may also apply for a U.S. Passport and Certificate of U.S. Citizenship. These documents are useful to prove U.S. citizenship when you cannot produce an American Birth Certificate.

If you were born abroad and only one parent is a United States Citizen
If you were born abroad on or after November 14, 1986, you are a U.S. citizen if
1. Your parents were married when you were born
2. One of the your parents was a U.S. citizen when you were born
3. Your citizen parent lived at least 5 years in the United States before you were born AND
4. At least 2 of the above 5 years must have been after the citizen parent was 14 years old

If you were born between December 24, 1952 and November 14, 1986, you are a U.S. citizen if
1. Your parents were married when you were born
2. One of the your parents was a U.S. citizen when you were born
3. Your American Citizen parent lived at least 10 years in the United States before you were born AND
4. At least 5 of the above 10 years must have been after the U.S. citizen parent was 14 years old

Not all U.S. Nationals are U.S. Citizens
If you were born in any U.S. territory, you are a U.S. national but may not be a citizen. The passports of U.S. Nationals who are not citizens have an endorsement on their passport which reads: "THE BEARER IS A UNITED STATES NATIONAL AND NOT A UNITED STATES CITIZEN." These non-citizen nationals may live and work in the United States without any restrictions and may apply for citizenship. Until they become citizens however, they do not enjoy all the rights and benefits of those who are U.S. Citizens.

            The immigration laws of the United States are complicated and in a constant state of flux. The above rules are generalities and do not tell the complete picture. For example, to satisfy the physical presence requirement, concessions are made to citizens who have spent time abroad serving in the military or as unmarried dependants. The rules are different for children born out of wedlock including different rules for mothers and fathers.

             If you think you may be an American Citizen, contact us for an appointment to evaluate your case. We will review your case and advise you of your options. If you are a U.S. citizen we will work hard to get you recognized as one so that you can enjoy all the benefits that come with being a U.S. Citizen. Call to see how we can help you.
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