Do you qualify to pass on citizenship

Children born abroad to a U.S. citizen parent(s) (under the age of 18) may have a claim to U.S. citizenship. The following is a brief description of the various circumstances under which a child born abroad may acquire U.S. citizenship.  For further information please select the description below that best fits your family circumstances.

NOTE:  All periods of residence or physical presence must have taken place prior to the birth of the child

Children under 18, born to U.S. citizens who are not eligible for U.S. citizenship as described above may be eligible under the Child Citizenship Act of 2000.  Further information is available from the Department of State’s website.

If you have been issued any of the following documents, you may immediately begin your application for your first U.S. passport. If you are no longer in possession of any of these documents, you must obtain a certified copy from the issuing authority.

A passport of your U.S. citizen parent(s) in which you are included – for a copy of your parents’ passport records, please contact the Passport Services Office at the Department of State.

Once you are in possession of one of the listed documents, please see our instructions for applying for your first U.S. passport.


If you were born outside the United States, have not been previously documented as a U.S. citizen and are:

A child born outside of the United States or its outlying possessions to two U.S. citizen parents, in wedlock, is entitled to citizenship, provided one of the parents had, prior to the birth of the child, been resident in the United States or one of its outlying possessions. (No specific period of time is required.)  NOTE:  A child born to two U.S. citizens, out of wedlock should refer to number 3 or 4 below (whichever favorably applies)

A child born outside of the United States to one U.S. citizen parent and one non-U.S. citizen parent may be entitled to citizenship providing the U.S. citizen parent had been physically present in the United States or one of its outlying possessions for five years, at least two years of which were after s/he reached the age of fourteen.

A child born outside of the United States and out of wedlock to a U.S. citizen mother may be entitled to U.S. citizenship providing the U.S. Citizen mother had been physically present in the United States for a continuous period of at least one year (365 days) at some time prior to the birth of the child.  Periods spent overseas with the U.S. government/military or as a government/military dependent, are NOT considered as physical presence in the U.S. for transmission under this category.

NOTE:  A child born outside of the United States on or after June 12, 2017, out of wedlock to a U.S. mother may be entitled to U.S. citizenship providing the U.S. citizen mother had been physically present in the United States or one of its outlying possessions for five years, at least two years of which were after she reached the age of fourteen.

A child born outside of the United States and out of wedlock to a U.S. Citizen father may be entitled to U.S. Citizenship providing the U.S. citizen father had been physically present in the United States or one of its outlying possessions for five years, at least two years of which were after he reached the age of fourteen.  In addition the U.S. citizen father must acknowledge paternity and agree in writing to provide financial support for the child until s/he reaches the age of 18 years.