Children born to overseas US service members will no longer be granted automatic citizenship

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A new policy issued by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services says that starting Oct. 29, the children who are born to U.S. service members outside the country will not automatically be considered citizens.

Once the new policy takes effect, the parents who are government employees and U.S. armed forces members stationed outside the U.S. will have to apply for citizenship for their children.

The citizenship process must be completed by the child’s 18th birthday.

The child of a member of the U.S. armed forces accompanying a parent abroad on official orders may be eligible to complete all aspects of the naturalization process abroad.

This includes interviews, filings, oaths, ceremonies and other processes relating to naturalization, the USCIC says.

The policy says that “temporary visits to the United States do not establish U.S. residence.”

The USCIC policy manual has separate definitions for residence and physical presence.

Residence is defined as the person’s actual dwelling place, in fact, without regard to intent, the USCIC says.

And physical presence is defined by the USCIC as being in the U.S. without owning or renting any property or having another principal living space.

To read the full policy, click here. 

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