Tag Archives: Citizenship in the United States

New US Citizenship Rules Help Birth Mothers

baby's name

Mothers who gave birth to a child overseas with help from an egg donor can transmit citizenship under a new policy from the U.S. State Department.

The change took effect on Jan. 31.  For the first time, birth mothers who are not genetically related to their child can pass on U.S. citizenship.  Birth mothers will be treated the same as genetic mothers for purposes of acquiring citizenship.

The good news for such mothers is that the policy is retroactive.  That means that birth mothers can apply for U.S. citizenship for their children even if their application would have been turned down in the past.

The new policy officially means that both the U.S. State Department and Department of Homeland Security will interpret the definition of “child” under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) to mean the child of a genetic or a gestational parent.  The baby will be treated as born in wedlock as long as both genetic or gestational parents are married at the time of the child’s birth.

Of course, a few caveats apply. The mother must be the legal parent of the child. And a U.S. consular officer must approve the request for an official birth certificate, known as a Consular Report of Birth Abroad, making sure that all requirements for citizenship are fulfilled.

WE JUST HAD A BABY! Since we live overseas, how do I ensure my baby is recognized as a U.S. citizen?

new bornIf you or your spouse is a United States citizen, you should get a Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA) for your baby.  The CRBA is an official record of U.S. citizenship issued to a person under age 18 who was born abroad to U.S. citizen parent(s) and acquired citizenship at birth. This document is used in the United States like a certified copy of a birth certificate, and it is acceptable evidence of citizenship for obtaining a passport and entering school. The Embassy strongly encourages all U.S. citizens with children born in Korea to apply for a CRBA as soon as possible after the birth of the child.  For more information see: https://kr.usembassy.gov/u-s-citizen-services/birth/

Do you need to report your marriage abroad to someone in the United States?

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Question: “I just got married in South Korea. Do I need to report this to someone in the United States?” Continue reading