According to the XIVth Amendment to the Constitution, a child born in the United States obtains the citizenship of that country (except perhaps children of foreign diplomats). Moreover, the child can be registered as a US citizen both right after birth and after years – the statute of limitations is not provided here. Being already an adult, he can independently register citizenship at any moment of his life.
US citizenship by birth has many advantages:
- work in USA
- vote in elections
- file petitions on the immigration of family members
- do not waste time and money on issuing visas to many countries around the world
The USA citizenship of illegitimate children of American citizens could been granted under substantially different conditions, depending on whether it is provided by the mother or father.
Especially, if child was born outside the USA by a US citizen without marriage automatically became a US citizen. If mother proved that, before child birth, she lived in the US for at least 1 year at any time in her life.
If we talk about situation, when the US citizenship was granted by the father, the conditions in such cases were stricter. An illegitimate child whose father is an American citizen, can be obtain US citizenship until his father proves that he lived in the United States more than 5 years, wo of whom are over the age of 14.
Now, the decision of the US Supreme Court to grant US citizenship to illegitimate children by mother or father is granted on equal terms and conditions that their American parent lived in the US at least 5 years, 2 of whom are over the age of 14, regardless of the parent’s gender. Such a decision of the Supreme Court justifies the US Constitution, the protection of equal rights of citizens and the fight against discrimination on the basis of gender.
Paradoxically, the immigration law on US citizenship granted to illegitimate children would stay without changes if the case of gender discrimination not been received by the Supreme Court.
The circumstances of this case which came to the Supreme Court was about of US citizenship by Louis Ramon Morales-Santana, born in 1962 in the Dominican Republic from a mother citizen, and from father US citizen who worked at that time outside the United States for construction work.
Hose Morales left the United States for the Dominican Republic 20 days before his 19th birthday, thereby failing the requirement of article 1401 (a) (7) on five years of physical presence after reaching the 14th anniversary. There he married the Dominican Mary Santana, and they gave birth to a son named Luis Ramon Morales-Santana. Eventually, the family came to live in the US, and in 2000 the authorities tried to deport Luis Ramon due to several criminal convictions, considering him a foreigner because at the time of his birth, his father didn’t have five years of residence in the US after 14 years. Morales-Santana claims the congenital citizenship of the United States; The immigration court rejected his claim. Morales-Santana appealed the decision on the grounds that the denial of citizenship through his father-citizen violated the constitutional guarantee of equality before the law. The Council of Immigration Appeals rejected this idea, but the Federal Court of Appeals of the Second District overturned this decision. Based on the interpretation of the principle of equality before the law with regard to different sexes, adopted by our Court after 1970, this court recognized the difference in the requirements for unmarried men and women unconstitutional. In order to correct this slack, the court ruled that Morales-Santana received citizenship through his father, just as if his mother were a citizen either.
Now, illegitimate children of US citizens can obtain US citizenship by proving that their parent has lived in the US for at least 5 years, 2 of whom are over the age of 14, doesn’t matter if one of parent male or female.
Need to say that, only after of 21 years the child can give a call for immigration for parents, brothers or sisters, and then, if he lives in the US. He can transfer the right to US citizenship to his child at his birth, but only if he lives on the territory of United States at least five years, of which two after he was 14 years old. Otherwise, his child can count only on Green Card.
If a US citizen resides in a country where exist representation of the US Immigration Service, he can apply for an accelerated processing of immigrant visas for members of his family (husband/wife, children, parents).
Never too late ask about US citizenship if exist such opportunity from birth. You have such option from beginning or not. In some cases, consular officer can delay your visa case if have such ability to think that applicant of US visa wants to get American citizenship by using his birthright.