Children of Members of the Armed Services Stationed Abroad May No Longer Acquire Citizenship

Effective October 29, 2019, CIS updated the USCIS Policy Manual regarding children of U.S. government employees and U.S. armed forces members employed or stationed outside the United States to explain that they are not considered to be “residing in the United States” for purposes of acquiring citizenship under INA 320. In other words, some children born to U.S. citizens stationed abroad as government employees or members of the U.S. military will no longer qualify for automatic American citizenship. Instead, the Policy Manual continues, parents serving overseas must go through a formal application process seeking U.S. citizenship on their children’s behalf by their 18th birthday.
A government fact sheet lists several caveats appearing to exempt many such children from the new requirement, including those with at least one U.S. citizen parent who lived in the United States before the child’s birth.