Residence in the U.S.

Situation A: If a child is born in wedlock to two U.S. citizen parents, at least one of the parents must have had his/her residence in the U.S. at any time prior to the child’s birth in order to transmit U.S. citizenship.

One U.S. citizen parent? Check our page about “physical presence.”

While the definition of residence is not dependent on a specific time period in the United States, as opposed to physical presence, the longer the duration of a person’s stay in a particular place in the United States, the more likely it is the place can be characterized as the person’s residence.

Birth in the United States is usually sufficient to satisfy the residence requirement.  If a person is born abroad, in wedlock, to two U.S. citizen parents, a parent born in the United States will meet the “residence” requirement, as long as evidence is presented demonstrating the parent’s mother was not merely transiting through the United States at the time of that parent’s birth. A long form birth certificate usually includes the mother’s address, which usually suffices to show the mother was not merely transiting through the United States.

Examples of documents that can help demonstrate a residence include, but are not limited to, a combination of some of the following:

  • sealed/certified school records
  • sealed/certified university transcripts
  • employment records or information (letter from your employments HR)
  • income tax records filed in the United States of America
  • income records, including W-2 salary forms (to download your previous years tax transcripts, click here)
  • vaccination and medical records
  • Social Security statement (to download your Social Security Statement, click here).

In general, the parent whose residence is being used to transmit citizenship to the child must be personally present at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate with his/her documentation for an interview by a Consular Officer.