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Children of some U.S. service members abroad to no longer receive automatic citizenship

By Daniel Uria
Children of some U.S. service members abroad to no longer receive automatic citizenship
The Trump administration issued a new policy guidance stating that children of some military members and government employees serving abroad will not receive automatic citizenship. File Photo Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

Aug. 28 (UPI) -- The children of some U.S. military members and government employees working in other countries will no longer automatically be considered U.S. citizens, federal officials announced Wednesday.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services issued a policy guidance stating that effective Oct. 29, it no longer considers children of U.S. government employees and U.S. armed forces members residing outside the United States as "residing inside the United States" for purposes of acquiring citizenship under a section of the Immigration and Nationality Act.

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Additionally, the guidance states that leave taken in the United States while stationed abroad will not be considered residing in the United States, even if the person is living in property they own.

The rule will affect children of non-U.S. citizens adopted by government employees or service members who are U.S. citizens, children of non-U.S. citizen government employees or service members naturalized after the child's birth, and children of U.S. citizens who don't meet residency requirements.

It will not apply to children who acquire citizenship at birth or while residing in the United States, including those born abroad to U.S. citizens who have resided in the United States in the past five years.

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Children affected by the policy change will be required to apply for citizenship under section 322 of the INA, requiring them to apply for naturalization and complete that process before the child turns 18.

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