US citizenship and naturalization of offspring: Department of State Passport Bulletin 96-18

Summary

United States Department of State Passport Bulletin 96-18. This bulletin confirms that the Department of State holds a different interpretation than the Immigration and Naturalization Service regarding Derivative Citizenship. Derivative Citizenship refers to U.S. citizenship that a child may derive after birth through the naturalization of a parent or parents. The reason it is important is because thousand of people are being deported from the US by the INS based on a claim that they are not US Citizens when in fact they had unknowingly derived US citizenship through the naturalization of a parent or parents. The likely audience is the thousands of people in the US in deportation proceedings or trying to prove their citizenship. Verification: the document will have the Passport Services officers who wrote and received the Passport Bulletin at the time of its writing. Many of these people are now immigration attorneys that can be found via a quick Google of their name. The event that determines this document needs to be published urgently is the passing of Child Citizenship Act – this act loosens the requirements for derivative citizenship for people born after 2001, but also makes the standards used by people born before 2001 prove US citizenship much harder. Ultimately, the USCIS (United States Citizen and Immigration Service) uses different standards then the US Department of State to allow people to prove US citizenship. A person can prove US Citizenship in 2 ways: apply for a US Passport from the Department may apply for a US Passport from the US Department of State (which uses the lighter standard of proof) or file for a Certificate of Naturalization from the USCIS that uses a much heavier standard of proof. This Passport Bulletin gives regular people the “inside scoop”.
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