Can a Child Born in the Phillipines to an American Father Apply for U.S. Citizenship?

Under section 301(g) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, ("INA"), when a child is born with one foreign parent and one United States citizen parent who are married, the child is entitled to American citizenship by birth. This law is true so long as the United States citizen parent was a resident of the U.S. or the U.S. outlying territories for at least the minimum time required by the law. Prior to 1953, this period was 5 years and between 1956 and 1986 it increased 10 years. The American citizen parent also has to be genetically related to the child to transmit citizenship to him/her. Under section 309(c) of the INA, a person conceived out of wedlock by one U.S. citizen parent is able to get citizenship. This law is true so long as the American Citizen parent had physical presence within the U.S. or one of its outlying possessions for at least a full year prior to when the child was born. When genetically proven, the Citizenship can be passed on to the child. The procedure for acquisition of citizenship is as follows: The child can always apply for U.S. citizenship and must be done as soon after the birth as possible to avoid complications. Basically, the simplest and much cheaper way to obtain his birthright citizenship is by reporting his birth to the nearest U.S. Consulate General or Embassy. And to be able to have the issuance of a U.S. Birth Certificate accepted on all accounts as rightful and legal proof of citizenship, his birth abroad must be filed and reported before his 18th birthday. For a child born in the Philippines to an American citizen father, the application must be done at the Embassy of the United States in Manila. The following are the list of instructions: � Acquire the application forms and document checklist. You can not schedule an appointment until all application forms and documents are submitted and reviewed. Forms and checklist can be obtained in person at the Embassy (from 7:00 a.m. until 11:00 a.m. at the American Citizen Services window) or by downloading the DS-2029 form online. � Complete the required documentation together with the application form. All documents must be in their original form or certified by the seal of a notary. Documents not in English must be supported by a notarized translation. Provisions may be made for documents that are not available. In certain instances, additional evidence may be required to ensure full compliance with citizenship law. Documents include the following: child's Philippine Birth Certificate, Evidence of the father's U.S. Citizenship (could be his passport, birth certificate or naturalization certificate) and the child's Parents' Marriage Certificate, Evidence of Termination of any previous marriages of the parents (divorce/ annulment decree, or death certificate). � If the child is born outside of wedlock, the father's parentage must be legitimized by either providing a written sworn oath of parentage, financial support, proof of residence in the United States and possibly a court establishing parentage and a DNA test. If more documents or procedures will be required, the U.S Embassy will inform you before you attend the appointment. � Submit all required supporting documents together with the application form to the U.S. Embassy via mail or courier to: Citizenship and Passport Unit American Citizen Services, Consular Section U.S. Embassy, 201 Roxas Boulevard, Manila � Wait for the Embassy to receive and review your application. The embassy will notify you via telephone about the possible dates and times and if there are any additional documents required to schedule your appointment. � Attend the appointment. It is advised that you must be there 30 minutes before your appointed time to clear embassy security. A $100 application fee (may be in U.S. dollars or the local currency equivalent in cash or credit card only) must be paid at the appointment. The child must also be present at the appointment accompanied by one of the parents (although both parents being present is more ideal) to finalize the application. Once the application has been approved, you can immediately apply for the child's U.S. Passport.

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