Birth Between December 24, 1952, and november 13, 1986

If at the time of your birth both your par­ents were U. S. citizens and at least one had a prior residence in the U. S., you automatically acquired U. S. citizenship, with no other conditions for retaining it.

If only one parent was a U. S. citi­zen at the time of your birth, that par­ent must have resided in the U. S. for at least ten years, and at least five of those years must have been after your parent reached the age of 14. If your one U. S. citizen parent is your father and your birth was illegitimate (took place while your parents weren’t married), the same rules apply provided you were legally legitimated (your father acknowledged paternal responsibility) prior to your 21st birthday and you were unmarried at the time of legitimation.

1. Birth Between november 14, 1986, and the Present

If at the time of your birth, both your parents were U. S. citizens and at least one had a prior residence in the U. S., you automatically acquired U. S. citizen­ship, with no conditions for retaining it.

If only one parent was a U. S. citi­zen at the time of your birth, that par­ent must have resided in the U. S. for at least five years and at least two of those years must have been after your parent reached the age of 14. Even with only one U. S. citizen parent, there are still no conditions to retaining your citizenship. If your one U. S. citizen parent is your father and your birth was illegitimate (took place when the parents weren’t married), the same rules apply provided you were legally legitimated (your father acknowledged paternal responsibility) prior to your 18th birthday. Additionally, your father must have established pater­nity prior to your 18th birthday, either by acknowledgment or by court order, and must have stated, in writing, that he would support you financially until your 18th birthday.

2. Exception to requirements for retaining citizenship

It is not unusual for a child born and raised outside the U. S. to have acquired U. S. citizenship at birth from parents or grandparents without knowing it. The child, ignorant of the laws and circum­stances affecting his or her birthright, then proceeds to lose U. S. citizenship by failing to fulfill u. s. residency require­ments.

Congress sought to address this by adding a law for people who once held u. s. citizenship but lost it by failing to fulfill the residency requirements that were in effect before 1978. such persons can regain their citizenship by simply taking the oath of allegiance to the united states. It is not necessary that the person apply for naturalization. Contact a u. s. consulate or usCIs office for more information. The relevant statute is 8 u. s.C. §1435(d)(1), I. N.A. §324(d)(1).