You’re not yet an American citizen, though you hope to be someday. As of now, you’re simply living in the U.S. with your significant other, using a student visa to get your post-graduate degree.
While doing so, you and your partner have two children together. You know that children born to U.S. citizens are automatically citizens themselves, but what about your children? Do they qualify, even though you do not?
Everyone born in the U.S. is automatically a citizen
The United States Constitution addresses this very directly, which makes it fairly simple. If your children were born here, they are citizens. This is true for everyone who is born in the country. Your own status does not matter. The 14th Amendment puts it as follows:
“All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.”
Interestingly, this means that even children who are born here with two undocumented parents are still citizens. The parents may not have had a right to be in the U.S. themselves, but that does not change where their children were born, so the 14th Amendment still applies.
In some cases, children will have dual citizenship or will be able to choose which citizenship they want when they grow older. But the fact that you are not a citizen will not prevent your children from having that status themselves, whether or not you decide to pursue it after your student visa expires.
Understanding your rights
The path to citizenship can be complicated or confusing in many ways. It’s very important that you understand your rights, and working with an experienced team can help.