Integrity Legal

20th May 2009

If a child is born in Thailand and one of the child’s parent’s is a US citizen, then it may be possible to obtain a US passport for the child in Thailand. Before the passport can be obtained, it will likely be necessary to file a consular report of birth abroad.

A Consular report of birth abroad is akin to a birth certificate in that by making a report of birth abroad, an American Citizen is putting the United States government on notice that they have had a child and as per the the legal doctrine of jus sanguinis, the child may be eligible for US citizenship. Jus Sanguinis (a Latin term meaning “right of blood”) is a legal and social policy under which citizenship or nationality is not determined by the place a person was born, but through the presence of an ancestor who is a citizen or national of the state concerned. This policy stands in contrast to jus soli (a Latin term meaning “right of soil”). In the United States, jus soli and jus sanguinis are both methods of acquiring US citizenship. Therefore it is not necessary for a child to be born in the United States in order for that child to be born a US citizen. If the child is born abroad to at least one US citizen parent then the parent’s US citizenship will be transferred to the child.

There are restrictions on this doctrine for the purposes of US citizenship. In situations where the US citizen parent has not spent a statutorily required amount of time in the United States, the parent’s citizenship may fail to transmit to the child. In a case such as this where the US citizen parent wishes to obtain US citizenship for his or her child, it would be necessary to file an I-130 application on behalf of the child and obtain an immigrant visa for the child. Upon entry into the United States, the child would be vested with citizenship automatically by operation of law, because the permanent resident child of a US citizen will be vested with citizenship upon entry into the US on an immigrant visa.

In Thailand consular reports of birth abroad can be obtained at the US Embassy in Thailand or the US Consulate in Chiang Mai. In some instances, the US Embassy will require a paternity test in order to prove that the child is indeed that of the United States Citizen filing the report.  In some cases (particularly in a relationship with previous children present) this requirement may be waived.  In the cases in which a paternity test is requested, the couple has yet to finalize a legal marriage and has instead opted to perform a customary marriage due to the fact that they are seeking to obtain a K1 visa and by getting married it would preclude that type of visa application. Although, there are many situations in which a paternity test is requested.

Thanks for reading,

Feel free to email us at [email protected] for more information on this and other US Immigration issues.

(Please not: nothing contained herein should be used in place of personalized legal advice from an attorney. No attorney-client relationship is created between the reader and the author of this post.)

For more information on our website please see:

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