Citizenship Through a Parent
A person may become a United States citizen automatically under certain circumstances, even if not born on U.S. soil. One may derive citizenship through the Child Citizenship Act of 2000 (CCA) if, before the person reaches the age of 18, one of his or her parents is a U.S. citizen (through birth or naturalization) and the person is admitted to the U.S. as a permanent resident. Prior to the CCA, the law was more restrictive. Consult with a lawyer to determine whether the prior law or the CCA applies in your case. Different and/or additional requirements exist for adopted children and for children born out of wedlock to obtain citizenship through the father.
A person may also acquire U.S. citizenship at birth through one or both parents. This is known as jus sanguinis, Latin for right of blood to nationality. The law on acquisition of citizenship at birth has changed several times throughout United States history, and the law in effect on the date of birth controls.
Scott can analyze your potential claim to citizenship and help you document it for an N-600 or U.S. passport application.