Military Children Born Abroad Won't Get Automatic Citizenship

Army Soldiers Return Home To Fort Carson From War In Iraq

The Trump Administration has altered the rules that apply to the children of some U.S. service members and U.S. government employees serving abroad to automatically become U.S. citizens, according to a release from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services on Wednesday.

According to the notice from USCIS, the agency will no longer automatically count those children who are born abroad as citizens of the United States. Military members or government employees who are stationed abroad with their families can apply for their children's citizenship, the new policy states. The changes are scheduled to take effect on Oct. 28, the USCIS said. Applications submitted before then will still be eligible to the automatic policy.

The new policy will not change who is born an American citizen, USCIS acting Director Ken Cuccinelli.

"It only affects children who were born outside the US and were not US citizens," Cuccinelli tweeted. "This does NOT impact birthright citizenship. The policy update doesn't deny citizenship to the children of US gov employees or members of the military born abroad." 

The change provoked confusion among military members serving abroad. The previous policy considered the children both living in and outside the U.S. for purposes of gaining citizenship.

"Our policy update regarding residence related to citizenship does not affect people who are born a U.S. citizen," the USCIS tweeted. "This policy only affects children who were born outside the U.S. who are not U.S. citizens, and does not impact birthright citizenship."

The change was made by the Trump administration to bring the agency's policy in line with the Department of State.

Photo: Getty Images

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