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Citizenship at Birth

In general, persons born in the United States or certain territories or outlying possessions of the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction of the United States are considered U.S. citizens at birth.  Children born to foreign government officials who are in the U.S. as recognized diplomats do not obtain U.S. citizenship at birth.  In addition, persons who were born abroad to at least one parent who was a U.S. citizen at the time of the person’s birth may “acquire” U.S. citizenship at birth if they meet certain other eligibility requirements.  The birth of a child abroad to U.S. citizen parent(s) should be reported to the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate as soon as possible after the child’s birth so that a Consular Report of Birth Abroad can be issued as an official record of the child’s claim to U.S. citizenship.

Those born with U.S. citizenship retain it for life unless they deliberately give it up — for example, by filing an oath of renunciation.