Being born in the United States is the easiest and most common way to obtain citizenship. It’s called “birthright citizenship.” Typically, someone does not have to apply for citizenship or take any sort of test to gain it if they were born in the country.
There are a few exceptions to birthright citizenship. For instance, if you’re a foreign diplomat who is working in the U.S. and your child is born while you’re here, they do not automatically become a citizen. They are a citizen of your home country.
Your own immigration status does not make a difference
But what if you are not a citizen? Perhaps you have been living in the U.S. for some time, but you are undocumented. Will your child still become a citizen?
They will. Your status does not make a difference, and birthright citizenship still applies. In fact, there are plenty of situations in which people are U.S. citizens and do not realize it. This is one of them.
An undocumented parent may assume that their child is also undocumented. That is true if the child was born in another country and then entered the U.S. with their parents. However, if the parents entered the U.S. and then the child was born, that child has citizenship simply by being born on U.S. soil.
Sorting out a complex situation
If your immigration situation is complex, you need to know what your rights and your family members’ rights are. Never assume anything. This could land you in serious legal trouble. An immigration attorney can answer all of your questions.