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Redefining the Citizenship Process for Children of U.S. Service Members Born Abroad

August 30, 2019

On Wednesday, August 28, the Trump administration announced changes to the definition of residency as it relates to the citizenship of children of U.S. service members born outside of the U.S.

The current policy states that certain children living outside of the United States were considered “residing” in the U.S. when there were parents were U.S. government employees and members of the U.S. armed forces who are employed or stationed outside the United States.

The new USCIS Policy Manual redefines “residence” as it relates to citizenship for children of certain U.S. government employees and service members to conform with the definition of residence in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).

Amidst considerable concerns about citizenship status, USCIS went on to clarify that the new policy does not change the eligibility for citizenship. Opponents say it complicates the process and makes possible that applicants could be denied.