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Am a Citizen?

Discussion in 'US Citizenship' started by chasongrayson, Feb 15, 2011.

  1. chasongrayson

    chasongrayson New Member

    I am 39 year old male born to US Citizen mother and Mexican father in Mexico. Mother was US citizen through born abroad citizenship obtained through my grandfather a US military service member. I am a disabled veteran that served in the military for 10 years to include the first Dessert Storm conflict to July of 2000. I have been married to 10 years to a US citizen as well, and I am curious if I am a US citizen?
  2. baikal3

    baikal3 Registered Users (C)

    Were your parents married at the time of your birth? Did your mother live in the U.S. at any time prior to your birth, and if yes, for how long?

    Also, just out of curiosity, what is your status in the U.S. now? A green card?
  3. chasongrayson

    chasongrayson New Member

    Yes parents were married at the time, now divorced, father is now also a naturalized citizen. Mother lived in Calexico, California and travel back in forth to Mexico to see father who was working in Mexico. Grandfather/Grandmother lived in Calexico and grandfather went to San Diego to do his weekend military drills. I realized that I could qualify for naturalization due to having my green card for over 5 years, married to US citizen for more than 3 years, and by having served in the military during a period of conflict, however, I was curious if I was already a citizen prior to starting my naturalization paperwork, thanks.
  4. Jackolantern

    Jackolantern Registered Users (C)

    Your problem may lie in proving that your mother lived in the US for the required amount of time ... 10 years before your birth (not necessarily the last 10 years before you were born, just 10 years total), including 5 years after her 14th birthday. Digging up those 40-50 year old documents won't be easy.

    And it may be hard to prove that she was a US citizen before you were born, if she doesn't have a certificate of citizenship showing she had citizenship at birth, or an old US passport issued before you were born.
  5. baikal3

    baikal3 Registered Users (C)

    Whether or not you derived citizenship through your mother is governed by the relevant U.S. nationality law at the time of your birth. The law changed several times over the years and you can find the relevant table here:
    http://www.uscis.gov/ilink/docView/AFM/HTML/AFM/0-0-0-1/0-0-0-26573/0-0-0-33237.html#0-0-0-967

    Since you were born in-wedlock, abroad, to one U.S. citizen parent and one alien parent, between 12/24/52 and 11/14/86, in order to derive citizenship you would have to show that your mother was a U.S. citizen at the time of your birth and that, by the time of your birth, she had been physically present in the U.S. (cumulatively, not necessarily continuously) for at least 10 years, with at least 5 of those years after she turned 14.
    It is not clear from your post if your mother satisfies these conditions, but, as Jackolantern notes, even if she does, it may be very difficult to prove that now. As I understand it, you were born around 1970-1971. She would have to prove physical presence in the U.S. for 10 years prior to your birth, which would require digging out some sort of 40-50 year old documents. This may be difficult if not impossible, depending on circumstances, particularly since many documents from that period have not been computerized and might have been permanently lost/destroyed by now. Naturalization is probably a better option for you.
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 16, 2011
  6. Jackolantern

    Jackolantern Registered Users (C)

    How and when did you obtain your green card? If you got it when under 18, and don't qualify for citizenship at birth or are unable to find the documents to prove it, you may be able to qualify for derivative citizenship under the laws at the time pertaining to permanent resident children who live with their US citizen parent(s). Such documents may be easier to obtain than than documents of your mother's presence in the 1950s and 60s. Did your father naturalize before you turned 18?
  7. chasongrayson

    chasongrayson New Member

    Did not get my GC until after I turned 18 right before joining the military, father did not naturalize until I was in my 20s. Mother has her passport and certificate of citizenship,
  8. BigJoe5

    BigJoe5 Registered Users (C)

    How old was mom when you were born? If not yet 21, she cannot meet the physical presence needed to transmit USC to you at birth. If 21 or over, it remains an evidentiary issue. You have not provided enough detail on her time in the U.S. before you were born to go into specific deatils of evidence to be sought.
  9. Jackolantern

    Jackolantern Registered Users (C)

    21? The rule at the time was 10 years total presence before the birth, including 5 years after the 14th birthday. So 19 would be the minimum age for this purpose, not 21.
  10. baikal3

    baikal3 Registered Users (C)

    In that case the only way you may possibly have a claim to already being a U.S. citizen is if you can prove that prior to your birth your mother had been physically present in the U.S. for at least 10 years, with at least 5 of those years after the age of 14.

    Other than that, you have to go through naturalization.

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