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Hi everyone. I know a lot of you are living abroad and was hoping that some of you could help me. I am pregnant with our fourth child and living in Mexico. Both my husband and I are American Citizens. We have been going to a private Dr. here but I am seriously considering heading back to Ca. once I am about 7 or 8 months.

 

I guess I need help figuring out all the points that need to be considered when making this decision. I am especially concerned about how American Citizenship works in this case and how costly or difficult the process may be. I am confused as to whether my child would be considered an American born abroad with automatic citizenship or would need to be naturalized in the same way a new immigrant would be. When I go to the local consulate/embassy to inform myself, what kind of questions should I ask? For those of you who have had a child abroad, how did you handle this? What was your experience like?

 

Your advice and insight is greatly appreciated.

 

Thanks.

 

Danielle

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When I go to the local consulate/embassy to inform myself, what kind of questions should I ask? For those of you who have had a child abroad, how did you handle this? What was your experience like?

 

Danielle, our son was born in Bolivia 16 years ago. Dh and I were/are American citizens living there for a little over a year. When ds was born he received a Bolivian birth certificate, but we also went to the American embassy and had his birth registered directly with them to get an American birth certificate (which we still have/use). They were very familiar with this process. I do remember having to prove he was our son (with the Bolivian birth certificate?). I remember the fleeting thought, "What if they don't believe us?" going through my mind. We got both a birth certificate and a US passport at the same time I believe. We've had no problems from the US side of things.

 

He is already a citizen of the USA -- he does NOT need to be naturalized. He's probably considered a dual citizen in Bolivia; whether or not he is considered one here I do not know (we've been back in the states since he was 5 mos old and have never looked into it).

 

I also do not know if he's disqualified from being president for being born abroad. Obviously even if someone says he is, there's probably a way around it so we'll cross that bridge when the time comes. :D

 

One more thing, the day before we left Bolivia for good we found out that we had to have a certain certified paper (with pictures) to get him out of the country. We hadn't even thought of that before that day -- we figured he's our son, we have his birth certificate, we have his passport, etc. How can they stop us? But he WAS born in Bolivia and they did need this paper at the airport. This was all 16 years ago, so I don't know how much things have changed.

Edited by milovaný
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If you and (even or, for that matter) your husband are American citizens then your child is automatically a citizen, not a naturalized citizen. What you'll need to do is apply for a certificate of birth abroad. Every country (and for that matter, city) is a bit different.

 

We had children born in two different cities in Germany. The first time around was in a large city with a translator on staff. We simply had to provide our birth certificates and marriage certificates in order to get her German birth certificate. Then, we filled out the application at the consulate for the Certificate of Birth Abroad.

 

Our son was born in a smaller town. We had to get our birth certificates and marriage certificate translated into German in order to get his birth certificate. It was the same process, after that.

 

You can find out how to apply for the Certificate of Birth Abroad on the US State Department website. I believe you will have to physically go to the consulate.

 

REPORTING THE BIRTH

A Consular Report of Birth can be prepared only at an American consular office overseas while the child is under the age of 18. Usually, in order to establish the child’s citizenship under the appropriate provisions of U.S. law, the following documents must be submitted:

(1) an official record of the child’s foreign birth;

(2) evidence of the parent(s)’ U.S. citizenship (e.g., a certified birth certificate, current U.S.

passport, or Certificate of Naturalization or Citizenship);

(3) evidence of the parents’ marriage, if applicable; and

(4) affidavits of parent(s)’ residence and physical presence in the United States.

In certain cases, it may be necessary to submit additional documents, including affidavits of paternity and support, divorce decrees from prior marriages, or medical reports of blood compatibility. All evidentiary documents should be certified as true copies of the originals by the registrar of the office wherein each document was issued. A service fee of $65 is prescribed under the provisions of Title 22 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Section 22.1, item 9, for a Consular Report of Birth.

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He's probably considered a dual citizen in Bolivia; whether or not he is considered one here I do not know (we've been back in the states since he was 5 mos old and have never looked into it).

 

He probably does have dual citizenship for Bolivia unless you or your hubby were working for the US government, then he does not. This is not the case with all or even most countries. Relatively few countries have citizenship by birth within their territory.

 

I also do not know if he's disqualified from being president for being born abroad. Obviously even if someone says he is, there's probably a way around it so we'll cross that bridge when the time comes. :D
He's not a naturalized citizen, he was automatically a citizen. Therefore, he can be president. John McCain was born abroad. :)
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Are you or your husband American citizens who were born in the U.S? If so, there is no trouble passing on your citizenship. But - my siblings and I were American citizens born abroad. My brother found out the hard way that he could not then pass on his US citizenship to his daughter born abroad because he had not spent enough time living in the U.S. Because at the time, his wife's country only allowed citizenship to pass on through the male line, his daughter was without a country for a time. He had to contact his senator and have her declared a citizen through congress (not a major thing, apparently but it took a lot of back and forth before it was done).

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He probably does have dual citizenship for Bolivia unless you or your hubby were working for the US government, then he does not. This is not the case with all or even most countries. Relatively few countries have citizenship by birth within their territory.

 

We have already said he absolutely will NOT be in Bolivia when he turns 18 since they have mandatory military service their for all 18yo male citizens -- and (just telling it like it is!) as a white American male, he'd likely be grabbed up right quick. Not that we have plans for any of us to be there again.

 

I do have a question about the president thing -- yes, John McCain was born abroad but his parents were military right? (He was born on a military base, right? Which is considered US soil no matter what country it's in?). Because we were NOT military, just working with a relief/development organization. So that's where I wonder about the president thing.

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Thanks everyone. Also the military service thing in Mexico concerns me, but I read on the Depart of State web site that this requirenment does not apply to dual citizens (which would be the case here). I still plan on verifying this though. An other concern I have is the fact that dual citxenshp could affect my child in the future if he were to ever have a run in with the law. Not that I plan on giving birth to Al Capon, but I want to be aware of everything.

 

Thanks for letting me know about being able to run for President. :D I think I'll start grooming him now... Anyone have a copy of hail to the Chief I can borrow and play to my bely for the next 13-16 weeks?:lol:

 

Thanks again.

 

Danielle

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dh is a NZer. dd was born in the US, so recieved her US citizenship at birth. We registered her with the NZ consulate in the country we were living in at the time & she recieved her NZ citizenship. We did have her naturalized as a NZ citizen when I became a NZ citizen so that she can pass on her NZ citizenship. (NZ citizenship by descent can't be passed on & US citizenship can only be passed on to foreign-born children if you have lived in the US for a certain amount of time before the age of 18. This was a concern for us as Australia only gives citizenship to children of Australian citizens. If dd had a dc out of wedlock in Australia, that child would be without citizenship). Both my boys were born here in NZ. They are NZ citizens by birth & US citizens by descent. We simply took their NZ birth certificate, our birth certificates & passports, & our marriage certificate to the US consulate along with the baby & applied for their certificate of birth abroad, US passport, & social sercurity number. All 3 dc have the full rights & responsibities of US & NZ citizens. The only restriction is that they must enter & leave their country of citizenship with that passport (i.e they can't enter the States on their NZ passport.) I think the US has a few restrictions on serving in foreign military or government, but mainly if they are in a policy making position (i.e dd can't be prime minister without putting her US citizenship at risk.) Ds#1 is planning on enlisting in the NZ navy, but not as an officer.

 

I wouldn't return to the States for the birth of a baby simply based on citizenship fears. As I would have no insurance, I could not afford for my dc to be born in the US.

 

JMHO,

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Both my sons are American citizens born abroad. The rules changed between Calvin's birth and Hobbes' so I'll talk about Hobbes' situation.

 

When he was born I took his local birth certificate to the US consulate and registered his birth there. When we applied for his passport, we needed to prove his father's several years of previous residence in the US. His high school transcript worked for this.

 

Hobbes is a US citizen with a US passport. The only issue that he might face is in passing his citizenship on to children. If he marries someone also born overseas, then he will have to prove several years (I think three) of residence in the US in order to pass on his citizenship to a child also born overseas. This is easily fixed by, for example, attending university in the States.

 

So, I wouldn't bother to go to the US for the birth.

 

Best wishes

 

Laura

Edited by Laura Corin
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Thanks everyone. Also the military service thing in Mexico concerns me, but I read on the Depart of State web site that this requirenment does not apply to dual citizens (which would be the case here). I still plan on verifying this though.

 

I thought I read that both countries would have the right to call dual citizens up for military service, but my boys have UK/US nationality, not US/Mexican.

 

Best wishes

 

Laura

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My sister (U.S. citizen) married a Honduran, and two of their kids were born in Honduras. Both of the children were automatically considered American citizens, but in Honduras she had to go through quite a bit of bureaucracy to get the correct papers. (But not NEARLY as much crazy bureaucracy as we all went through trying to get their marriage recognized there!)

 

Defn. explore what the State Dept has to say, and call the U.S. Embassy in Mexico--once you reach a live person, you will likely find them very helpful. I'm sure this happens all the time in Mexico.

 

Congratulations!!

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When I was 18, I had to drop my dual citizenship--lots of hoops if I wanted to keep it. I always sort of wished I'd kept it, but with Gr Britain's "free" health care, the taxes would have killed us.

 

As a Brit working in Hong Kong, I paid no UK taxes. US citizens pay taxes to the US wherever they live/earn, so husband had to file and pay US taxes whilst living in Hong Kong.

 

The UK would only have assessed you for taxes if a) you were living in the UK or b) you had income in the UK.

 

Laura

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I do have a question about the president thing -- yes, John McCain was born abroad but his parents were military right? (He was born on a military base, right? Which is considered US soil no matter what country it's in?). Because we were NOT military, just working with a relief/development organization. So that's where I wonder about the president thing.

 

No, even if you're born on a military facility, it is *not* American soil, it is foreign soil. If a dependent commits a serious crime on a military base they will be charged by the *local* authorities, not the military, not the US government. Babies born on a military base get the same Certificate of Birth Abroad as other babies born to citizens abroad. The only difference is that if they are born in a military hospital they have a birth certificate that is in English.

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Hi everyone. I know a lot of you are living abroad and was hoping that some of you could help me. I am pregnant with our fourth child and living in Mexico. Both my husband and I are American Citizens.

 

Dunno if our experience will help you, but DD was born in the UK, I am a US citizen and DH was still an Indian citizen at the time.

 

I needed to prove my American-ness by providing proof that I'd spent 4 consecutive years in the USA before the age of 16. If I had been a missionary kid, I wouldn't have been able to do that and perhaps DD wouldn't have been a citizen of anywhere because UK doesn't grant automatic citizenship to babies born within its borders. I don't know for sure.

 

As it was, the process of getting her the consular certificate and US passport was a very easy process and we accomplished it in half a day, including the time it took to get her sweet little 3-month-old passport picture made. :D

 

That's something to think about, at any rate....

 

Susan

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Dunno if our experience will help you, but DD was born in the UK, I am a US citizen and DH was still an Indian citizen at the time.

 

I needed to prove my American-ness by providing proof that I'd spent 4 consecutive years in the USA before the age of 16. If I had been a missionary kid, I wouldn't have been able to do that and perhaps DD wouldn't have been a citizen of anywhere because UK doesn't grant automatic citizenship to babies born within its borders. I don't know for sure.

 

Good point, this is something that military and missionary types should consider. Kids born abroad do need to spend time in the USA in order to pass on their citizenship.

 

As it was, the process of getting her the consular certificate and US passport was a very easy process and we accomplished it in half a day, including the time it took to get her sweet little 3-month-old passport picture made. :D

 

My middle dd was only about 6 weeks old, getting a decent passport picture was almost impossible! The Germany lady at the office finally took pity on us after our fifth or sixth turn in the photo booth. :lol:

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