Per U.S. immigration regulations, any child born in the United States is automatically granted U.S. citizenship. This means that, regardless of their immigration status, the parents do not have to file any special immigration-related forms or follow any special immigration-related procedures in order to obtain status for their newborn. But what happens when a child is born during her LPR mother’s temporary visit abroad?
Fortunately, the same regulations hold that children in this category also automatically acquire their parent’s LPR status, provided:
• The parent and child seek entry into the U.S. within two years of the child’s birth; and
• Either accompanying parent is applying for readmission upon first return after the birth of the child.
In other words, two things must occur in order for a child born abroad to automatically acquire the LPR status of their parent: The LPR parent must cross the U.S. border with the child before the child turns two years old, and the parent must apply for readmission the first time they cross the U.S. border with the child. Even if a child is under the age of two, if a parent forgets to reapply at the border during their first crossing with the child, the parents will have to go through the arduous and costly process of applying for their child’s green card through traditional means.
Recently, one of our clients encountered just how steadfast this rule is. Our clients lived in Canada and upheld their LPR status through re-entry permits. While abroad, the mother gave birth to twins. When the family recently decided to travel to the United States for vacation, they were not aware of the rule and did not request that their LPR status be automatically transferred to their children. When circumstances changed and the parents planned to move back to the U.S., they learned they would no longer be able to transmit their LPR status to their children, as the government allows only one opportunity upon first entry.
Due to the parents’ immigrant intent, the government refused the children’s entry when they tried to cross the border a second time with their parents. Luckily, the parents contacted our office and given our professional working relationship with the border, we were able to immediately contact CBP on the matter and the children were paroled into the U.S.
If you are a LPR and your child has recently been born abroad, please contact Berardi Immigration Law right away. Our office can help preserve your child’s ability to receive the benefit of transmitting automatic LPR status upon first entry into the U.S. before the age of two.