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Reporting Birth to US - Evidence of Physical Presence

JimmySeal

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Hello all,

I have a one-year old son, born in Japan, whom I have been planning to bring to Hawai'i on vacation on Sept. 17. Unfortunately, I have just discovered today that since he is a US citizen, he must use a US passport to enter the US and I have not registered his birth with the consulate nor have I applied for a US passport for him (he has a Japanese passport) so now I am scrambling to get these in time for the trip.

My question regards the "Evidence of physical presence" requirement. I lived in the US until I was 22, but haven't lived there for the last 11 years, so I don't have much on hand to demonstrate the period of time I lived there. I have requested a transcript from my university which would cover 4 years of presence, but I need to be able to prove that I was there for 5 and I am trying to figure out what documentation I can get together to prove this. The website says:

Secondary evidence includes: Credit Card Bills, Utility bills, Tax forms, Airline ticket stubs, and former/current passport showing stamps.​

And I do have a former passport covering five years of my residence in the US, but I don't know what they mean by "secondary" here and what its significance is.

I know that there are others here who went through this process, so what did you do when you needed to complete this proof of physical presence? I would appreciate any past experiences from people who went through this process.
 

Majestic

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?? They want proof of your physical presence in the US? For your foreign born child's US passport?? Why should you have to be present in the US? Are you a US citizen? Don't you just need proof of your citizenship? Your physical presence in the US seems to be irrelevant to your child's nationality. Or is this some new kind of extreme vetting??

In the worst case, your child can enter as a tourist with his Japanese passport and ESTA. I mean, his citizenship is implied by his parent's citizenship, but until it is verified they cannot put you in double jeopardy by claiming he is a) a US Citizen, but is b) unable to enter the country because he doesn't have a US passport.
 

JimmySeal

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Thank you for your reply.

?? They want proof of your physical presence in the US? For your foreign born child's US passport?? Why should you have to be present in the US? Are you a US citizen? Don't you just need proof of your citizenship? Your physical presence in the US seems to be irrelevant to your child's nationality. Or is this some new kind of extreme vetting??
As shown on this page, it appears that the US citizen parent of a child born to one US citizen and one non-citizen must have lived in the US for a certain period of time in order to pass down citizenship. I guess this is to prevent people from passing down US citizenship indefinitely from generation to generation without having actually lived there for a substantial period of time.

In the worst case, your child can enter as a tourist with his Japanese passport and ESTA. I mean, his citizenship is implied by his parent's citizenship, but until it is verified they cannot put you in double jeopardy by claiming he is a) a US Citizen, but is b) unable to enter the country because he doesn't have a US passport.
Fair point, and I hope that flies if it comes to that and we can't get his passport ready in time, but government agents aren't always so eager to listen to reason. Even if we're not able to get his registration done in time, he is technically a US citizen by birth meaning he would be subject to the relevant requirements. This page says the following:

Section 215 of the Immigration and Naturalization Act ( 8 U.S.C. 1185) requires U.S. Citizens to use U.S. passports when entering or leaving the United States unless one of the exceptions listed in Section 53.2 of Title 22 of the Code of Federal Regulations applies.
I checked the exceptions they allude to there but it doesn't look like any of them apply to my child.
 

Majestic

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Wow - it is some kind of extreme vetting. This is new to me.
Regarding the other point, I would say that if the US hasn't verified your son's citizenship (for whatever reason), then they cannot also argue that he needs to enter with said citizenship. I mean, it looks like this:

1. You show up at Hawaii immigration
2. You hand over your passport + your wife's Japanese passport + your son's Japanese passport
3. The immigration officer asks, "Is your son a US Citizen?"
4. You answer, "no, just Japanese. I haven't assembled the documents required for his US citizenship yet"
5. He/She lets you in.
I mean, the point about Dual Citizens using their US passports to enter assumes that the child indeed has dual citizenship. Your child doesn't have it yet. From the website you linked to;

on or after November 14, 1986. A child born outside of the United States to one U.S. Citizen parent and one non-U.S. Citizen parent may be entitled to citizenship providing the U.S. Citizen parent had been physically present in the United States or one of its outlying possessions for five years, at least two years of which were after s/he reached the age of fourteen. This period of physical presence must have taken place prior to the birth of the child.

At this point your child may be entitled to citizenship. He is not, as you say, "technically a US citizen". He technically has claim to US citizenship, but the US government itself isn't granting it unless and until you provide certain evidence. You haven't done that yet, so he is not a US citizen yet. Since citizenship is not automatically conferred, your son is not automatically considered a dual citizen. So as of today he is only a Japanese citizen.

Don't sweat it. Things will work out.
 
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JimmySeal

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Thank you for the advice. Regarding citizenship, it does appear that children born under the necessary conditions do acquire citizenship at birth, even if the paperwork hasn't been completed yet. From the state department website:

A child born abroad to one U.S. citizen parent and one alien parent acquires U.S. citizenship at birth under Section 301(g) of the INA provided the U.S. citizen parent was physically present in the United States or one of its outlying possessions for the time period required by the law applicable at the time of the child's birth.​

I'm going to remain positive and think that everything will work out in the end, but in the meantime, I am still going to try to get his passport issued in time. So if anyone has any past experience to impart regarding the proof of physical presence, I would appreciate it.
 

johnnyG

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If you are a natural born US citizen, born in and from the US, then I don't think there will be a problem.

But the problem that arises is with 2nd generation kids, who were born abroad and have then gained US status thru a parent. For these folks, there is a physical presence test--when they have children of their own.

I can't remember what the residency period is, but here is a personal example. I was born in the US, and lived there into my 20s. I got married in Japan, and had kids. My kids (unless they've changed things!) gain US citizenship automatically. Just apply, and it is granted.

However, my kids, having been born abroad, cannot pass US citizenship on to their kids without a minimum period of residency in the US. (Sorry, not sure what that is, but probably 2-4 years.) So our older daughter, who has had dual passports since birth, but who has always lived in Japan, cannot pass US citizenship on to her new baby--unless she were to pick up and move to the US for a couple few years.

These days, I'm not sure US citizenship is worth it.
 

mdchachi

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I agree with the others that there is no requirement that he enters on a US passport and there's no need to stress.

That being said the site says "For birth on or after November 14, 1986, a period of five years physical presence, two after the age of fourteen, is required. "
So that means you can use your birth certificate & school records for the portion before the age of 14. Photographs etc.

Secondary documents are not as strong evidence as primary documents. Typically that means you may need to provide more secondary documents in lieu of primary.
 

musicisgood

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If you are a natural born US citizen, born in and from the US, then I don't think there will be a problem.

But the problem that arises is with 2nd generation kids, who were born abroad and have then gained US status thru a parent. For these folks, there is a physical presence test--when they have children of their own.

I can't remember what the residency period is, but here is a personal example. I was born in the US, and lived there into my 20s. I got married in Japan, and had kids. My kids (unless they've changed things!) gain US citizenship automatically. Just apply, and it is granted.

However, my kids, having been born abroad, cannot pass US citizenship on to their kids without a minimum period of residency in the US. (Sorry, not sure what that is, but probably 2-4 years.) So our older daughter, who has had dual passports since birth, but who has always lived in Japan, cannot pass US citizenship on to her new baby--unless she were to pick up and move to the US for a couple few years.

These days, I'm not sure US citizenship is worth it.
Yeah, it seems like more and more people are wanting to get out of the US. It's becoming a 3 world class of part time workers at best and the health care, well, either you have it or you don't and 6k to 12 k deductible, which is crazy, I think many part timers just can't swing it.
 

OoTmaster

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These days, I'm not sure US citizenship is worth it.
There are literally millions of people that would disagree with you. They try both legally and illegally to enter the United States everyday. Just because we have some issues with healthcare currently and racial tensions are currently high doesn't mean US citizenship isn't worth it. These are temporary issues with solutions and the US is still a world leader and a very strong economic power. To not get citizenship for a person that's eligible just because a few things look dim at the current time would not necessarily be a good move.
 
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The economy is still better in the US than in Japan, from what I hear. We are still the strongest economic and military power in the world. We have more individual liberty in the US than in Japan.

I'm not aware of any flood of people wanting to leave the US.
 
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