New USCIS Policy Doesn't Impact Birthright Citizenship

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New USCIS Policy Doesn't Impact Birthright Citizenship
Media outlets mistakenly reported that children born abroad to U.S. service members and federal employees would no longer get automatic citizenship.
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There's a lot of confusion surrounding new citizenship guidance from the Trump administration, but the change is not nearly as drastic as some headlines made it seem. 

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services released new "policy guidance" Wednesday. Many media outlets, including us, mistakenly reported that children born abroad to U.S. service members and federal employees would no longer be granted citizenship automatically. 

But that's not the case. The policy change is much more minor and nuanced. 

It only impacts U.S. military and government families who need to file a form to get citizenship for their children. For example, the new definition will apply to parents living abroad who adopt a child from another country and green card holders who give birth to a child overseas. But to be extra clear, children in both those situations will still have a pathway to American citizenship. The difference is just which form their parents need to fill out. 

The new guidance updates the way USCIS defines "residence" in the U.S. Previously U.S. service members and government employees stationed abroad were still considered to have a U.S. residence. That will no longer be the case.

It's important to note that this change is not related to birthright citizenship. The new policy guidance takes effect on October 29, and USCIS officials told the media it's expected to impact just 20-25 families per year.