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Permanent residency for children of foreign diplomats

Special citizenship rules apply to individuals born in Florida or elsewhere in the U.S. to foreign diplomats who are officially assigned to the United States. Children of foreign diplomats, that is, are not considered U.S. citizens at birth even if they are born on U.S. soil. They may, however, be eligible for a green card as a permanent resident.

To qualify as a foreign diplomat, the parent's title must be included on the State Department Diplomatic List. The titles there listed are ambassador, counselor, charge d'affaires, embassy secretary or attache and delegate of the Commission of European Communities. Foreign diplomats assigned to the Organization of American States or the United Nations may also qualify if they have comparable diplomatic immunity and status.

People who were born in the U.S. to a foreign diplomat parent may seek a green card via the filing of Form I-485. To qualify, an applicant must demonstrate that he or she was born in the U.S. to a parent who was a foreign diplomat, has been a U.S. resident since birth and has not abandoned residency. Supporting documents that should be submitted along with the application include two passport photos, evidence of residence in the U.S. and copies of the applicant's birth certificate, government-issued photo identification and passport pages.

An applicant who has ever been arrested should include certified copies of any relevant court records as well. There is no medical examination required in cases like these. An attorney with experience in immigration and naturalization matters can provide assistance to qualifying individuals who are interested in applying for permanent resident status or pursuing citizenship. Legal counsel can assist with the drafting and filing of the forms required by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

Source: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, "Green Card for a Person Born in the United States to a Foreign Diplomat", March 23, 2011

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