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Physical presence is the actual time when the parent was physically within the borders of the United States, regardless of nationality or immigration status, and before the birth of your child. This means that any travel outside the United States, including vacation, should be excluded. Maintaining a residence in the United States does not constitute physical presence.

Any periods of time spent overseas with the United States Military/Government or qualifying international organization (such as the United Nations) may be computed as physical presence in the United States for transmission of citizenship purposes. Time spent as a dependent of such person may also be computed as physical presence. Military records or other proof may be requested.

Please note that it is up to the adjudicating officer to determine if the provided forms of evidence are acceptable or if more evidence will be needed.

Evidence can include:

  • School records and/or university transcripts (not diplomas)
  • Letter from U.S. employer(s) stating work period dates and location(s) of employment in the United States and W-2s or tax returns that match the employment letter.
  • LES or DD-214 (for military).
  • Government or military service records.
  • Evidence of having been an unmarried dependent of a U.S. government employee stationed abroad.
  • You may also submit secondary evidence, such as passports with U.S. and foreign entry stamps Immigration Entry and Exit Certificate; utility bills; rental or lease agreements for a U.S. residence; business or home ownership documentation; or payroll records.

If only one parent is a U.S. citizen and the other is not, the U.S. citizen parent must provide evidence of his or her actual presence in the United States for five years (two of them after the age of 14) before the birth.

If the parents are not married and the father is a U.S. citizen, additional information is needed:

If the child was born out of wedlock, the U.S. citizen father must sign a sworn Affidavit of Parentage, Physical Presence and Support form or Section B at the 3rd page of DS-2029. The affidavit must be signed in person by the father before a consular officer or a designated military official.

The U.S. citizen father must also supply the following:

  • If he is in the U.S. military service: military orders and a service record extract (signed by an official custodian of service records) showing he was assigned to the country where the mother was residing at the time of conception.
  • If he is a civilian: his U.S. passport showing entry and exit stamps, immigration records, employment records, or other evidence of his presence in the same country as the mother at the time of conception.

Note: A child born between November 14, 1986 and June 11, 2017 and out of wedlock to a U.S. citizen mother and an alien father will acquire U.S. citizenship at birth if the U.S. citizen mother had previously been physically present in the United States for a continuous period of one year.  The mother of a child born out of wedlock cannot use time spent abroad as a military member or dependent to satisfy all or part of the requirement of continuous physical presence in the United States for 1 year.