A Boutique Immigration Law Firm Serving the Bay Area

Can I Get a Green Card If My Child Is Born in the USA?

Does having a child born in the US affect one’s chance of obtaining a green card and/or citizenship?

This issue is a hot topic as of late. Having a child born in the US as a way to secure your place in the United States is commonly referred to as having an “anchor baby.” One website describes "Anchor baby" as a "controversial term, regarded by many as a pejorative, for a child born in the U.S. to a foreign national mother who herself has not been lawfully admitted for permanent residence."

Basically, a child born in the US is a US citizen but the parents do not become permanent residents or US citizens by virtue of their child being born here - they remain in whatever status they were in before the child was born. So, if the parents are in the US without documentation, they remain without documentation and subject to deportation, even after the child is born in the US.

In general, having a child born in the us is not regarded as a way to get a green card or citizenship. However, in theory, when that child turns 21 years old, he or she would be legally permissible as a US Citizen to sponsor his or her parents for lawful permanent residency (although it is unknown if that will still be the case in the future).

If you have any further questions about having a child born in the US or other immigration topics, please feel free to contact us and we can help you out.