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NEED ADVICE ASAP!!

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1 NEED ADVICE ASAP!! on Thu Aug 05, 2010 10:27 am

gonna make this long story short..
At time of my birth in Canada my father was a U.S. Citizen and it is stated on my long b.certificate. I have been married for 16 1/2 yrs to a U.S. citizen and have resided here in U.S. for last 6yrs and before that lived in Canada.. (time went by so quick and some bad advice) has left me nervous because i have never established any paperwork to reside lawfully in U.S. I have 2 kids who we did get their SSN when they were babies because of my hubby U.S. citizenship. Unfortunately when I was younger my mother never did any paperwork to establish our dual citizenship status or get my SSN as she was born a U.S. citizen but changed her citizenship around the time of my birth in 1971. Immediately after my birth our family lived in Detroit from my birth to 1975 and then moved back to Canada. I don't know where to start the process and if its quicker to go thru my dad or my hubby to establish either dual citizenship or green gard status or what.. Im really confused and need help and need to get started on something that should have been done years ago..HELP!!!

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2 Re: NEED ADVICE ASAP!! on Thu Aug 05, 2010 10:38 am

Hi and welcome!

Yes you were given bad advice if you were told to go and live in the U.S., without applying for the correct visa first. Right now, technically, you may be out of status.

Regardless of which might be quicker - filing for an adjustment of status or seeing if you have a claim to derivative citizenship - my opinion is that you should look at whether you have a claim to U.S. citizenship before doing anything else. Regardless of which route you choose, it's important that you do not leave the U.S. - not even for a quick visit to Canada. When you try to reenter the U.S. you will be subject to a minimum 10 year ban - if you find you have no claim to U.S. citizenship.

So I have a question for your first, when you say your Mother "changed her citizenship" around 1971, are you saying she gave up her U.S. citizenship in favour of Canadian citizenship? I'm not sure what the laws were at that time with regard to dual citizenship, but that's a key piece of information.





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3 Re: NEED ADVICE ASAP!! on Thu Aug 05, 2010 10:59 am

just hung up from my mom.. she's actually on vacation and can't give me exact dates.. but after talking to her again.. this is what she said..

when i was born in canada in 1971 i was born to both u.s. parents who did reside together in detroit as they were married at that time. on my bcert my mom stated she was canadian as she spent a lot of time in canada with her relatives (still don't know why she stated she was canadian and wasn't...) and my dad is listed as u.s. HOWEVER, my mom WAS a u.s. citizen until she relocated back to canada in 1975 with our entire family and at that point along with 2 of my siblings filed for her landed immigrant papers (from my siblings 3 are canadian citizens and 2 are u.s.) My mom didn't actually become a canadian citizen until some time in the mid to late 80's..

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4 Re: NEED ADVICE ASAP!! on Thu Aug 05, 2010 11:00 am

canadians arent' asked to give up their citizenship and turn in their u.s. paperwork.. she still has her SSN # at any time she could move back to u.s. and nothing said

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5 Re: NEED ADVICE ASAP!! on Thu Aug 05, 2010 11:15 am

Ok, well that is great news. Yes, I just wasn't sure if your Mom went through the formality of relinquishing her U.S. citizenship (I am a citizen of both Canada and the U.S., although I was born in Canada).

So, first we have to look at the U.S. law that was in place when you were born.

- You were born On/after 12/24/52 and prior to 11/14/86 in Canada
- Born after your parents were married
- Both parents are U.S. citizens

For this period of time the only criteria is that "One (parent) had resided in the U.S"

So now, to proceed, you have two options. You can apply for a certificate of citizenship or you can apply for a U.S. passport, neither is easier, the passport is cheaper and of course you then have a travel document.

You will need:

- Your long form birth certificate
- A copy of your Mother and Father's U.S. birth certificates
- A copy of your parent's marriage certificate
- Proof that one of them resided in the U.S. (this could include school records, mail received at the U.S. address, college or school transcripts, that kind of thing).
- An affidavit from one parent stating all of the periods they have resided in the U.S.

All of that along with a completed passport application plus the fee. Oh and, I say "copy" above but they want an original, ie: the one you get from registries in Canada.

As this is your first U.S. passport application you will need to present it in person, more info on that can be found here:

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

Let me know if you have any other questions and if not, how it goes!

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6 Re: NEED ADVICE ASAP!! on Thu Aug 05, 2010 11:25 am

wow.. u have put my mind and nerves at ease for now...my mom has a piece of mail from when we resided in detroit, one of her h.s. report cards,the marriage certificate and her u.s. birth certificate... so i'm on my road to getting things straight, thank God!!! with me having to apply in person do u think there gonna question me why i'm currently living here especially for this length of time?

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7 Re: NEED ADVICE ASAP!! on Thu Aug 05, 2010 11:34 am

I doubt it, but even if they did, it shouldn't matter. For all intents and purposes you are an American citizen. Even though you have never actually documented it, that doesn't change the facts. It's kind of like being born in Canada but your parents never registering the birth. You are still a Canadian, you just don't have the paperwork to prove it.

When you receive your U.S. passport there is a field that says something like "U.S. citizen from" and then they enter the date you became a citizen, yours will show your birthdate. cat






Last edited by trailmix on Thu Aug 05, 2010 11:53 am; edited 1 time in total

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8 Re: NEED ADVICE ASAP!! on Thu Aug 05, 2010 11:42 am

ok.. gonna have my mom send me that info when she arrives back in canada from her vacation and get this ball rolling!!!! so after doing my passport i'm obviously still gonna need to do something else so eventually i can work here.. what would be that next step

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9 Re: NEED ADVICE ASAP!! on Thu Aug 05, 2010 11:52 am

Next step would be to get your social security number. Information on that can be found here:

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

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10 Re: NEED ADVICE ASAP!! on Thu Aug 05, 2010 11:53 am

you have been so helpful.. will definetely keep in touch to let u know how the process is going... THANKS FOR SHARING YOUR KNOWLEDGE

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11 Re: NEED ADVICE ASAP!! on Thu Aug 05, 2010 11:56 am

You're welcome!

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