Social Question

whitetigress's avatar

If one is born in a nation do they become automatic citizens?

Asked by whitetigress (3129 points ) October 30th, 2011

Let’s take Tim Tebow’s story for example. He has American parents, yet he was born in the Philippines. Does he receive dual citizenship? How does this process work? Is this fair, neutral or negative in your opinion?

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12 Answers

zenvelo's avatar

It really depends on the country. My nephew was born in Saudi Arabia, but he is not a Saudi citizen, and can’t ever claim it, since one parent is a US citizen, and the other is British.

The laws regarding dual citizenship for Tebow are dependent in the laws in the Phillipines.

cazzie's avatar

It completely depends on the country. I think the US is one of few that grants those born in it, citizenship.

In Norway, if the parents are married and one is a Norwegian, the child is Norwegian and there are laws in place that hold the child here unless explicitly allowed to leave the country by the Norwegian parent. It used to be before 2006, if the parents aren’t married, it follows the mother’s citizenship. If both parents aren’t Norwegian and they have a child here, the child is not Norwegian.

Seaofclouds's avatar

As @zenvelo and @cazzie say, it depends on the country and the situation. Each country has their own rules about what makes someone a citizen. For some, you must have been born on that country’s soil (regardless of which country your parents are citizens of) and for some it depends on your parents’ citizenship status.

I found this site that lists a lot of countries and their citizenship laws. It even addresses if they recognize dual citizenship. I hope it helps. :)

According to that site, the Phillipines do not grant citizenship automatically by birth on their soil. They do grant it when at least one of the child’s parents have Phillipine citizenship, regardless of where they were born. So, for Tebow, I’d guess that most likely, he is not a citizen of the Phillipines, but he is one of the U.S. since his parents are U.S. citizens (as long as they had lived in the U.S. at some point before he was born).

As far as if it’s fair or not. I’m not really sure. I think there are so many issues with citizenship and immigration kind of ties into those, so it’s hard for me to say exactly where the line needs to be drawn. Each country definitely needs to make it’s own lines and base them on what’s best for their country though.

JLeslie's avatar

Others already answered it, depends on the country. In the USA the answer is yes.

@cazzie In the US for a child to leave the country with only one parent, the other parent has to sign off.

cazzie's avatar

@JLeslie In the US it depends on the custody arrangement, does it not? If the father has no custody rights, the woman can leave with the child, correct?

JLeslie's avatar

@cazzie Not sure actually. The US may not even have laws about it, but rather rules the airlines use? I think it is recommended to carry a notarized letter from the other parent.

JLeslie's avatar

Although, some countries require both parents sign when getting a passport for a child, even renewal, not sure of American law regarding that? If the custody would matter, seems it would logically.

cazzie's avatar

The airlines have no rules about these things. A valid passport and a ticket is all the airlines require. Customs my ask for a notarized letter of authority for taking a child out of the country, but it has never been asked of me, travelling on a US passport and travelling alone with my son who is on a Norwegian passport. I am not sure about getting children US passports in the US.

I know, here in Norway, if I want to get my son a US passport, I need his fatherĀ“s signature on the paperwork, regardless of custody arrangement.

If the non-custodial parent wants to challenge the removal of the child from the country, here in Norway, they have the right.

JLeslie's avatar

@cazzie What I remember is my nephew needed both parents signatures to renew his Italian passport I think? I am pretty sure he travelled with his Italian passport as a young child. When his father would take him to Dom Rep from the US they needed some sort of letter or permission.

There also was a fairly recent case of a father trying to get his son back from the mother in Brazil, and part of the case was he had given permission for the son to travel with the mother, so I am not completely clear on who or what is requiring what, but it seems prudent to carry a letter in case immigration and/or customs might ask questions.

JLeslie's avatar

@cazzie I just googled a little and this basically states that both parents must sign off for a child to be issued a passport in America. But, it also implies that if you don’t want your spouse to be able to travel internationally with your child it is best to have it in writing as part of a custody agreement from what I understand. I don’t see how that would help someone if the child were kidnapped by a parent? I guess if the parent is very worried they should keep the passport locked up. And, of course there are laws against kidnapping children even your own.

cazzie's avatar

Exactly. We have cases of that all the time in Norway and Norway uses it’s considerable resources to fetch the children back. http://www.newstimeafrica.com/archives/10752

Getting back to the question, The Philippines has a very good and long standing relationship with the US. His parents will have applied for a US passport for him from the US Embassy in Manilla and he would have obtained his US citizenship in that manner. It is very common amongst Ex-pats living abroad and it is one of the many functions the Embassies in various countries serve.

Don’t worry. The Denver QB is safely a US citizen. ;o) He would have no requirement or need to take out dual citizenship simply because he was born there and lived there for a short time.

My son could have dual citizenship if we applied for a US passport for him, even though he was born in Norway, he still qualifies because one parent is a US citizen. My brother in law, born in Alaska, of two Norwegian citizens has dual citizenship. He successfully applied for a US passport somewhere around his 18th birthday, I believe, after only having been born there and lived there the two years of his life.

JLeslie's avatar

Oh yes back to the question, I think the parents need to apply for the citizenship and US passport before the child is 18. Once 18 possibly, the now adult child loses his rights as a US citizen, maybe it matters if the child has spent time in the US, not sure. It doesn’t matter which country the child was born in if he has American parent(s) but there are some requirements for the American parents to have spent a certain amount of time in America before the child was born if I remember correctly. My personal opinion is anyone born to an American parent(s) should have the natural born right to be American no matter where they are born.

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