Becoming a United States citizen is a laborious process. But many people earn this right upon birth.
There are two specific situations that allow a person to claim citizenship upon birth.
Anyone born in the United States is a U.S. citizen. The other circumstances of the birth and parental status do not matter. It is very simple in that anyone born here is a citizen by birthright.
Outside the U.S.
If a person is not born in the United States, there is still a chance for him or her to have U.S. citizenship. But three specific conditions must occur for a person to get U.S. citizenship without being born in the country.
The first condition is one of the parents is a citizen of the United States. The second condition is the parent must have a residence in the U.S. before the birth. Do note if the parent with citizenship is the father, there must be a legal establishment of paternity if the parents are not husband and wife. The last condition is the citizen parent must meet all other citizenship requirements.
One other situation
There is one other situation where a person could gain U.S. citizenship upon birth. If authorities find an abandoned child who is under the age of five and cannot find his or her parents, then the child will assume U.S. citizenship.
Gaining U.S. citizenship is one of the most protected rights in the country. It is not easy, but it also is a sacred right for those who are legal citizens. Having a birthright is important, which is why there are specific laws about gaining citizenship at birth.