USCIS just announced a policy update that would affect the automatic citizenship of certain groups of children. Three groups of people could be affected by this: (1) children of non-US Citizen govt. employees or service members who were naturalized after the child’s birth; (2) children of non-US Citizens adopted by US Citizen govt employees and service members; (3) Children of non-US Citizens who do not meet residency requirements. This policy change has no effect on the Birthright Citizenship.

The purpose of the policy is to deter those who have little to no connection to the United States and use a short-cut to acquire US citizenship. This also means that the children born abroad will have to meet the residency requirement on US soils in order for them to be eligible to apply for Citizenship.

The policy will take into effect on October 29, 2019.

Effective mid-October 2019, another factor will be added in determining whether an applicant can obtain a permanent residency (green card). Among already existing criteria, USCIS will seek information as to the applicant’s use of public benefits in the past, as well as the probability of the applicant’s use of these public benefits in the future. The USCIS will seek copied of applicant’s last three years of tax returns. If the applicant paid health insurance out of pocket, that fact will be in the favor of the applicant. Many people may be affected by this new law and it will be difficult for them to obtain a PR status.

Such benefits include, Medicaid, food stamps, housing assistance, etc. Active duty military members and asylum seekers are not affected by this change.