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Green card guidelines for children of foreign diplomats

Florida residents may find that immigration law can be confusing, especially with regard to those born in the United States to foreign parents. Although an individual who is born in the United States is typically considered a citizen at birth, the child of a foreign diplomat is not considered to be under the jurisdiction of the United States' laws and is not conferred automatic citizenship.

U.S. immigration law does provide the opportunity for a child born in the U.S. to a foreign diplomat to obtain permanent residency. A green card can also be obtained as the residency is formalized. Eligibility requirements for a green card include the need to have resided continuously in the country from birth without abandoning residence in the U.S. Furthermore, this option is only extended to children of foreign diplomats, including ambassadors, ministers, charges d'affaires, secretaries, and attaches for legations or embassies, counselors, or individuals who belong to the Delegation of the Commission of European Communities. Parents with certain diplomatic immunities and statuses through the U.N. or Organization of American States may also obtain green cards for U.S.-born children.

Supporting documentation should be submitted along with Form I-485 to initiate the application process for a green card. The status might not be sought right away, and when this happens, the process requires supporting biographic information. Additionally, it might be necessary to document travel into and out of the country in connection with an application for a green card.

An individual who decides later in life to seek permanent residency as a child of a foreign diplomat and as a U.S.-born individual might face some challenges if there appear to be significant lapses in presence in the country. Legal assistance might be important to ensure that acceptable explanations and supporting documentation are provided with an application.

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