Citizenship by BirthCitizenship by Birth – How is U.S. Citizen Acquired?  Klarfeld Law Offices specialize in Consulting client and preparing Applications for U.S. Citizenship as well as Israeli Citizenship.

Citizenship is not necessarily automatically acquired by birth in a country.  For instance, in most cases, a child born in the U.S. automatically acquires citizenship. However a child born in Israel does not generally automatically acquire citizenship unless the mother is an Israeli citizen or a court ordered DNA paternity test determines that the father is an Israeli citizen.

Furthermore, the parent of a U.S. Citizen does not automatically acquire a legal status in the U.S.  A USC must be at least 21 years old before he or she can petition for permanent residency (Green Card) on behalf of an alien parent.

An Israeli child or resident may not petition the Ministry of Interior for residence on behalf of an alien parent who is not eligible for Israeli citizenship under the Law of Return or Citizenship Act, except under very narrow circumstances of Humanitarian issues.

Although the Minister of Interior has broad discretion in approving otherwise ineligible petitions for residency in Israel, this discretion is generally narrowly construed.  Since there is no legal definition of Humanitarian or other criteria for the purpose of this discretion, very often the Petitioner’s Application is summarily denied by the Ministry and the only recourse available to the Applicant is to Petition the Administrative Court for judicial review of the Ministry’s Decision.

In fact, the Administrative Court will rarely intervene or review the Ministry’s Decision unless the petitioner can prove that the Ministry did not comply with the law or that it did not  fulfill its legal obligation as an Administrative Office of the Government (did not review the application or only did so superficially, did not reply, acted unreasonably  or made an unreasonable decision under the circumstances, etc.)

Before applying for Citizenship or Residency in the U.S. or Israel it would be prudent to consult with an Immigration Attorney.  Remember, that in an age of advanced information technology capabilities, nearly everything is recorded for future reference.

See also Frequently Asked Questions

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