U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) aims at uniting families and it is one of the major goals of the U.S. immigration system. In order to achieve this goal, USCIS allows U.S. citizens and green card holders to bring their eligible relatives to the U.S. Children born abroad to U.S. citizens are also allowed to acquire or derive citizenship from their U.S. citizen parents.
Under the new policy PA-2014-009 issued by USCIS, gestational mothers, who use assisted reproductive technology, will meet the definition of “mother” and “parent” under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). Under the INA, the terms “mother” and “parent” will now include mothers who give birth to children and who are legal mothers of those children at the time of the birth of those children.
This policy says that women who become pregnant through egg donors will be able to sponsor their children for legal permanent resident status, based on their relationship. Likewise, those children will also be able to petition for their mothers for green card status, based on their relationship. These mothers who do not have a generic relationship with their children but meet the above requirement will be able to transmit U.S. citizenship to their children. Earlier, a generic relationship between the U.S citizen and the foreign born child was required for the child to acquire citizenship from his or her parent. Now, children born to U.S. citizen mothers through the use of assisted reproductive technology will also be allowed to acquire citizenship from their mothers.
A non-genetic gestational mother, the woman who carried and gave birth to the child, will be recognized in the same way as a biological legal mother if she was the child’s legal mother at the time of the child’s birth. Earlier, only the children who established that there is a biological relationship between them and their U.S. citizen mothers were allowed to acquire U.S. citizenship from their mothers. But now, they will be allowed to acquire citizenship from their gestational mothers with whom they do not have a generic relationship.
Check out the USCIS policy alert for more information.