USCIS spokesperson Meredith Parker further explained the new policy to Task & Purpose, a military and veterans news outlet.
He said it appears the new process will require more evidence from parents on the length of their residence in the United States and will no longer be able to count time spent overseas while serving in the military or working for the US government as time in the United States.
USCIS identified three sets of children living outside the USA whom the policy could affect: children of non-U.S. citizens adopted by US citizen employees or service members; children of non-U.S. citizen parents who become citizens after the child's birth; and children of US citizens who do not meet residency requirements to transmit citizenship to their children at birth.
It "rescinds previously established USCIS policy, which stated that certain children who were living outside the United States were considered "residing in" the United States". This section no longer applies for those children living overseas with their parent.
"This policy update does not affect who is born a US citizen, period", Cuccinelli said.
This includes interviews, filings, oaths, ceremonies and other processes relating to naturalization, the USCIC says.
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The White House said Mr Trump's answer was "misinterpreted". "He used the word calm, I agree with him". The US president was speaking at the G7 summit in France, in response to a question from a reporter.
Nonetheless, because the wording of the changes were not easy to grasp, the new guidance, which came in different stages through the day and had to be clarified by the agency Wednesday afternoon, caused widespread confusion and criticism as word of the change spread through social media.
And those residing in the US with their USA citizen parent after being admitted to the US for permanent residence.
Cristobal Ramon, senior policy analyst at the Bipartisan Policy Center explains that under the previous policy, children of those affected by the new policy will be considered to be both living in and outside of the us for purposes of eventually gaining citizenship. "We are dealing with a small number of people who are particularly sympathetic because they're people who have made a decision to join the USA military", he said. If the parent used Form N-600, it would result in automatic citizenship under INA 320. Instead, the guidelines effect children whose parent or parents are US citizens, but not necessarily USA residents. The Trump administration has announced a new policy shift that will see some children of military personnel stationed overseas stripped of their eligibility for automatic citizenship. Children of USA citizens who do not meet technical residency requirements would also be affected. Acting USCIS Director Ken Cuccinelli said on Twitter that the new policy "does NOT impact birthright citizenship".
"This policy update does not affect [children] born a USA citizen, period".
"The harder it is to become a US citizen, the fewer people who get to participate in civic life", Cesar Cuauhtemoc Garcia Hernandez, a law professor at the University of Denver, said in an interview. "This does NOT impact birthright citizenship".
The policy manual update is highly technical and contradicts parts of an 11-page memo the agency initially put out that implied American citizens were among those whose children would no longer be automatically granted citizenship if born overseas.