I am dual UK-USA citizen residing in the UK. My children are UK citizens. Although technically they are eligible for USA citizenship, we've never got around to doing it (and not sure if I want to).

I'm planning a trip to the USA for later this year with my children - but without my spouse. I expect that I can apply for ESTA for the children (probability of rejection quite low) and have a notarised letter from my spouse (children's mother) stating that she does not object to me taking the children out of the country without her. The trip is for around 1-2 weeks and the purpose is to see family (my parents and other relatives).

Is there anything else I need to think of or do differently?

  • Are they US citizens? Do you qualify to pass it on? "A child born outside of the United States and in wedlock to a U.S. citizen parent and a non U.S. citizen parent, may acquire U.S. citizenship at birth if the U.S. citizen parent has been physically present in the United States or one of its outlying possessions for a period of five years, two of which were after the age of fourteen." uk.usembassy.gov/u-s-citizen-services/birth/…
    – BritishSam
    Commented Sep 20, 2019 at 12:36
  • 2
    There is no "eligible for US citizenship". You either are one or aren't one, whether or not you have registered them for it. Commented Sep 20, 2019 at 13:35
  • @BritishSam I have lived in the USA for a total of 11 years prior to the child being born. However just under 5 of these 11 were as a US citizen. That said, I still maintained a US residence after I moved to the UK - as the move wasn't planned to be permanent (even though it ended up being one).
    – Aleks G
    Commented Sep 20, 2019 at 13:41
  • Please note: I spoke with a USA immigration lawyer about children's citizenship - and was told that I don't have to worry about it now. If I want for children to travel to the USA on their UK passports, they can do so.
    – Aleks G
    Commented Sep 20, 2019 at 13:42
  • It's not about resident, it's physically present, you've got to prove you've been present in the US for that long. Not sure if years not as a US citizen count though. That is a good question for a different forum. If it's not counted then I don't think your children are US citizens.
    – BritishSam
    Commented Sep 20, 2019 at 14:14


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