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According to federal regulations, individuals born to foreign diplomats who are on the Blue List are not subject to the jurisdiction of the United States and thus are not US citizens at birth.

But what would happen in the case of a child born in the US if

  1. One parent is a foreign diplomat, and the other is a US citizen?
  2. One parent is a foreign diplomat, and the other is a lawful permanent resident?
  3. One parent is a foreign diplomat, and the other has some non-diplomatic status such as F-1 student?

(Aside: The Canadian Citizenship Act is much more explicit. A person born in Canada to a foreign diplomat parent will acquire Canadian citizenship at birth if the other parent is either a Canadian citizen or permanent resident [link].)

3

As long as they have diplomatic immunity, they don't have a residency status. If either parent didn't have diplomatic immunity, then the child is a subject to the jurisdiction and they become a citizen at birth.

The short explanation with the reasoning can be found on the uscis website.

Namely

Children born in the United States to accredited foreign diplomatic officers do not acquire citizenship under the 14th Amendment since they are not “born . . . subject to the jurisdiction of the United States.”

and

If one parent was an accredited diplomat, but the other was a U.S. citizen or non-citizen U.S. national, then the child was “born . . . subject to the jurisdiction of the United States,” and is a citizen.

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  • That page is not very clear about cases 2 and 3, where the other parent is a foreign citizen but not a diplomat. – Nate Eldredge Apr 24 at 3:06
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    @NateEldredge it is not possible for the spouse of a diplomat to be an F-1 student or to have a green card unless diplomatic immunity is waived. If diplomatic immunity is waived, the child is subject to the jurisdiction of the US and is therefore a US citizen. – phoog Apr 24 at 4:53
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    @phoog: That's assuming the parents were married. It would be entirely possible for a diplomat to have a child with, say, an F-1 visa holder, without being married to them. Unless diplomatic immunity is contingent on vows of chastity? – Nate Eldredge Apr 24 at 5:18
  • @NateEldredge good point. The law in this area is rather conservative. In keeping with that principle I suppose the illegitimate child of a female diplomat and male student would not be a US citizen because it would enjoy immunity derived from the mother, but conversely the illegitimate child of a male diplomat and female student would be. I don't suppose that administrative practice is actually that conservative, however. – phoog Apr 24 at 5:29
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    @NateEldredge these comments were too confusing, so I'll re-phrase. While the site does not list all possible combinations of cases, the main principle that it seems to suggest is that if even one parent is "subject to the jurisdiction of the United States", then so is the child. This would mean that even if one parent gave birth on the US soil, while the other one was an accredited diplomat, then the child would have the legal status of someone born in the US and "subject to the jurisdiction of the United States". So the child would be a citizen at birth. – grovkin Apr 28 at 15:27
3

7 FAM 1100, archived here from an old version of the Foreign Affairs Manual from 1995, goes into detail about issues regarding birthright citizenship for children of foreign diplomats. See 7 FAM 1116.2-(2,3,4), on pages 7-10 of the PDF. Unfortunately, later versions of the Foreign Affairs Manual no longer contain this information.

The part that is relevant for your questions is in 7 FAM 1116.2-2(d)(4):

d. As a rule, children born in the United States to the following employees of foreign governments acquire U.S. citizenship:

[...]

(4) Diplomatic agents who have the children in question with U.S. citizens capable of transmitting U.S. citizenship to children born abroad. Such children acquire citizenship under pertinent law as if born abroad and would be subject to any citizenship retention requirements in effect at the time of birth;

This basically says that a child born in the US to one parent with full diplomatic immunity and one parent with US citizenship would basically be treated like a child born abroad, and would acquire US citizenship at birth if the US citizen parent meets the conditions for transmitting US citizenship to a child born abroad. So the answer to your question #1 is sometimes they have citizenship, and sometimes not. The answer to your questions #2 and #3 are implied to be no citizenship (since permanent residents and nonimmigrants cannot transmit US citizenship to a child born abroad).

I am not sure what the legal basis for this rule is. Why would a child born to a parent who can transmit citizenship be subject to US jurisdiction, while a child born to a parent who can't transmit citizenship be not subject to US jurisdiction? Or perhaps they are both not subject to US jurisdiction, and the citizenship derives from the section of law on citizenship for children born abroad to US citizen? But that section specifies "a person born outside the geographical limits of the United States and its outlying possessions", so it doesn't seem to apply to children born in the US. Or perhaps they interpreted that Congress didn't intended for children born in the US to have any less preferential treatment for acquisition of citizenship than children born abroad in the same situation, so if a child born to a US citizen and foreign diplomat would acquire US citizenship when born abroad, the child should acquire US citizenship when born in the US too.

In any case, this information is only from a manual (and an outdated version of the manual at that), not from a law or even a regulation, so it is not very authoritative.

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