James D. Lynch
Jus Sanguinis vs. Jus Soli
In the United States, a newborn child can acquire U.S. citizenship at birth through the legal principles of “jus soli” or “jus sanguinis.”
Jus soli is the right to citizenship of anyone born within the nation’s boundaries. In other words, a child born on U.S. soil is automatically a U.S citizen at birth.
Jus sanguinis is the right to citizenship based on the citizenship of one’s parents. Children may automatically be U.S. citizens at birth if either or both parents are U.S. citizens.
Anyone acquiring U.S. citizenship through jus soli or jus sanguinis does not need to go through the naturalization process. Naturalization is the conferring of U.S. citizenship upon a person who did not acquire U.S. citizenship at birth after the person completes the required steps to naturalization (application, fees, interview, tests, etc.)