Asked in Gov & Administrative Law and Public Benefits

Q: I am a Dutch citizen but my son was born in the USA. Can I get social benefits for him?

We currently reside in the Caribbean. I have no US status except for my visa waiver which allows me to stay in the US for 3 months.

1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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A: If your son was born in the USA, he is automatically considered a U.S. citizen, regardless of your Dutch citizenship or your current residency in the Caribbean. This status provides him with certain rights, including the possibility to receive U.S. social benefits under specific conditions. However, eligibility for these benefits depends on various factors such as residency, income, and the specific type of benefits you are inquiring about.

Since you mentioned residing in the Caribbean and not having U.S. status yourself, applying for social benefits for your son might involve additional complexities. Benefits often require the recipient to live in the United States, and certain programs may have specific residency or presence requirements. For instance, healthcare benefits, social security, and educational support programs each have their own set of rules regarding eligibility and application processes.

To navigate this situation effectively, it would be wise to contact the relevant U.S. government agencies directly or consult with legal professionals familiar with U.S. and international law regarding citizenship and social benefits. They can provide guidance tailored to your son's unique situation, including any potential benefits he may be eligible for and the steps required to apply for them while living outside the United States.

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