UNCLASSIFIED (U)

8 FAM 302.4

Acquisition by Birth in Guam

(CT:CITZ-1;   06-27-2018)
(Office of Origin: CA/PPT/S/A)

8 FAM 302.4-1  Current Law

(CT:CITZ-1;   06-27-2018)

a. Persons born in Guam on or after December 24, 1952, acquire U.S. citizenship at birth.  Guam is listed as part of the geographical definition of the "United States" in section 101 (a)(38) Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).  Section 301(a) INA provides that a person born in and subject to the jurisdiction of the United States shall be a U.S. citizen.  Section 307(b) INA conferred U.S. citizenship upon anyone born in Guam after April 11, 1899.  Only those who affirmed or acquired a foreign nationality before August 1, 1950 are not U.S. citizens.

b. The first law to confer U.S. citizenship on the inhabitants of Guam was the Organic Act of August 1, 1950 (64 Stat. 384)("the Organic Act"), which incorporated Guam into the United States.  Section 4 of the Organic Act added section 206 to the Nationality Act of 1940 (NA).  The provisions of section 206 NA for the citizenship of natives and inhabitants of Guam were the same as those in section 307 INA:

SEC 307:  (a) The following persons, and their children born after April 11, 1899, are declared to be citizens of the United States as of August 1, 1950, if they were residing on August 1, 1950, on the island of Guam or other territory over which the United States exercises rights of sovereignty;

(1)      All inhabitants of the island of Guam on April 11, 1899, including those temporarily absent from the island on that date, who were Spanish subjects, who after that date continued to reside in Guam or other territory over which the United States exercises sovereignty, and who have taken no affirmative steps to preserve or acquire foreign nationality; and

(2)      All persons born in the island of Guam who resided in Guam on April 11, 1899, including those absent from the island on that date, who after that date continued to reside in Guam or other territory over which the United States exercises sovereignty, and who have taken no affirmative steps to preserve or acquire foreign nationality:

(b)      All persons born in the island of Guam on or after April 11, 1899 (whether before or after August 1, 1950) subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, are hereby declared to be citizens of the United States:  Provided, That in the case of any person born before August 1, 1950, he has taken no affirmative steps to preserve or acquire foreign nationality; and

(c)      Any person hereinbefore described who is a citizen or a national of a country other than the United States and desires to retain his present political status shall have made, prior to August 1, 1952, a declaration under oath of such desire, said declaration to be in form and executed in the manner prescribed by regulations.  From and after the making of such a declaration any such person shall be held not to be a national of the United States by virtue of this act.

c.  Section 307(c) INA protects the foreign nationality of the Guamanian inhabitants who had made timely declaration pursuant to the treaty of cession or to the Organic Act.

d. The phrase "subject to the jurisdiction of the United States" in Section 307(b) INA refers to a condition at the time of birth and does not require residence in Guam or other territory over which the United States had jurisdiction on August 1, 1950, when these provisions originally were enacted as part of the Organic Act.  For more information on the meaning of "subject to the jurisdiction of the United States”, see 8 FAM 301.1.

8 FAM 302.4-2  Nationality Status Before December 24, 1952

8 FAM 302.4-2(A)  Status of Inhabitants After Annexation and Before August 1, 1950

(CT:CITZ-1;   06-27-2018)

a. Guam was acquired from Spain on December 10, 1898, as a result of the Spanish-American War.  Article IX the Treaty of Paris (30 Stat. 1754), ratified on April 11, 1899, if the civil rights and political status of the native inhabitants of the ceded territory would be determined by Congress.

b. Until the Nationality Act of 1940 was amended by the Organic Act, on August 1, 1950, no law addressed the civil rights and political status of the inhabitants of Guam.  The Department held that Spanish subjects, including natives of Guam and natives of the Spanish Peninsula (that is, persons born in Spain), who were residing in Guam at the time of its annexation became nationals, but not citizens, of the United States.

c.  The only exceptions were Spanish subjects born in Spain who had kept their allegiance to Spain by making a declaration before October 11, 1900, as provided for in the Treaty of Paris.

8 FAM 302.4-2(B)  Status Acquired by Birth In Guam After Annexation And Before August 1, 1950

(CT:CITZ-1;   06-27-2018)

a. Before August 1, 1950, the effective date of the Organic Act, it was held that:

(1)  A person born in Guam on or after April 11, 1899, in wedlock to a U.S. national father or out of wedlock to a U.S. national mother became a non-citizen U.S. national at birth;

(2)  Children born in Guam to U.S. citizens acquired U.S. citizenship under the conditions that applied to persons born abroad; and

(3)  Persons born in Guam to aliens did not acquire U.S. nationality at birth.

b. The following provisions of the Nationality Act of 1940 were not retroactive:

(1)  Section 201(e) NA, as quoted in 8 FAM 302.1, set the terms under which U.S. citizenship could be acquired by birth in Guam from January 13, 1941, until Section 206 NA was added on August 1, 1950, pursuant to Section 4 of the Organic Act; and

(2)  Section 204(a) NA, as quoted in 8 FAM 302.1, governed the acquisition of non-citizen U.S. nationality by birth in Guam.

8 FAM 302.4-2(C)  Status Acquired by Birth Abroad to Natives or Inhabitants of Guam Who Had Acquired Non-citizen U.S. Nationality

(CT:CITZ-1;   06-27-2018)

No special law was enacted to address the status of foreign‑ born children of Guamanians who were not U.S. citizens.  The considerations discussed in 8 FAM 302.8 apply.

UNCLASSIFIED (U)