US citizens born in the United States have the right to apply for a US passport. This seems like a no-brainer, right? Well, it can get a little complicated when it comes to natives of American Samoa. Is American Samoa part of the United States? If so, are people born in American Samoa considered US citizens? Are people born in American Samoa eligible for US passports? Apparently not.
In spite of the name, “American” Samoa, people born there do not become US citizens at birth. For some reason, US citizenship is automatically granted to the inhabitants of Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands, Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands. However, people born in American Samoa are not granted US citizenship.
People born in Puerto Rico automatically become US citizens at birth and are eligible to apply for US passports. Why are American Samoans subject to different rules? Should American Samoans be given the same rights as US citizens? Should American Samoans carry US passports?
While American Samoans can claim citizenship if, at the time of their birth, at least one parent was a US citizen. American Samoans can also become US citizens. However, a recent lawsuit questions why American Samoans should need to go through the US citizenship process which can be lengthy, costly and at times burdensome.
American Samoans actually receive passports with an imprint describing them as non-citizen U.S. nationals.
Some claim that this is goes against the 14th Amendment. It will be interesting to see what officials at the US State Department, which issues passports, have to say about this topic.
It should be interesting to see how this passport story develops.
If you are interested in getting a passport or visa, give us a call at (212) 643-9305. Rush Passport™ Official US Passport Expeditors, serving Brooklyn, The Bronx, Queens, Staten Island, Manhattan, Westchester County, Nassau County & Suffolk County, Long Island, New Jersey, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Connecticut.