47. Who is considered a United States citizen?

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Massachusetts Law Reform Institute

You are a United States citizen if you were born anywhere in the United States or its territories, including Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands. You are also a U.S. citizen if you were born in another country and then naturalized1.

You may have “derived” U.S. citizenship if you were born abroad and at least one of your biological parents was both a U.S. born citizen at the time of your birth and lived in the U.S. at any time prior to your birth. If either or both your parents naturalized to U.S. citizenship before you turned age 18, you may also have derived citizenship2. Check with an immigration specialist if you think these rules apply to you.

The federal and state SNAP rules allow you to self-declare your U.S. citizenship, unless the information you provide is considered “questionable.”2 See what information you can self-declare. Note, U.S. citizenship of children should not be considered questionable solely because parents are immigrants. See DTA Transitions Hotline Q&A, pg 3 (March 2006).

DTA Online Guide

See Appendix G for links to the DTA’s BEACON 5 Online Guide for this section.


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