An immigration policy announced by the Trump administration will make it more difficult for some military members and government workers living overseas to secure citizenship. The announcement was met with anger and confusion on the part of veterans’ and immigrant advocacy groups in California and across the country, and the administration clarified that only a small number of people will be impacted by the policy change. The majority of children born to U.S. citizens while they work or serve abroad will still automatically be citizens.

Other groups will have to deal with a more complex application process. These people will be required to secure a visa to bring their children into the country prior to applying for citizenship. The impacted groups include parents who became citizens after the birth of the child, parents who are citizens but have never lived in the U.S. and parents who adopted a child while abroad. Citizens who have recently been naturalized and not yet completed the requirements to give automatic citizenship to their children will also have to go through the more complex process.

The agency that oversees the legal immigration process, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, has not released figures of how many people will be impacted by the new immigration policy. It may be as little as a few hundred people each year. The director of USCIS clarified that the policy does not affect birthright citizenship and will not deny citizenship to children of military personnel serving abroad.

People in California who have questions about the immigration process might want to schedule a meeting with an attorney. Immigration laws and policies are changing rapidly and consistently under the current administration. An attorney who practices immigration law might be able to help interested parties understand the citizenship or green card process or draft and file necessary legal paperwork on their behalf.