Sometimes, I feel that the term "first generation" is used sort of vaguely sometimes. So it confuses me (because my situation) is a little bit complicated.

My dad, was an immigrant from a foreign country and lived here long enough to get a passport. That way, he has an American citizenship. My mom, wasn't born in the US and doesn't have a US citizenship.

I wasn't born in the US, so am I a first generation American? Or do I just have a citizenship (because of my dad's American citizenship)?


The expression "first generation" is often used to describe both people born abroad and their descendants, which is terribly confusing. The Oxford dictionary covers both meanings.

Assuming you are living in the US and were born abroad, you are a first-generation immigrant. I wouldn’t include citizenship in the mix. You can use “first-generation American” regardless.

Designating the first of a generation to become a citizen in a new country.

Designating the first of a generation to be born in a country of parents who had immigrated

  • Thanks that helped a lot! But one last question... does that make me second-generation (Because my father got a citizenship)?
    – Eames
    Apr 13 '16 at 19:43
  • You are welcome Eames. You is a lot of ambiguity with second-generation too. I would use second-generation if you were born in the country.
    – appfreak
    Apr 15 '16 at 6:58

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.