As U.S. citizen parent(s), you should report your child’s birth abroad as soon as possible to the U.S. Consulate to establish an official record of the child’s claim to U.S. citizenship at birth. The official record will be the Consular Report of Birth Abroad, Form FS-240 which is a basic United States citizenship document.
Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA)
A Consular Report of Birth (CRBA) is evidence of United States citizenship, issued to a child born abroad to a U.S. citizen parent or parents who meet the requirements for transmitting citizenship under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).
CRBA applications must be made before the child’s 18th birthday, and we recommend that the parents apply for the CRBA as soon as possible after the child’s birth. For applicants older than age 18 who have never been issued a CRBA, please refer to Possible Derivative Claim to U.S. Citizenship. Anyone who has a claim to U.S. citizenship must be in posession of a valid U.S passport to enter and exit the United States, even if they have citizenship of another country, as well.
Issuing a Consular Report of Birth Abroad
This is the primary document which establishes U.S. citizenship for a child born outside the United States. Citizenship may be transmitted to a child born abroad to a U.S. citizen parent under the following circumstances and conditions:
Birth Abroad to Two U.S. Citizen Parents in Wedlock: A child born abroad to two U.S. citizen parents acquires U.S. citizenship at birth under section 301(c) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). One of the parents MUST have resided in the U.S. prior to the child’s birth. No specific period of time for such prior residence is required.
Birth Abroad to One U.S. Citizen and One Alien Parent in Wedlock: A child born abroad to one U.S. citizen parent and one alien parent acquires U.S. citizenship at birth under Section 301(g) INA provided the U.S. citizen parent was physically present in the U.S. for the time period required by the law applicable at the time of the child’s birth. For birth on or after November 14, 1986, a period of five years physical presence, two after the age of fourteen is required. For births which occurred between December 24, 1952 and November 13, 1986, a period of ten years, five after the age of fourteen are required for physical presence in the U.S. to transmit U.S. citizenship to the child.
Birth Abroad Out-of-Wedlock to a U.S. Citizen Father: A child born abroad out-of-wedlock to a U.S. citizen father may acquire U.S. citizenship under Section 301(g) INA, as made applicable by Section 309(a) INA, provided:
- A blood relationship between the applicant and the father is established by clear and convincing evidence;
- The father had the nationality of the United States at the time of the applicant’s birth;
- The father (unless deceased) has agreed in writing to provide financial support for the person until the applicant reaches the age of 18 years, and
- While the person is under the age of 18 years —
- Applicant is legitimated under the law of their residence or domicile,
- Father acknowledges paternity of the person in writing under oath, or
- The paternity of the applicant is established by adjudication court.
Birth Abroad Out-of-Wedlock to a U.S. Citizen Mother: A child born abroad out-of-wedlock to a U.S. citizen mother may acquire U.S. citizenship under Section 301(g) INA, as made applicable by Section 309(c) INA if the mother was a U.S. citizen at the time of the child’s birth, and if the mother had previously been physically present in the United States or one of its outlying possessions for a continuous period of one year.
- The Child’s original birth certificate and an English translation by a sworn translator
- Marriage certificates of parents and an English translation by a sworn translator
- Proof of termination of any previous marriages, if previously married
- The passports of the parents
- Hospital Diagnosis Card, Delivery Report, Pregnancy records, Pediatrician records and any other hospital records
- If only one parent is a U.S. citizen – available records to prove a period of five years physical presence, two after the age of fourteen is required of the U.S. citizen parent. The evidence may include but need not be limited to passport entry/exit stamps and academic records.
- If both parents are U.S. citizens – at least one parent has to provide evidence that he or she had a residence in the U.S., at some point in time, prior to the child’s birth. The evidence may include but need not be limited to pay stubs for more than six months, utility and mortgage payments.
Parents are encouraged to apply for their Child’s U.S. passport and Social Security Number (PDF 122 KB) (external link) at the same time. If your Child does not qualify for U.S. citizenship due to a lack of the parent’s physical presence or if the child was born before the parent(s) acquired U.S. citizenship, he/she may still be eligible to acquire U.S. citizenship under the Child Citizenship Act of 2000 or Family Based Immigration.
Please schedule an appointment to apply.