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 possession of a valid U.S passport to enter and exit the United States, even if they have citizenship of another country, as well.
According to U.S. immigration law, a child born overseas to a U.S. citizen parent, in most cases, has a claim to U.S. citizenship. The eligibility of a U.S. citizen to “transmit citizenship” (the legal term) is usually based on having spent a certain period of time physically present in the United States prior to the birth of the child. Please see here for guidance relevant to your particular circumstances.
The birth of a child abroad to U.S. citizen parent(s) should be reported as soon as possible to the nearest U.S. consular office for the purpose of establishing an official record of the child’s claim to U.S. citizenship at birth. The official record is in the form of a Consular Report of Birth Abroad of a Citizen of the United States of America. This document, referred to as the Consular Report of Birth (CRBA), is considered a basic United States citizenship document. An original CRBA is furnished to the parent(s) at the time the registration is approved. A Consular Report of Birth can be prepared only at a U.S. consular office overseas while the child is under the age of 18.
CRBAs can only be adjudicated in the country in which a child is born. If your child was born in another country we can accept the application, but it will be adjudicated by the U.S. Embassy in the country of the child’s birth. Similarly, if your child is born in Uganda, the CRBA can only be adjudicated at U.S. Embassy Kampala.
The application for a CRBA requires the following:
- An official record of the child’s local birth (i.e. long-form birth certificate),
- Evidence of the parent(s)’ U.S. citizenship (e.g. current U.S. passport),
- Evidence of the parents’ marriage (if applicable),
- Proof of physical presence in the United States for the U.S. citizen parent(s) (Proof may include old U.S. passports, school transcripts, university records, leases, utility bills, W2 forms, or other documents. All documents must be originals or notarized copies.)
- Proof may include old U.S. passports, school transcripts, university records, leases, utility bills, W2 forms, or other documents. All documents must be originals or notarized copies.
- Identity documentation for a non-citizen parent (if applicable),
- Completed Application for Consular Report of Birth Abroad (DS-2029) (PDF 345KB). **Please note that if the American Citizen parent cannot be present to register the birth, the application must be notarized and a copy of the ID used needs to be presented. Notaries must have been issued within the previous 90 days. For example, a notary signed on June 1st is only valid through September 1st.
- Completed Application for Social Security Card (PDF 122KB) (optional),
- Payment of the application fee ($100).
- Please click here to schedule a Consular Report of Birth Abroad appointment.
For complete details, click here.
When reporting the birth of a U.S. citizen abroad, the presence of the child and parent(s) listed on the birth certificate is normally required. Please do not sign any of the documents until requested to do so by the Consular Officer. We encourage individuals to carefully review their documentation prior to the appointment in order to avoid delays and/or multiple visits.
If the U.S. citizen parent is not physically present in the country at the time of the CRBA application, s/he must fill out the DS-2029 and have it notarized in the United States or at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate.
In certain cases, it may be necessary to submit additional documents, including affidavits of paternity and support, divorce decrees from prior marriages, evidence of prior U.S. residence and/or physical presence, or DNA tests. If you have questions regarding your ability to transmit citizenship, please review the legal requirements for transmission of citizenship.
Parents are encouraged to apply for a U.S. passport for their newborn child at the same time that they apply for a CRBA.
For more detailed information on CRBAs and replacement copies of these documents, please see the Department of State’s webpage on Documentation of U.S. Citizens Born Abroad.