Eligibility for a CRBA

  1. Eligibility for a CRBA
  2. Transmitting Citizenship

A child born abroad to a U.S. citizen parent or parents may acquire U.S. citizenship at birth if certain statutory requirements are met, including minimum physical presence in the U.S. requirements.  The child’s parent(s) should contact the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate to apply for a Consular Report of Birth Abroad of a Citizen of the United States of America (CRBA) to document that the child is a U.S. citizen. If the U.S. embassy or consulate determines that the child acquired U.S. citizenship at birth, a consular officer will approve the CRBA application and the Department of State will issue a CRBA, also called a Form FS-240, in the child’s name.

According to U.S. law, a CRBA is proof of U.S. citizenship and may be used to obtain a U.S. passport and register for school, among other purposes.

Parents of a child born abroad to a U.S. citizen or citizens should apply for a CRBA and/or a U.S. passport for the child as soon as possible. Failure to promptly document a child who meets the statutory requirements for acquiring U.S. citizenship at birth may cause problems for the parents and the child when attempting to establish the child’s U.S. citizenship and eligibility for the rights and benefits of U.S. citizenship, including entry into the United States. By law, U.S. citizens, including dual nationals, must use a U.S. passport to enter and leave the United States.

No matter where you apply, some things are the same in every country outside the United States. Here is what’s standard everywhere:

Application Forms

You will use the same application form, the DS-2029, no matter where you apply for the Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA). The DS-2029 form can be found here: https://eforms.state.gov/Forms/ds2029.PDF(PDF 103.9 KB)

Supporting Documents

You will need all of the following:

  • The child’s foreign birth certificate.  All documents not originally in English must be accompanied by the English translation.
  • Proof of citizenship of the U.S. citizen parent(s). Your current passport is the preferred form of proof.  A naturalization certificate is also acceptable.
  • Proof of the relationship between the U.S. citizen parent(s) and the child. Your child’s birth certificate with both parents’ names on it is the best form of proof.  If two parents are listed on the birth certificate, but only one parent is filing the application for the Consular Report of Birth Abroad in person, he or she must bring an original or certified copy of an identity document (passport or ID) of the other parent at the time of the application.
  • If you are married, please bring your marriage certificate. If you have prior marriages, we need to see proof of how those marriages ended (divorce decrees or death certificates.)
  • The Affidavit of Parentage, Physical Presence and Support (Form DS-5507) should be completed and submitted when a U.S. citizen parent transmitting citizenship to the child is not present at the time of the application. http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/126018.pdf (PDF 281 KB)

Physical Presence Requirements

How long is long enough? That will depend on whether the parents are married, and whether one or both is a U.S. citizen. Learn more about transmitting citizenship and DNA testing.

How you prove you were physically present will depend a lot on your situation.  There is no one-size-fits-all answer.  Some examples of acceptable evidence include school transcripts, old passports, income tax returns, utility bills in the name of the parent, employment records, military records, and or medical records. The more you can provide, the easier it will be for the consular officer to adjudicate the CRBA.

Social Security Number

If the CRBA application is approved, you can also apply for your child’s Social Security number using the SS-5 application form:  SS-5-FS (PDF 164 KB). You can submit the completed form to the Embassy along with the other forms and documents needed for your child’s report of birth and first U.S. passport.

Fees

The current fee is $100 or the equivalent in Kina.