- Report of Birth Abroad
As U.S. citizen parent(s), you should report your child’s birth abroad as soon as possible to the U.S. Embassy 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.
Proof of Citizenship
You may prove U.S. citizenship with any one of the following:
- Previous U.S. Passport (mutilated, altered, or damaged passports are not acceptable as evidence of U.S. citizenship.)
- Certified birth certificate issued by the city, county or state.
- A certified birth certificate has a registrar’s raised, embossed, impressed or multicolored seal, registrar’s signature, and the date the certificate was filed with the registrar’s office, which must be within 1 year of your birth
- Consular Report of Birth Abroad or Certification of Birth
- Naturalization Certificate
- Certificate of Citizenship
A Delayed Birth Certificate filed more than one year after your birth may be acceptable if it lists the documentation used to create it, and is signed by the attending physician or midwife, or lists an affidavit signed by the parents, or shows early public records.
If you do not have a previous U.S. passport or a certified birth certificate, you will need:
- Letter of “No Record found”, issued by the Vital Statistics office of the state of your birth stating your name, date of birth, which years were searched for a birth record and that there is no birth certificate on file for you, and as many of the following as possible:
- baptismal certificate
- hospital birth certificate
- census record
- early school record
- family bible record
- doctor’s record of post-natal care
These documents must be early public records showing the date and place of birth, preferably created within the first five years of the applicant’s life.
You may also submit an Affidavit of Birth, Form DS-10, (PDF Document Size: 117Kb) from an older blood relative, i.e., a parent, aunt, uncle, sibling, who has personal knowledge of your birth. It must be notarized or have the seal and signature of the acceptance agent.
If you were born abroad and do not have a Consular Report of Birth Abroad or Certificate of Birth on file, you will need other documentation as shown below.
If you claim citizenship through birth abroad to one U.S. citizen parent:
- Foreign birth certificate,
- Proof of citizenship of your U.S. citizen parent, AND
- An affidavit of your U.S. citizen parent showing all periods and places of residence or physical presence in the United States and abroad before your birth.
If you claim citizenship through birth abroad to two U.S. citizen parents:
- Your foreign birth certificate,
- Parent’s marriage certificate, AND
- Proof of citizenship of your U.S. parents and an affidavit of your U.S. citizen parents showing all periods and places of residence of physical presence in the United States and abroad before your birth.
The following are not proof of citizenship:
- Voter registration cards.
- Army discharge papers.
- Information on foreign-born children adopted by U.S. citizens.
Transmission of U.S. citizenship depends on:
- At least one parent having the nationality of the United States at the time of the child’s birth;
- The existence of a blood relationship between the child and U.S. citizen parent(s);
- Documentary evidence demonstrating the U.S. citizen parent(s)’ presence in the United States prior to the child’s birth, as specified below.
Examples of Documentation
Some examples of documentary evidence which may be considered to demonstrate that physical presence requirements have been met may include (but are not limited to):
- Wage and tax statements (W-2)
- Academic transcripts
- Employment records
- Rental receipts
- Records of honorable U.S. military service, employment with U.S. Government or certain intergovernmental international organizations; or as a dependent, unmarried child and member of the household of a parent in such service or employment (except where indicated).
- U.S. passport stamps may be considered a part of the evidence submitted, but should not be the sole documentary evidence. Drivers’ licenses do not constitute evidence of physical presence.
If you have other children who have been issued with a Consular Report of Birth Abroad, this may be considered as supplemental evidence. Please also read important information regarding Supporting Documents.
If parents are married at the time of the child’s birth, but only one is a U.S. Citizen, the U.S. Citizen parent must have had physical presence in the U.S. or its possessions for at least five years, two of which must be after the age of 14. (This is only for children born on or after November 14, 1986).
If parents are unmarried at time of child’s birth, the mother is a U.S. citizen and the father is a non-U.S. citizen, the mother must have had physical presence in the U.S. or its possession for one continuous year. (For Children born on or after December 24, 1952)
For children born on or after June 12, 2017, if parents are unmarried at time of child’s birth, the mother is a U.S. citizen and the father is a non-U.S. citizen, the mother must have had physical presence in the U.S. or its possession for five years, two of which were after the age of 14.
For children born on or after November 14, 1986: If parents are unmarried at the time of the child’s birth, the father is a U.S. citizen and the mother is a non-U.S. citizen, the father must have had physical presence in the U.S. or its possessions for five years, two years of which were after the age of 14; and blood relationship established between father and child; and father (unless deceased) agrees in writing, prior to the child turning 18, to support child until age 18; and while child is under age 18:Child is legitimated, or
- Child is legitimated, or
- Father acknowledges paternity under oath, or
- Paternity established by court adjudication.
For information on Acquisition of U.S. Citizenship by a Child Born Abroad, visit travel.state.gov.
Obtaining a Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA)
If the transmission requirements have been met, please submit the following in person by the applicant (child) and both parents, at the Embassy.
- Completed (but not signed) CRBA application Form DS-2029 – all questions must be answered.
- If the U.S. citizen parent is not able to attend the appointment, they must complete the Affidavit of Parentage, Physical Presence and Support, have it notarized by a Public Notary (in the U.S.) which must be submitted in their absence.
- Child’s Birth Certificate.
- Parents’ registered marriage certificate if applicable.
- Evidence of termination of any previous marriages if applicable.
- American Citizen Parent(s)’ evidence of U.S. Citizenship (U.S. passport or naturalization certificate).
- American Citizen Parent’s documentary evidence of physical presence in the United States prior to the child’s birth.
- Applicable fee. All fees are subject to change without notice.
Parents are encouraged to apply for their child’s Social Security Number and first U.S. Passport at the same time as applying for their CRBA. Once you have completed all appropriate application forms and gathered all required supporting documentation, make an appointment to lodge the application either by emailing ApiaConsular@state.gov or dialing 685 21631 ext 2222 to confirm an appointment.
If you need further guidance on registering the birth of a U.S. child in Samoa, please email ApiaConsular@state.gov and we shall respond between 8:30 am and 4:00 pm Monday through Friday.
For more information about Reporting Your Child’s Birth Abroad and for the application form, please visit the State Department’s website.
A Consular Report of Birth can only be prepared at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate. It cannot be prepared if the child has been taken back into the United States, or, if the person is 18 years of age or older at the time the application is made.
If the U.S. citizen parent does not meet the transmission requirements and the child is under 18 years of age, the child may be eligible for expeditious naturalization under the Child Citizenship Act 2000.
Third Party Attendance at Passport and CRBA Appointment Interviews
Generally, immediate family members may accompany passport or Consular Report Birth Abroad (CRBA) applicants to their appointment interviews at a U.S. embassy or consulate, and all minor children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Passport or CRBA applicants also have the option of being accompanied by an attorney at their appointment interview. Attendance by any third party, including an attorney, accompanying an applicant is subject to the following parameters designed to ensure an orderly appointment interview process and to maintain the integrity of the adjudication of the application(s):
- Given space limitations in the consular section, not more than one attendee at a time will be allowed to accompany an applicant (or the applicant’s parent or guardian if the applicant is a minor).
- Attendance by an attorney does not excuse the applicant and/or the minor applicant’s parent or guardian from attending the appointment interview in person.
- The manner in which a passport or CRBA appointment interview is conducted, and the scope and nature of the inquiry, shall at all times be at the discretion of the consular officer, following applicable Departmental guidance.
- It is expected that attorneys will provide their clients with relevant legal advice prior to, rather than at, the appointment interview, and will advise their clients prior to the appointment interview that the client will participate in the appointment interview with minimal assistance.
- Attorneys may not engage in any form of legal argumentation during the appointment interview and before the consular officer.
- Attendees other than a parent or guardian accompanying a minor child may not answer a consular officer’s question on behalf or in lieu of an applicant, nor may they summarize, correct, or attempt to clarify an applicant’s response, or interrupt or interfere with an applicant’s responses to a consular officer’s questions.
- To the extent that an applicant does not understand a question, s/he should seek clarification from the consular officer directly.
- The consular officer has sole discretion to determine the appropriate language(s) for communication with the applicant, based on the facility of both officer and applicant and the manner and form that best facilitate communication between the consular officer and the applicant. Attendees may not demand that communications take place in a particular language solely for the benefit of the attendee. Nor may attendees object to or insist on the participation of an interpreter in the appointment interview, to the qualifications of any interpreter, or to the manner or substance of any translation.
- No attendee may coach or instruct applicants as to how to answer a consular officer’s question.
- Attendees may not object to a consular officer’s question on any ground (including that the attendee regards the question to be inappropriate, irrelevant, or adversarial), or instruct the applicant not to answer a consular officer’s question. Attendees may not interfere in any manner with the consular officer’s ability to conduct all inquiries and fact-finding necessary to exercise his or her responsibilities to adjudicate the application.
- During a passport or CRBA appointment interview, attendees may not discuss or inquire about other applications.
- Attendees may take written notes, but may not otherwise record the appointment interviews.
- Attendees may not engage in any other conduct that materially disrupts the appointment interview. For example, they may not yell at or otherwise attempt to intimidate or abuse a consular officer or staff, and they may not engage in any conduct that threatens U.S. national security or the security of the embassy or its personnel. Attendees must follow all security policies of the Department of State and the U.S. embassy or consulate where the appointment interview takes place.
Attendees may not engage in any conduct that violates this policy and/or otherwise materially disrupts the appointment interview. Failure to observe these parameters will result in a warning to the attendee and, if ignored, the attendee may be asked to leave the appointment interview and/or the premises, as appropriate. It would then be the applicant’s choice whether to continue the appointment interview without the attendee present, subject to the consular officer’s discretion to terminate the appointment interview. The safety and privacy of all applicants awaiting consular services, as well as of consular and embassy personnel, is of paramount consideration.