If your child was born outside of the country, you might need to provide a Consular Report of a Birth Abroad (CRBA) as proof of their citizenship. A CRBA (Form FS-240) for your child can be obtained through the American embassy or consulate in the nation of birth.

You can submit an application to the American embassy or consulate to obtain a CRBA for your child. The CRBA application must then be signed by you in front of a consular official or notary. In this article, you’ll learn more about CRBAs and determine whether your child requires one.

What is a Consular Report of Birth Abroad?

The birth of an American citizen abroad is recorded in the Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA). It can be used to prove a child’s citizenship in the United States and to apply for a passport from any department or office of the U.S. government. The CRBA can be used in the United States in the same way as a birth certificate issued by a state or local government, while not officially being a birth certificate (which can only be issued in the United States). If the youngster is older than 18 at the time the application is made, CRBAs cannot be granted. The CRBA application and a child’s passport application can both be submitted at the same time.

Do all children born abroad qualify for a CRBA?

There are a few requirements to meet in order to transmit U.S. Citizenship to your child via this method:

  • One or both of the parent’s status as US citizens at the time of the birth is required.
  • A minimum period of actual presence inside the United States or one of its outlying possessions is required for the transmitting parent (a US citizen). The majority of instances call for five years of physical presence, with two of those years occurring after the age of 14, but the law that applies in each case may vary.
  • The transmitting American citizen and the child must be related biologically.
  • The child and the transmitting U.S. citizen must have a legal relationship.

What if my child does not qualify, can I still transmit my citizenship?

There are other ways to transfer citizenship if your child does not meet the requirements for this process.

Processing times and return of documents

Following a successful interview and application, a Consular Report of Birth Abroad and first passport can often be issued within 15 business days. Please be aware that a CRBA cannot be processed any faster than the standard timeframe, but in cases of extreme urgency, it may be able to issue a passport in a rush.

How much does applying cost?

Depending on the nation you are applying to, there are different application fees. Consult the embassy or consulate in your area.

Application for Consular Report of Birth Abroad

The following documentation proof must be provided when requesting a Consular Report of Birth Abroad for a kid who has never been officially recognized as a citizen of the United States. In some circumstances, more proof can be needed. All documents must be originals, or certified copies of the originals that contain the seal of the vital records office, court, or other body issuing the document unless otherwise specified.

1. The birth certificate of the child.

2. Proof of the parent(s)’ identification and citizenship in the United States. A U.S. passport, U.S. passport card, consular report of birth abroad, naturalization certificate, certificate of citizenship, or a U.S. birth certificate that was timely filed are all acceptable examples.

Read Also: TEMPORARY PASSPORT: How To Get One In The USA

Contact the U.S. consul for other acceptable proofs of citizenship in the United States. As identification, a passport or government-issued photo ID must be shown.

3. Proof of the parent(s)’ actual presence or long-term residency in the country before the child was born. Affidavits, official public papers like utility bills or rent receipts, tax returns, bank statements, school or employment records, tax, bank, and medical records, are just a few examples of this type of proof. In some circumstances, it is also admissible to provide proof of time spent overseas when working for the U.S. government, U.S. Armed Forces, or a qualified international organization, or while living abroad as the dependent child of a person doing so before the child was born.

4. A marriage certificate for the parents, if appropriate.

5. Proof that any prior unions between the parents were dissolved (divorce decree, annulment decree, or death certificate).

6. If someone other than a parent or the child is requesting a Consular Report of Birth Abroad, that person must provide proof of legal guardianship, such as a certified copy, or a notarized affidavit from the parent(s) granting permission to submit the request.

How to complete the application 

Excluding the issues outlined below, the majority of the items on the form are self-explanatory. The numbers correspond to the items on the form that are numbered.

1. Full Name of Child: Type the child’s name exactly as it appears on the local birth certificate. A parent or legal guardian must provide an explanation affidavit explaining the proper name if the birth certificate lists a different name. The new name may be recorded on the application if it is backed by documented evidence when a child’s name has been lawfully changed through adoption or another legal action that modifies the child’s name from birth.

2. Sex: Select the (X) box to indicate whether you’re a man or a woman.

3. Birthdate: Include the year and the month that come before the date. (For instance, 10/2/2009.

4. Birthplace: List the city and nation where you were born.

NOTE(Parents): If the parent who is transmitting the child’s citizenship to the United States is not present, he or she may fill out and submit separately State Department Form Affidavit of Parentage Physical Presence and Support DS 5507. The parent filling out this application should offer as much information as possible regarding the parent filling out Form DS 5507.)

Consular report of birth abroad replacement 

The Department of State started releasing a new Consular Report of Birth Abroad on January 3, 2011. (FS-240). Multiple copies of this document may be ordered at any time. The Certificate of Report of Birth (DS-1350) is no longer issued as of December 31, 2010. All previously issued FS-240 and DS-1350 documents are still recognized by the law as adequate identification and citizenship documentation.

You Must Submit the Following to Replace a Consular Report of Birth Abroad (FS-240):

1. A written (or typed) request that is notarized and contains all of the information listed below

  • birthdate and the full name of the child
  • any children’s adoptive names
  • Date and location of the child’s birth
  • any accessible passport data
  • names of parents in full
  • The FS-240’s serial number, if it is known.
  • Requester’s signature
  • A copy of the court order establishing legal guardianship is only required for legal guardians.
  • Address of the Requestor
  • Phone number provided by the requester

2. A copy of the applicant’s legitimate identification

3. A $50 money order or cheque

4. Mail to:

Department of State

Vital Records Section of a passport

Mercure Cir., 44132

PO Box 1213

Virginia 20166-1213 Sterling

A Consular Report of Birth Abroad may be changed or replaced by:

  • the person named on the birth certificate (if age 18 or older)
  • the parent (for minors under age 18)
  • a recognized governmental body, or
  • a person who has received written consent from the person indicated on the birth certificate

How to Amend a CRBA

The identical information required to replace a CRBA is included in a notarized letter that you must submit to alter a CRBA. Additionally, you need to produce original papers or copies that have been certified as reflecting the changes you want. This might be a:

  • Birth certificate issued abroad
  • Adoption or name change mandated by the court
  • Birth certificates for biological parents who are adopted or liaising

The original CRBA, any replacement FS-240s, and any other birth certificates issued by the U.S. Department of State are also required, or a notarized affirmation claiming that these papers were lost or destroyed. Additionally, you will require a copy of your current photo ID as well as a $50 check or money order payable to the U.S. Department of State.

Consular report of birth abroad vs birth certificate

A consular report of birth abroad is the international equivalent of a US birth certificate. Instead of a birth certificate, which is granted to US citizens born on US soil, US residents who are born on US military posts or outside of US territory are awarded a CRBA. Some individuals, however, can be unsure of whether they have a CRBA or a US birth certificate.

People who acquired US citizenship as a result of being born in one of the following current or former US territories or outlying possessions during the pertinent time periods described below are not eligible for a CRBA. The following locations and times are relevant:

  • Puerto Rico after April 10, 1899
  • United States Virgin Islands after January 16, 1917
  • American Samoa after February 15, 1900
  • Guam following December 23, 1952
  • Afterward, Swains Island, March 3, 1925
  • Prior to October 1, 1979, the area around the Panama Canal
  • The Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands didn’t exist after January 8, 1978. (8 PM EST)
  • Islands of the Philippines before July 4, 1946

If a citizen was born inside the above-mentioned dates and locations, they are not considered to have been born abroad. As a result, they can simply order a birth certificate instead of a CRBA.


When a U.S. citizen gives birth while abroad(which is common for travelers and ex-pats), documentary proof in the form of a consular report of birth is necessary. Obtaining this document can be challenging, but it is necessary for the United States government to recognize and authenticate the child’s citizenship.

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