Understanding the Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA)

December 26, 2016

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 U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).

CRBA applications can be made at any time before the child’s 18th birthday, but we recommend that parents apply for the CRBA as soon as possible after the child’s birth.

To transmit U.S. citizenship, at least one parent must have United States citizenship at the time of the child’s birth, and there must be a blood relationship between the child and U.S. citizen parent(s). Further, there must be evidence demonstrating the U.S. citizen parent(s)’ presence in the United States prior to the child’s birth. This presence varies, depending on when the child was born and the marital status of the U.S. citizen parent. For example, if a couple is married and the father of the child is a U.S. citizen but the mother is not, the father must be able to prove that he lived in the U.S. for a minimum of five years, two of which must be after the age of 14 and all of which must be before the birth of the child. The physical presence requirement is different, however, if both parents are U.S. citizens, or if only the U.S. citizen mother is listed on the birth certificate.

At least one parent (preferably the U.S. citizen parent) and the applicant (child) must appear in person at the consulate with the following:

  1. Completed (but not signed) CRBA application;
  2. Child’s Birth Certificate;
  3. Parents’ registered marriage certificate (if applicable);
  4. Evidence of termination of any previous marriages (if applicable);
  5. U.S. Citizen Parent(s)’ evidence of U.S. Citizenship (U.S. passport or naturalization certificate);
  6. U.S. Citizen Parent’s evidence of physical presence in the United States prior to the child’s birth;
  7. 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 online to go to the consulate for an interview. Please also remember to print your appointment confirmation to show to the Embassy Security.