Birth of U.S. Citizens Abroad

A child born abroad to a U.S. citizen parent or parents may acquire U.S. citizenship at birth if certain legal requirements are met. The child’s parents should contact Jeanne Morales, Attorney for assistance in applying 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. 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.

The child’s parents may choose to apply for a U.S. passport for the child at the same time that they apply for a CRBA. Parents may also choose to apply only for a U.S. passport for the child. Like a CRBA, a full validity, unexpired U.S. passport is proof of U.S. citizenship.

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.

Please note:

  • A Consular Report of Birth Abroad of a U.S. citizen is only issued to a child who acquired U.S. citizenship at birth and who is generally under the age of 18 at the time of the application.
  • The U.S. embassy or consulate will provide one original copy of an eligible child’s Consular Report of Birth Abroad of a U.S. Citizen.
  • A more secure Consular Report of Birth Abroad of a U.S. Citizen was introduced in January 2011.  This new CRBA has been updated with a variety of state of the art security features, and is printed centrally in the United States.  U.S. embassies and consulates no longer print CRBAs locally, but you still must apply there.  The central production was initiated to ensure uniform quality and reduce vulnerability to fraud.  The previous version of the CRBA continues to be valid proof of U.S. citizenship.
  • You may replace, amend or request multiple copies of a Consular Report of Birth Abroad  of a U.S. Citizen at any time.