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Consular Report of Birth Abroad

Many children are born abroad to U.S. citizen parents. In the event of a birth abroad, a parent can obtain…

Many children are born abroad to U.S. citizen parents. In the event of a birth abroad, a parent can obtain a document called a Consular Report of Birth Abroad, which certifies that a child has acquired U.S. citizen status at birth as they were born to a U.S. citizen parent or parents. A child may also be granted a U.S. passport at birth.

How to obtain a CRBA

After a child has been born abroad, a parent should contact the closest U.S. consulate or embassy to get specific instructions for reporting the child’s birth. Somebody will then provide the parent with one original copy of the CRBA.

Requirements for obtaining a CRBA

  • At least one parent must be a U.S. citizen at the time of the child’s birth
  • The CRBA must be filed before the child reaches age of 18
  • The U.S. citizen parent must be able to prove their status in the U.S.

Parents should obtain a CRBA as soon as possible after the child is born to ensure that a child born abroad does not have any issues later. The U.S. citizen parent’s name will be noted on the document. The non-citizen parent’s name may also be included, with the consent of the U.S. citizen parent. If needed, someone can replace or amend CRBA documents by filing a FS-240 form issued by the U.S. Department of State.

Benefits of obtaining a CRBA

  • Having a CRBA document serves as legal proof that a child is a U.S. citizen
  • A parent can have a U.S. passport issued for a child by submitting a CRBA as a supporting document
  • Having a CRBA entitles a child to benefits available to U.S. citizens, such as social security and educational benefits and government services
  • A CRBA also entitles a child to consular protection while they are living abroad, including support during emergencies or assistance with legal systems abroad
  • A child may also be granted dual citizenship at birth, depending on the foreign country’s rules

If you are a U.S. citizen whose child has been born abroad, you can contact a U.S. consulate in that country to obtain a CRBA as soon as possible. If your child does not have this document and is still under 18, it is essential to move fast to help ensure that the child will have a legal document as proof of their U.S. citizenship status, even if they live in a foreign country.

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