Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA) and first U.S. passport

Requirement: You must have at least two child page associated to this parent in order for the table of contents to appear. This message will disappear once you meet the requirement.

The U.S. Department of State determines whether a child born abroad to a U.S. citizen parent acquired U.S. citizenship at birth.
A child born abroad automatically acquires U.S. citizenship at birth if the parent or parents of the child meet the conditions prescribed in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).

A Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA) certificate is official evidence of U.S. citizenship issued to a child under the age of 18 who was born abroad to a U.S. citizen parent(s). It documents that the child acquired U.S. citizenship at birth.

(Copy page from UK): If you or your child is 18 or over and has not been documented as a U.S. citizen, they should click here to find out how to apply for their first U.S. passport.

Dual and multiple citizenship is permitted under U.S. law. All U.S. citizens are required to enter and exit the United States using a valid U.S. passport. If you have questions about which passport to use to enter and exit another country, contact the immigration authorities of that country.

Transmission of U.S. Citizenship depends on:

  1. At least one parent having the nationality of the United States of America at the time of the child’s birth;
  2. The child has a genetically or gestationally relationship to a U.S. citizen parent or to a non-U.S. citizen parent who is married to a U.S. citizen parent at the time of the child’s birth;
  3. Transmitting parent meets the physical presence requirements (or residency) as outlined below.

Physical Presence Requirements

“In Wedlock” means a person is considered to be born in wedlock for the purposes of citizenship acquisition when the parents are:

  • Legally married to each other at the time of the person’s conception or birth or within 300 days of the end of the marriage by death or divorce.

In all cases, either the U.S. citizen parent(s) or their alien spouse must be a genetic or gestational parent of the child to transmit U.S. citizenship to the child. If you have questions about this page or U.S. citizenship laws, you should contact a private attorney. You can also find information about the Child Citizenship Act on our site.

A person born abroad in wedlock to two U.S. citizen parents acquires U.S. citizenship at birth under section 301(c) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), if at least one of the parents had a residence in the United States or one of its outlying possessions prior to the person’s birth. In these cases, at least one of the U.S. citizen parents must have a genetic or gestational connection to the child to transmit U.S. citizenship to the child.

A person born abroad in wedlock to a U.S. citizen and an alien acquires U.S. citizenship at birth if the U.S. citizen parent has been physically present in the United States or one of its outlying possessions prior to the person’s birth for the period required by the statute in effect when the person was born (INA 301(g), formerly INA 301(a)(7)).

For birth on or after November 14, 1986, the U.S. citizen parent must have been physically present in the United States or one of its outlying possessions for five years prior to the person’s birth, at least two of which were after the age of 14.

For birth between December 24, 1952 and November 13, 1986, the U.S. citizen parent must have been physically present in the United States or one of its outlying possessions for 10 years prior to the person’s birth, at least five of which were after the age of 14 for the person to acquire U.S. citizenship at birth. In these cases, either the U.S. citizen parent or their alien spouse must have a genetic or gestational connection to the child in order for the U.S. parent to transmit U.S. citizenship to the child.

If the child was born abroad out-of-wedlock on or after November 14, 1986 to two U.S. citizen parents, and the U.S. citizen father satisfies the criteria of the “new” INA 309(a), listed below, the child will acquire U.S. citizenship under INA 301(c) if at least one of the parents had a residence in the United States or one of its outlying possessions prior to the person’s birth. 

Alternatively, if the U.S. citizen father does not satisfy the criteria of the “new” INA 309(a), the child will automatically acquire U.S. citizenship if the U.S. citizen mother satisfies the requirements for out-of-wedlock births to U.S. citizen mothers, as described below

A person born abroad out-of-wedlock on or after November 14, 1986 to a U.S. citizen father and an alien mother may acquire U.S. citizenship under 301(g) of the INA, as made applicable by the “new” Section 309(a) of the INA, if:

  1. A blood relationship between the person and the father is established by clear and convincing evidence.
  2. The father was a U.S. citizen at the time of the person’s birth;
  3. The father (unless deceased) has agreed in writing to provide financial support for the person until he or she reaches the age of 18 years; and
  4. While the person is under the age of 18 years:
    • the person is legitimated under the law of his/her residence or domicile, or
    • the father acknowledges paternity of the person in writing under oath, or
    • the paternity of the person is established by adjudication of a competent court.

If the child was born abroad out-of-wedlock on or after November 14, 1986 to a U.S. citizen father who satisfies the requirements of the “new” INA 309(a) as listed above, the child will acquire U.S. citizenship if the U.S. citizen father was physically present in the United States or one of its outlying possessions for five years prior to the person’s birth, including at least two of which were after turning age 14.

Please note: Persons born between November 15, 1968 and November 13, 1971 may derive U.S. citizenship under either the “new” INA 309(a) and 301, as described above, or the “old” INA 309(a) and 301.)

A person born abroad out-of-wedlock to a U.S. citizen mother between December 24, 1952 and June 11, 2017 may acquire U.S. citizenship under Section 309(c) of the INA if the mother was a U.S. citizen at the time of the person’s birth and if the mother was physically present in the United States or one of its outlying possessions for a continuous period of one year prior to the person’s birth.

In light of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Sessions v. Morales-Santana, 582 U.S. ___, 137 S.Ct. 1678 (2017), a person born abroad out-of-wedlock to a U.S. citizen mother and alien father on or after June 12, 2017, may acquire U.S. citizenship at birth if the mother was a U.S. citizen at the time of the person’s birth and was physically present in the United States or one of its outlying possessions for a period of five years, including two after turning age 14, in accordance with Section 301(g) of the INA.


Evidence of Physical Presence/Residency

In many cases, the U.S. citizen parent(s) must present proof of their physical presence in the United States. Physical presence is the actual time the U.S. citizen parent was physically within the borders of the United States before the child’s birth. Please double-check the transmission requirements on the above listed drop down to see what evidence you may need to provide and over what period of time.

Remember, the burden of proof is on you. You must be able demonstrate to the consular officer’s satisfaction that you meet the physical presence.

 

  • Academic transcripts
  • Employment records
  • Current and expired passports with evidence of travel to the United States. If you traveled on your parent’s passport as a child, you show entry and exit stamps in their passports.
  • 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).
  • Naturalization Certificate
  • Wage and tax statements (W-2) – only in conjunction with a letter from the employer

Other proof may be accepted depending on the circumstances of your case. Please bring as much documentation as you have. You can discuss this with the consular officer during your appointment.

  • U.S. passport with place of birth in the U.S.
  • U.S. birth certificate
  • Marriage certificate with residence address in the U.S.
  • Property rental leases and payment receipts
  • School transcripts
Requirement: You must have at least one child page associated to this parent in order for the previous and next navigation to appear. This message will disappear once you meet the requirement.