Report Birth Abroad
GENERAL INFORMATION ON APPLYING FOR A CONSULAR REPORT OF BIRTH ABROAD
The Consular Report of Birth Abroad of a Citizen of the United States of America (CRBA) documents the birth of a United States citizen in a foreign country. It is accepted by all U.S. Government agencies as proof of a child's U.S. citizenship and for obtaining a U.S. passport. Although not technically a birth certificate (which can only be issued by the local jurisdiction), the CRBA can be used in the U.S. in the same way as a birth certificate issued by a state or local government. You may apply for a child’s U.S. passport at the same time you apply for the CRBA. As a general rule, however, CRBAs cannot be issued if the child is 18 years of age or older at the time the application is made.
Most, but not all, children born abroad to a U.S. citizen parent are eligible to be documented as U.S. citizens through issuance of a CRBA and U.S. passport. The parents, however, have the burden of proof of establishing that the child is eligible for a CRBA and U.S. passport, and we encourage applicants to read and follow these instructions carefully.
Although the CRBAs and the application forms are the same throughout the world, different embassies and consulates may have different procedures to obtain a CRBA. If you haven’t done so already, please consult the website of your local Embassy or Consulate to learn more about local procedures for applying for a CRBA and for instructions on how to schedule an appointment for this service.
APPLYING FOR A CRBA IN KENYA
If your child was born overseas, the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya, can accept the application for the child’s CRBA. Please note, however, that we can approve or deny CRBA applications only for children born in Kenya, Somalia, and South Sudan. If a child was born in another country, we can only collect the application and supporting documents and forward them to the U.S. Embassy in that country for adjudication. To save time and streamline the process, we strongly encourage applicants – where possible – to apply for the CRBA in the country or consular district where the child was born.
Step One: Complete the CRBA Application
All applicants must fully complete the CRBA application (Form DS-2029: Application for Consular Report of Birth Abroad) prior to the interview. If the child was born out of wedlock to a U.S. citizen father or the parents are not able to present a marriage certificate, the applicants should also complete and bring Form DS–5507: Affidavit of Physical Presence or Residence, Parentage and Support.
All CRBA applications must be fully completed prior to the interview. Do not leave any items blank. For any question that does not apply, mark “N/A” (not applicable).
Do not sign the application. If both parents will attend the CRBA appointment, which we recommend, you sign the application at the interview in front of a Consular Officer. If the U.S. Citizen Parent will not be present at the interview, please see below: “Information for Applications Where U.S. Citizen Parent Is Not Present for Interview.”
Step Two: Complete the Passport Application
All applicants for a child’s passport must complete Form DS-11: Passport Application prior to the interview. Do not leave any items blank. For any question that does not apply, mark “N/A” (not applicable). We encourage you to apply for a CRBA and passport at the same time. Because all fees are non-refundable, we recommend that you initially pay only for the CRBA application at our office cashier. Once the CRBA is approved, you will have the option of returning to the cashier to pay for the passport application.
Do not sign the passport application. The application must be signed in the presence of a Consular Officer.
If either parent is not able to attend the appointment, the applicants should also bring Form DS- 3053: Statement of Consent or Special Circumstances: Issuance of a Passport to a Minor Under Age 16. The DS-3053 must be signed in front of a notary public and the original must be presented at the interview. We do not accept scanned or faxed copies. We also do not accept notaries from outside of the United States. If the parent who is not at the interview is not in the United States, the DS-3053 can be notarized at the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate.
Step Three: Gather Required Documents and Supporting Evidence
On the day of your appointment, you must present original records for each of the following items (photocopies or scanned or faxed copies will not be accepted):
- The child’s birth certificate (hospital birth notifications are not acceptable).
- Original marriage certificate for the parents (if they are married).
- Original divorce certificate or death certificate (if either parent was previously married).
- Passport photos for the child (measuring 2” x 2” and meeting the requirements listed on the back of the passport application).
- Proof of parent’s U.S. citizenship (original or certified copies of the U.S. citizen parent’s passport and Naturalization Certificate, if applicable).
- Proof of parent’s identity (originals of non-U.S. citizen parent’s passport or national identification card).
Step Four: Gather Proof of Physical Presence
On the day of your appointment, you must present sufficient evidence to demonstrate that at least one parent was physically present in the U.S. for a sufficient amount of time to transmit citizenship. In most cases where only one parent is a U.S. citizen, the U.S. citizen parent must show that he or she was physically present in the U.S. for a total of five (5) years before the birth of the child. If both parents are U.S. citizens and are married at the time of the child’s birth, then the applicants must show that one of the parents had a residence in the United States prior to the child’s birth. There are exceptions and additional standards; please visit the State Department’s website for more information about the physical presence requirement.
Evidence that may be presented includes, but is not limited to:
- School transcripts,
- Elementary and middle school report cards,
- W-2s from employment held while in the United States,
- Pay stubs,
- Employment records,
- Military discharge papers, and
- Rental or lease agreements.
Please note that bank records and tax documents are not sufficient to prove physical presence.
Step Five: Gather Proof of Blood Relationship
On the day of your appointment, you must present sufficient evidence to demonstrate that the applicant is the biological child of the U.S. Citizen parent(s). Examples of the types of evidence that can demonstrate the blood relationship between the child and the U.S. Citizen parent(s) include:
- Pregnancy and birth records, such as dated ultrasounds containing the name of mother, laboratory test results, doctor/ultrasound/hospital receipts, pictures of the mother pregnant, pictures of mother and baby immediately following the birth and during the hospital stay, the baby’s and mother’s hospital identification bracelets, crib card, discharge orders, or paid hospital bills.
- Proof of relationship between parents, such as time-stamped photos of the couple together before, during, and after the pregnancy, photos of the U.S. Citizen parent with the newborn baby, Western Union money transfer receipts, birthday cards, email printouts, lease agreements, bank statements, home utility bills, or IRS tax declaration documents showing a shared address.
- Proof the couple was together at time of conception, such as original or certified copies of passport pages showing entry and exit stamps.
Step Six: Scheduling a CRBA Appointment
The American Citizen Services (ACS) section in Nairobi, Kenya accepts applications for Consular Reports of Birth Abroad by appointment only. To schedule an initial appointment REQUEST AN APPOINTMENT or KenyaScheduleACS@state.gov.
Step Seven: The Day of the CRBA Appointment
On the day of the initial appointment, the applicants should come to interview with all required forms and supporting documentation. The applicants must bring the child to the interview. All applicants must first pay the CRBA application fee of $100 per application. The fees are not refundable. Please note that if you arrive at your CRBA appointment and are unable to pay the fee, your appointment will be cancelled and you will need to schedule a new appointment. All fees are payable in U.S. dollars or the equivalent in Kenyan Shillings, or by a U.S. or international credit card (VISA, MasterCard, Diners Club, American Express, and Discover).
After paying the CRBA fee, the applicants will meet with an ACS intake specialist to review the application and supporting documentation. Most CRBA applicants should expect to have at least two appointments to complete the application process. At the first appointment, the applicants will review the application and supporting documentation with the intake specialist. If the application is substantially complete, the intake specialist will schedule a follow up appointment for the applicant to meet with an adjudicating officer. If additional forms or documentation are needed, the intake specialist will inform the applicant of what additional materials are needed and will provide instructions on how to make a follow up appointment.
Tips for your appointment:
- It is the responsibility of the parents, not the Embassy, to prove (1) the biological relationship between the child and the U.S. Citizen parent(s) and (2) that the U.S. Citizen parent(s) were physically present in the United States long enough to transmit citizenship to the child.
- Never assume that, because you successfully applied for another child’s U.S. citizenship, you do not need to bring any evidence to interviews for subsequent children. You must bring all supporting documents with you for each application.
- You must bring hard-copy printouts of all documents, photos, ultrasounds, etc. No digital media will be accepted. We are not able to access the internet on your behalf to view evidence and documents associated with your application, and you are prohibited from bringing computers, tablets, or smart phones to the interview.
- In some instances, it may not be possible for the adjudicating officer to conclusively determine from the available evidence that the child is the biological offspring of a U.S. citizen. In these cases, the Consular Officer may recommend DNA evidence to establish parentage. The test will consist of saliva samples from the child and the parents (taken under supervision) and the subsequent testing of the samples in an approved laboratory located in the United States.
- If the adjudicating officer recommends DNA, the applicants will be provided with instructions on how to have it performed. Please do not conduct independent DNA exams, as only results from Embassy ordered tests can be used to determine a genetic relationship for citizenship purposes. If you have any questions on DNA testing, please email: NairobiDNA@state.gov.
- If the CRBA is approved, the consular officer will give you the option to return to the cashier and pay for the passport application. The fee for a child’s U.S. passport is $105. All fees are payable in U.S. dollars or the equivalent in Kenyan Shillings, or by a U.S. or international credit card (VISA, MasterCard, Diners Club, American Express, and Discover).
- If the parent transmitting U.S. citizenship is submitting the application in person and wishes to obtain a Social Security Number for the child, the applicants should also bring Form SS-5: Application for a Social Security Card (PDF 234KB).
- The Embassy has Kiswahili translators available. Although the Embassy tries to have Somali translators available, they may not be available for your interview. For all applicants who do not speak English or Kiswahili, it is the responsibility of the applicants – not the Embassy – to bring translators. All translators must have government issued identification cards and must pass through security screening in order to enter the Embassy.
Information for Applications Where U.S. Citizen Parent Is Not Present for Interview
We highly recommend that the parent who is transmitting U.S. citizenship to the child attend that CRBA interview. If the U.S. citizen parent is unable to attend the CRBA interview, however, then he or she must:
- Complete Form DS-2029: Application for Consular Report of Birth Abroad, sign it in front of a notary public, and send the original to the parent who will attend the interview;
- Complete Form DS-3053: Statement of Consent or Special Circumstances: Issuance of a Passport to a Minor Under Age 16, sign it in front of a notary public, and send the original to the parent who will attend the interview, along with a certified copy of the identification that the notary public used to confirm the parent’s identity; and
- If the child was born out of wedlock, complete Form DS–5507: Affidavit of Physical Presence or Residence, Parentage and Support, sign it in front of a notary public, and send the original to the parent who will attend the interview.
The parent attending the interview must then bring the original signed and notarized DS-2029, DS-3053, and, if applicable, DS-5507 to the interview, along with the documents and evidence outlined above in Steps Three, Four, and Five. Photocopies or scanned or faxed copies of the forms will not be accepted.
Questions and Further Information
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