Are you a US citizen parent that has a child born overseas outside the United States? If you are one of them, all you have to do is apply for a CRBA for your child. Children born outside the United States to an American Citizen parent are eligible to be documented as a US citizen. Applying for CRBA for your child born outside the US is easy; all you have to do is follow the easy steps. In this post I’m going to discuss the easy steps on how to apply for a CRBA and a US passport for your child, let’s get started.
Note: All information here is just base on my knowledge and own experience that i want to share to you, i am not giving any legal advice and i am not a lawyer. However, it’s still best to consult to the expert and a lawyer if you want it.
What Is A CRBA (Consular Report Of Birth Abroad)
CRBA is official evidence of United States Citizenship (similar to a birth certificate). It is a document that the US government produce that is a claim for a US Citizenship, it is issued to children born overseas outside the United States until the age of 18 who have a US citizen parent or parents who meet the requirements for transmitting citizenship under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). CRBA certificate is only being issued for children age 17 below meaning before the 18th birthday of a child the parents must apply CRBA and it is strongly recommended to apply a CRBA as soon as possible after a child’s birth. CRBA is recognized by SSN, schools and other institutes in the US as a valid claim to your child citizenship. For more info please visit the official website of the US embassy to your country, if your child was born in the Philippines just visit US embassy in the Philippines click here.
Applicants 18 years and over born outside the United States, may claim US citizenship through his/her biological parent who at the time of the applicant’s birth was a US citizen. Once the citizenship claim is established, the applicant qualifies for a first time US passport. Applicants 18 years and over are not eligible for issuance of a Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA). For more info about Derivative US citizenship for Adults click here.
How To Apply CRBA
CRBA is generally done at a U.S. Embassy or consulate, but the first thing you need to do on how to apply CRBA for your child is following the step by step procedure to get a CRBA for the child. By following the easy steps you can obtain a CRBA for your child without a problem. Here are the easy steps you need to do:
Gather All Documents/Evidence
The first thing you need to do is gather all the documents needed such as
For Child Applicant
- 3 pcs of 2×2 passport size photo (white background) – 1 pc. for the DS-11
- Birth certificate (PSA if born in the Philippines)
- Growing up photos should begin as near to birth as possible, spanning to the present.
- School ID (if applicable)
- Photos of US citizen parent and the applicant showing togetherness (if available)
For the US citizen parent:
- 2 pcs of 2×2 passport size photo (white background)
- Birth certificate/naturalization certificate
- US passport bio page (should be notarized if cannot attend the interview like the image above)
- Identification documents/proof of citizenship (valid/expired Passport, national ID’s, voters id, drivers license etc.)
- Evidence of physical presence in the US prior to childbirth (W2, ITR, utility bills, bank statement, property taxes, school transcript etc.)
For the non-US citizen parent:
- 2 pcs of 2×2 passport size photo (white background)
- Identification documents (SSS ID, voter’s ID, postal ID, etc)
Additional Supporting Documents
- Marriage certificate (if applicable)
- Divorce/annulment decree (if applicable)
- Evidence of mother pregnancy or prenatal care documents such as photos during pregnant, laboratories, ultrasound, hospital bills when giving birth, baby book etc.
- Evidence of the couples physical presence in the same location at the time of conception such as
Photocopy of US passport bio page with notarized in the US
Flight records or entry and exit records from the foreign country (passport with departure stamp)
- Evidence of the couple relationship prior to the conception of the applicant
Photos together prior to the time of conception
Photos of parents together with the applicant/family pictures (if available)
Preparation And Complete Application Forms
You need to Print and complete this following Form and the CRBA checklist
- CRBA checklist
- DS-2029 (CRBA application)
- DS-11 (US passport application)
- DS-5507 (Affidavit of physical presence, parentage and support)
- DS-3053 (Statement of consent, issuance of US passport to a minor under-age 16)
To begin you have to go to the official website of US embassy or google CRBA checklist but please make sure that you click the right US embassy in your country, click here if your child born in the Philippines. Once you enter in the US embassy landing page just click U. S Citizen services and click on First time report of birth abroad or child and family matter and then click birth and then read everything about CRBA and print CRBA checklist, and all forms. DS-5507 and DS-3053 should only be completed if applicable in your case.
This form is divided into 3 parts, should only be completed in the event that the minor was born Out Of Wedlock and if the US citizen father or mother is unable to attend the interview appointment to the US embassy. It is mandatory that the US citizen parent who is unable to attend the appointment complete this form (DS-5507) and have part 2 (should only be completed if the child born out of wedlock) and Part 3 notarized in the US or by a US consular officer. Once completed the form should be sent to the other biological parent who will attend the appointment. But remember that the day you left the US should match the day on which you enter the foreign country you visited.
You will just need this form if one of the biological parents is unable to attend the interview appointment to the US embassy for some reason. The statement of consent is also required in order for them to provide approval of US passport issuance to the minor. This form must be notarized, if the required statement may not be submitted your minor child may not be eligible to receive a US passport. It is also important to know that the form notarized is only valid for 3 months.
Note: If you cannot find the printable copy of Form DS-5507 and DS-3053 to the US embassy official website you can search and type in those forms to google. Forms DS-2029 and DS-11 can directly find from CRBA checklist and even in the US embassy website.
Assemble The CRBA packet
Now that you completed all forms and you have gathered all the supporting documents, the next step you need to do is assemble the CRBA packet, Anyway, when you start to assemble the CRBA packet just follow the CRBA checklist arrangement and please don’t forget to sign the CRBA checklist. Here is the arrangement of my daughter CRBA packet before.
- Cover Letter
- CRBA checklist with signature and date (non-US parent)
- Form DS-2029 (CRBA application)
- Child 2×2 us passport size with a name at the back
- Child Birth Certificate (authenticated)
- A child growing up photos (from baby up to present)
- Child school ID (if applicable)
- US citizen parent 2pcs 2×2 US passport size with a name at the back
- US citizen parent photocopy of US passport (notarized)
- US citizen parent photocopy of birth certificate
- US citizen parent proof of presence to the United States (Ex. W2, ITR, bank statement, pay stub, transcript, any proof of assets in the US, property taxes, old passport ID’s etc.)
- Non-US citizen parent 2pcs 2×2 us passport size with a name at the back
- Non-US citizen parent photocopy of passport bio page (if applicable)
- Non-US citizen parent photocopy government ID (Ex. SSS ID, voter’s ID, senior ID – must submit 2 valid ID if no passport yet)
- Marriage certificate (if applicable)
- Divorce/annulment decree (if applicable)
- Non-US citizen parent proof of pregnancy (don’t forget to include the pregnant photos)
- US citizen parent photocopy of US passport stamp showing your entrance to a foreign country
- Proof of couples relationship prior to the conception of the applicant (Photos together)
- Form DS-11 (US passport application) insert 1 of the 2×2 passport size photos of your child in the form after completed)
- Form DS-3053 (notarized, if applicable)
- Form DS-5507 (notarized, if applicable)
How To Make An Appointment
In some countries the parent applicant should not have to mail the CRBA packet just to get an appointment meaning they can make an appointment online and just appear to the US embassy with their assembled CRBA packet on the day of their appointment, but in other countries like in the Philippines the US embassy have mail-in appointment scheduling system in order to provide a better service. According to their official website, the system will reduce the wait time and help families prepare for the citizenship appointment at the embassy. Which is correct because once you mail the CRBA packet to US embassy, they can email to you if you need to bring more evidence/documents on your interview appointment, it’s less hassle unless you just ignore their email to you to bring the additional documents. So in my case, I send the assembled CRBA packet to the US embassy given address to get an appointment for my daughter CRBA interview, please make sure that you write the correct mailing address of the US embassy because they can return the packet to you. And it is also important that the documents should be placed in the proper order as the CRBA checklist said and please do not send the original copy of your documents except the forms and 2×2 photos. The picture evidence of relationship can be print in the bond paper with the year when it is taken but make sure it is clear copy, if you send original pictures there is no guarantee that they will return it to you which is OK in my case lol! And please don’t forget to make a double copy of all your CRBA packet because you will need to bring it to the interview together with the original copies.
Once you sent the packet to US embassy Manila, in 2 weeks they will notify you or the US citizen parent to the appointment date and if you need to bring additional evidence except to the documents you put in the packet.
Here is the mailing address of the US embassy in Manila
Citizenship and Passport Unit
American Citizens Services, Consular section
U. S Embassy 1201 Roxas Boulevard, 0930 Manila
Click here for the US Embassy in the Philippines mailing address
CRBA Interview Preparation
Now that everything is set, the next step you need to do is preparing for the interview and before going to the US embassy for the CRBA interview you must be prepared, and here’s what you need to do
- Make sure that all the documents in the CRBA checklist are completed, you have to arrange them in the same order as I mentioned earlier, the original documents must be on the top of the photocopy. You don’t have to use a staple, you can use paper clip so that you can easily give everything to the consular officer once they ask for the documents they need. And just use a folder that everything is pack together. Then place it to the waterproof plastic envelope.
- Do not forget to bring the appointment letter; if you forget it they will not accommodate you.
- Do not forget the CRBA fee, US passport fee and courier fee (they accept dollar or peso even credit cards: Visa, Master Card, American Express, Discover and Diner’s Club)
- Do not arrive in the US embassy very early, if the appointment is 7:30 am just go there 7:00 am because they will not let you in if you arrive so early, you will just wait and stand outside the embassy under the sun. If you are living outside the Manila, check in to the nearest hotel the day before your appointment.
- Do not bring any prohibited stuff and gadget, follow the instruction to the appointment letter, all prohibited items are in there.
CRBA Interview To The Embassy
To your CRBA interview don’t forget that you need to bring your child with you, to be honest the US embassy is encouraging both parents to be present at the interview but they understand that in some circumstances the other parent especially US citizen parent can’t make it that is why if you are going to attend the interview alone with your child do not forget the additional documents needed, and do not be nervous because the interview is very easy it’s just about you, your child, the US citizen parent and your relationship, and your pregnancy so nothing to worry about. As long, you can present all documents needed and you can answer all the questions to the interview you will be fine, just keep calm and confident.
Here is my CRBA interview experience
In our case I am with my daughter and my fiancé (husband now), and we actually send DS-3053, DS-5507 with notarized to our packet because our child is born out of wedlock and my husband thought he cannot attend the CRBA interview, but it was OK, it doesn’t affect your interview if you have that additional forms. Anyway let’s continue the discussion, our appointment is 7:30 am we arrived at the US embassy in the Philippines at exactly 7:00 am. When we arrived there’s a lot of people waiting outside the US embassy, they are mostly visa applicants. We showed our appointment to the security guard then he told us to go inside and there are people who will accommodate us. Before we go to the main building we need to go through the security check, we didn’t bring any gadget except the envelope with documents and my handbag so everything was so smooth then after security check we waited for about 15 minutes to the waiting area in front of the main building then somebody called us to go inside and proceed to the American citizen services on the second floor.
To the second floor we fall in line to the small window to pay the CRBA ($100) and US passport ($115) fees, then the cashier told us to wait for our daughter’s name to be called. While waiting we pay the courier (Air21) for the delivery of the CRBA certificate and US passport. I don’t remember how much we paid to air21. While paying Air21 the name of our daughter was called, so my husband and my daughter were running to the window where the Filipino consular officer is waiting. After I’m done paying the courier I followed them and the consular already collecting our documents. Then she asks us about our relationship like when and where did we meet, about our daughter like her birthday, the hospital she was born and some personal question about us like birthday, address, work etc. then she instructs us to wait for the second interview which is an American consular officer.
To second interview it was inside the small room so nobody is seeing us and hearing us unlike the first interview it was live in front of other applicants. The American consular is a woman and she is cheerful and nice. I’m carrying my daughter that time and she is sleeping, then the consular started to ask questions. She just asked me how many weeks did I get pregnant and is it easy or hard then she said when she is pregnant it was hard and very sensitive. Then she told me I am very lucky because mine is very easy. After asking me she asked my husband some basic questions about him like address, job etc. It was a very smooth interview. Then we signed the CRBA and US passport forms and she told us that they will just send the CRBA and passport to my address then we said goodbye.
We left the US embassy so happy because we get the approval, the interview was easy and quick and we don’t have to get a DNA testing. Our daughter’s CRBA and US passport were delivered to my address after 2 weeks.
Reminder: Please do not initiate DNA test unless it is recommended by the US embassy consular officer, if you do the DNA test without a recommendation of the embassy this will just be useless because they will not recognize the DNA test and it can’t be used and accepted to the CRBA and passport application. And another thing, the payment to CRBA and US passport and even courier is not refundable even if the CRBA is denied.
Hope this can help you if you have a question(s) or experience you want to share don’t hesitate to comment below.
Thanks a lot,