Question: I am a U.S. citizen. My wife is a U.S. permanent resident (a green card holder). My wife just gave birth to our child outside the U.S. Is my child automatically a U.S. citizen? How do I prove my child is a U.S. citizen?
Answer: Yes. A child born outside the U.S. acquires U.S. citizenship at birth if the U.S. citizen parent has been physically present in the U.S. for five years prior to the child’s birth. If you are a U.S. citizen and your child is born outside the U.S., you must apply for a Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA) at the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate. The CRBA is proof that your child is a U.S. citizen, but it does not take the place of a passport for travel purposes.
How do I obtain a Consular Report of Birth Abroad?
To prove that your child is a U.S. citizen, you must apply for a CRBA. Only the child’s parent or legal guardian may apply for the child’s CRBA. To apply for a CRBA, you must complete Form DS-2029.
If one of the parents is not a U.S. citizen and the U.S. citizen parent is not present when applying for a CRBA, the U.S. citizen parent must also complete Form DS-5507.
The steps to apply for a CRBA are as follows:
- Fill out (but do not sign) Form DS-2029 (and Form DS-5507, if applicable).
- Make an appointment with the U.S. embassy or consulate.
- Take the unsigned application and supporting documents to your appointment at the U.S. embassy or consulate.
- After the U.S. embassy or consulate approves your child’s CRBA, you can pick up the CRBA from the embassy or consulate.
Once you have your child’s CRBA, you can apply for your child’s passport. After your child has a U.S. passport, you can travel to the U.S. with your child.
What documents do I need to provide to apply for a CRBA?
To apply for a CRBA, you must submit the following documents:
- The child’s birth certificate,
- Evidence that at least one of the parents is a U.S. citizen, including:
- U.S. birth certificate,
- U.S. passport,
- U.S. passport card,
- Naturalization Certificate, or
- The U.S. citizen parent’s valid passport or government-issued photo ID,
- Parents’ marriage certificate (if applicable),
- Evidence of the termination of any previous marriages of the parents,
- If a person other than a parent or the child is applying for the CRBA, that person must present a notarized affidavit from a parent authorizing the person to submit the application, and
- Evidence of the U.S. citizen parent’s physical presence in the U.S. prior to the birth of the child, including:
- Tax returns,
- Bank statements,
- Utility bills,
- Rent receipts,
- Employment records,
- Academic transcripts, and
- Medical records.
Note: Drivers’ licenses do not constitute evidence of physical presence.
You must submit original documents or certified copies.
ImmiFree.Law is The Harrison Law Firm P.C.’s online platform to make the family immigration and naturalization process more efficient, accurate, and affordable. Baya Harrison, Esq. is an attorney licensed in New York, Florida, and California. Attorney Harrison has helped numerous individuals and families navigate the U.S. immigration process, specifically family-based petitions and naturalization.