Child Born Abroad to a US Citizen: Consular Report of Birth Abroad
If you and/or your spouse are US Citizens, and your child was born abroad,
your child may be a US Citizen by birth. Please note, however, there are
some exceptions to this statement. Additionally, special procedures need
to be followed in order to have the US government recognize your child
as a US Citizen by birth, and to return to the US with your child. A child
born to US parents abroad may be recognized as a US citizen through the
issuance of a “Consular Birth Abroad”. This report has the
same legal effect of proving US citizenship as a US passport or certificate
of naturalization, and is issued on Form FS-240.
As the procedure may vary slightly depending on where your child was born,
it is best to visit the consular website for the particular district.
The consular website will most likely have a detailed description of what
procedure that particular consulate follows.
Typically, you must first schedule an appointment at the consulate in the
district of the country where the child was born. Please note that the
Consulate may require that both parents are present at the interview.
The Form, “Application for a Consular Report of a Birth,”
must also be filled out. You will need to bring several types of documents
with you to your appointment, as required in the application. You should
not sign the application; you will need to sign it in front of the consular
officer. Additionally, if only one parent is a US citizen, the US citizen
parent may be also be required to provide evidence of exact periods of
physical presence in the US.
Additionally, you may wish to complete the SS-5-FS form and attach the
required documents. This form will be forwarded to the Social Security
You should also apply for your child's US passport by filling out the
“Application for a US Passport” at the same time you apply
for your child's Consular Report of Birth Abroad. This application
also requires you to submit certain documentation. Some of the required
documents include, but are not limited to, proof of the parents’
identity; child’s original birth certificate and a copy; studio
2” X 2” photo of the child; hospital records; parents’
marriage certificate; etc.
If the US citizen parent, will not be present in the foreign country at
the time of application for your child's passport, you must also complete
the Parental Consent Form. This form must be notarized.
For more information about how you can proceed in obtaining a Consular
Report of Birth Abroad for your child (Form FS-240), please feel free
to contact our law firm.