Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA)

Let us help you start your application today!

Last updated: April 8, 2024.

What is a Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA)

A Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA), is an official document issued by a U.S. embassy or consulate to a child born abroad to U.S. citizen parent(s).

This document serves as proof of the child’s U.S. citizenship and is typically issued to children who are born outside of the United States but have at least one U.S. citizen parent.

CRBAs are issued to children who are under the age of 18 at the time of the application.

To obtain a CRBA, parents must usually visit the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate in the country where the child was born and provide documentation to establish the child’s U.S. citizenship, such as proof of the parents’ U.S. citizenship and evidence of the child’s birth. 

Once approved, the CRBA serves as an official record of the child’s U.S. citizenship and can be used to apply for a U.S. passport and other benefits and privileges associated with U.S. citizenship.

The CRBA is an important document for individuals born abroad to U.S. citizen parents, as it establishes their U.S. citizenship and provides legal recognition of their status as U.S. citizens. 

It is recommended that parents of children born abroad to U.S. citizens apply for a CRBA as soon as possible after the child’s birth to ensure that the child’s U.S. citizenship is properly documented.

How to apply for a Consular Report of Birth Abroad?

The U.S. Department of State recommends applying for CRBA as soon as possible after the child’s birth. In order to apply for a CRBA, you need to take the following steps:

Step 1. Visit the website of the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate in the child’s country of birth: 

A

B

C

D

E

F

G

H

I

J

K

L

M

N

O

P

Q

R

S

T

U

V

Y

Z

Step 2. On the U.S. Embassy website, find the section “U.S. Citizen Services”:

Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA) 1

Under “Passports & Citizenship” click “Child and Family Matters”:

Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA) 2

 

If you don’t see “U.S. Citizens Services” and can’t find the “Child and Family Matters”, you can enter “CRBA” in the search box in the upper right corner of the webpage:

Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA) 3

Step 3. Review the embassy’s CRBA instructions and check out if the embassy/consulate accepts online CRBA applications. Make sure you have all the required CRBA documents.

Step 4. If the embassy accepts online CRBA applications, you will need to create a MyTravelGov account.

Step 5. Fill out and submit an online eCRBA application and pay the government fees. 

Step 6. Once you complete the online application and submit payment, you will then schedule the CRBA appointment at the U.S. Consulate or Embassy. Each embassy has different procedures for scheduling appointments. Refer to the U.S. Embassy/Consulate website for most up-to-date information.

Step 7. Apply for a child’s U.S. passport. You will need to prepare the following forms and documents:

  • Filled out Passport Application Form DS-11 (online form filler or pdf form), on behalf of your child.  Print it on two sheets of paper leaving the reverse page blank.  Print only the actual form (pages 5 and 6), not the instructions.  Do NOT sign the form.
  • Child’s photo for a U.S. passport, 2?x2? (5×5 centimeters) in size. The photograph must strictly match the U.S. Department of State requirements
  • Clear photocopies of your child’s foreign birth certificate, and both parents’ passports’ biographical information pages.
  • If only one parent will attend the appointment: the non-appearing parent must prepare Form DS-3053, sign it in front of a notary and attach a copy of the identity document presented to the notary.  Enclose the original consent with your CRBA package.
  • SSN statement: All passport applications must either list a U.S. Social Security Number, or an explanation of why no SSN can be listed, e.g., if you are applying for a newborn. For a first passport download, prepare and sign the following Social Security Number declaration.  On form DS-11, item no. 5, write the word ‘NONE’.

Step 8. The U.S. Embassy/Consulate will contact you when the CRBA appointment is scheduled. Both parents and the child must be present in person at the appointment. If one of the parent will be absent, original notarized Form DS-3053 for the non-appearing parent must be present. You must bring all required original documents and their photocopies (single-sided).You must provide English translations for all foreign language documents.

Step 9. The CRBA will be issued by the embassy/consulate. Refer to their official website for further instructions on picking up the original CRBA.

Step 10. Apply for a child’s Social Security Number. Refer to the Social Security Administration instructions.

Consular Report of Birth Abroad checklist of documents

Below are the checklists of documents required for a CRBA application for each U.S. Embassy/Consulate:

A

B

C

D

E

F

G

H

I

J

K

L

M

N

O

P

Q

R

S

T

U

V

Y

Z

 

How long does it take to obtain a Consular Report of Birth Abroad?

The CRBA processing time depends on the several factors:

  • Availability of CRBA appointments at the U.S. Embassy/Consulate;
  • Completeness of all required CRBA documents.

Some U.S. Embassies/Consulates allow scheduling CRBA appointments online. This online scheduling service can give you an idea how quickly you can book a CRBA appointment. In general, you can expect to complete the CRBA application process within 1-3 months. 

Does my child need a Consular Report of Birth Abroad?

Yes. If your child meets the CRBA requirements, you must apply for CRBA as soon as possible after the child’s birth. Based on an issued CRBA, you can apply for a child’s U.S. passport. The child cannot travel without a valid U.S. passport. CRBA cannot be used as a travel document.

If your child is not eligible for CRBA, you might be required to file Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, instead. After Form I-130 is approved, your child can apply for an immigrant visa which allows the child to enter the U.S. and subsequently apply for U.S. citizenship certificate.