Birth of a U.S. Citizen Abroad
The Department of State is pleased to announce the introduction of a redesigned Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA, or Form FS-240). The redesigned CRBA, which is an official record confirming that a child born abroad to a U.S. citizen parent or parents acquired U.S. citizenship at birth and serves as proof of citizenship, has been updated with a variety of state-of-the-art security features to help prevent fraud and identity theft.
Overseas posts will still document the citizenship of children born overseas to U.S.-citizen parents, but the CRBAs are printed at our passport agencies in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, and New Orleans, Louisiana, using the information provided by overseas posts. By centralizing production and eliminating the distribution of controlled blank stock throughout the world, we will help ensure uniform quality and lessen the possibility of fraud. Additionally, the Department no longer issues the DS-1350 Certification of Report of Birth Abroad. Instead, the Department simply provides new FS-240s in response to requests for additional, replacement, or amended CRBAs.
The birth of a child abroad to U.S. citizen parent(s) should be reported as soon as possible to the nearest American Consular Section for the purpose of establishing an official record of the acquisition of U.S. citizenship at birth of a child born abroad. The official record is known as the Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA). It is not a birth certificate, but is full proof that the child was a U.S. citizen at birth.
A child born outside of the U.S. to two American citizen parents acquires U.S. citizenship as long as one of the parents has resided in the U.S. prior to the child's birth. A child born abroad after November 14, 1986 to one American citizen parent and one non-American parent acquires citizenship only when the U.S. citizen parent was physically present in the United States for five years or more prior to the child's birth, at least two of the five years occurring after the parent is over the age of 14.
A CRBA may be issued for an eligible child upon application by both parents of the child or legal guardians at any time before the child's 18th birthday. The American Embassy in Vientiane can only issue a CRBA for American children born in Laos. We will generally accept applications for American children born in Thailand, and will forward them to the American Embassy in Bangkok or American Consulate General in Chiang Mai for final processing.
The following documentary evidence is required to support all CRBA applications:
- Parent’s proof of US citizenship: U.S. passport, naturalization certificate, or official birth certificate from a US state or territory.
- Proof of child’s birth: original official local birth certificate of the child (issued by District Level), e.g. obtain Lao birth Certificate if the child was born in Laos.
- Proof of parents’ marriage: (if applicable) original or certified true copy of parents’ marriage certificate.
- Proof of termination of all prior marriages of parents: original or certified true copies of divorce or death certificates.
- Complete English translation of any non-English language document.
- Application for Consular Report of Birth - DS-2029
- US Passport Application - DS-11
- Two 2" x 2" photos with a white background (head size 1"- 1 3/8") showing the child’s full face with the eyes open.
- Social Security Card Application - SS-5
There is a $100 fee for the Consular Report of Birth Abroad and a $105 fee for the passport application. The fees may be paid in cash in U.S. dollars or the equivalent in Lao Kip.
In some cases the following information may be required:
- Evidence of U.S. citizen parents’ physical presence in the U.S. This is required when only one parent is a US citizen even if that parent was born in the US. Merely maintaining a residence in the US (i.e. having a home in the US, maintaining voter registration, etc.) is not sufficient; you must actually be physically present in the US for a total of five years. The following items may be used to demonstrate your presence in the US: school transcripts, old passports, employment records, social security records, cancelled checks, and tax records. At least two of the five years must have been spent in the US when the parent in question was 14 years of age or older.
- Affidavit of parentage: required for a child conceived out of wedlock.
- Evidence of parents’ physical presence together at time of conception is required if the child was conceived out of wedlock, e.g. passports, leases, etc.
Filing the Application
After collecting all of the relevant documents, Please schedule an appointment using our online system. Both parents and the child will have to appear before a consular officer. American Citizen Services cannot waive this requirement. The Consular officer will take the oath of the U.S. citizen parent executing the CRBA application (DS-2029). Both parents will then execute the child’s passport application. Please do not sign the form(s) until the consular officer asks you to do so. After approval by a U.S. consular officer in Vientiane, it may take a minimum of two weeks to receive the CRBA certificate from processing centers in the U.S.
Obtaining a Replacement or Additional Copies
The Embassy does not retain completed CRBA files. Rather, these are forwarded to the Department of State in Washington, D.C. Replacement or additional copies of the CRBA must therefore be requested from the Department of State.
Additional information including fees and request requirements is available on the State Department website.
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