Understanding Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA)
November 18, 2022
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Immigration Lawyer Chicago/ Resources/ Immigration Insights/ Understanding Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA)
Article by Scott D. Pollock & Associates, P.C.
November 18, 2022
When a United States citizen gives birth abroad, one of the first things that needs to be done is to complete a Consular Report of Birth Abroad application.
The application can be filled out at the nearest U.S. Embassy or consulate. Once the application is completed and filed, the embassy or consulate will issue the child a passport and a Certificate of Citizenship. The child will then be registered as a U.S. citizen and is eligible for all the benefits and privileges that come with that status. In some cases, the parent may also need to apply for a registration of foreign birth, called a Consular Report of Birth Abroad document, in order to obtain a U.S. passport for the child.
A Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA) is a document that serves as proof of U.S. citizenship for children of U.S. citizens who were born outside of the United States and are under 18 years of age. The CRBA can be used to obtain a passport, Social Security number, and other important documents.
To obtain a CRBA, parents must first establish their child’s citizenship by providing evidence of their own U.S. citizenship and their relationship to the child. They must then submit a completed application and the required fees to the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.
Once the application is approved, a consular officer will review the paperwork and schedule an appointment for the parents and child to come in for fingerprinting and photographs. After the appointment, the CRBA will be issued and mailed to the parents.
The first step in applying for a CRBA is to gather all of the required documents. These include:
Once all of the required documents have been gathered, they should be submitted to the nearest U.S. consulate or embassy with jurisdiction over the place of birth.
The Consular Officer will review the application and supporting documents and may request additional information if needed. If everything is in order, the Consular Officer will approve the CRBA application.
CRBA appointments are conducted by U.S. Consular Officers to determine if an applicant meets the requirements for acquiring U.S. citizenship. Parents are strongly encouraged to attend the appointment with their child who is applying for U.S. Citizenship.
CRBA appointments are conducted in English, and applicants must be able to understand and respond to questions in English without the assistance of an interpreter. Applicants should bring all required documentation to their CRBA appointment.
The CRBA appointment is the final step in the process of acquiring U.S. citizenship through birth abroad, and successful applicants will be naturalized at a ceremony held shortly after the CRBA appointment.
It’s important to note that the exact process may vary depending on the country the U.S. embassy is located, so check the U.S. Embassy website for your specific requirements and for what to expect.
The typical CRBA processing time is between 6 and 8 weeks. However, some CRBAs may take up to 12 weeks to process. If you have not received your CRBA within 8 weeks, you should contact the U.S. embassy or consulate where you applied for more information. The processing time for CRBAs may vary depending on the country in which you apply.
If you are concerned about the processing time for your CRBA, you should contact the U.S. embassy or consulate where you applied for more information.
If necessary, you can have someone else request your child’s CRBA. They will need to be a family member or friend of at least five years. Additionally, you will need to provide a written statement that authorizes this person to request your child’s CRBA as well as two photocopies of secondary identification such as your Social Security card or your birth certificate.
Finally, the person requesting your child’s CRBA will have to write a notarized statement and provide a primary form of identification.
Citizenship may be granted to those who were born abroad to two legally married U.S. citizen parents if at least one of the parents had a residence in the United States or one of its outlying possessions prior to the child’s birth.
In these cases, at least one of the parents must have a genetic or gestational connection to the child.
In these circumstances, there are two separate requirements that can meet eligibility:
For cases where one parent is a U.S. citizen and the other is a U.S. national (someone born in one of the United States’ outlying possessions), the U.S. citizen must have lived in the United States for at least one year before the birth of their child. U.S. nationals are not subject to these requirements.
A person born abroad in wedlock to a U.S. citizen and a noncitizen acquires U.S. citizenship at birth if the U.S. citizen parent has been physically present in the United States or one of its outlying possessions prior to the person’s birth for the period required by the statute in effect when the person was born (INA 301(g), formerly INA 301(a)(7)).
For children born after 1986:
For children born on or after November 14, 1986, the U.S. citizen parent must have been physically present in the United States or one of its outlying possessions for five years prior to the person’s birth, at least two of which were after the age of 14.
For children born before 1986:
For children born between December 24, 1952 and November 13, 1986, the U.S. citizen parent must have been physically present in the United States or one of its outlying possessions for 10 years prior to the person’s birth, at least five of which were after the age of 14 for their child to acquire U.S. citizenship at birth.
In these cases, either the U.S. citizen parent or their noncitizen spouse must have a genetic or gestational connection to the child in order for the U.S. parent to transmit U.S. citizenship to the child.
If the child was born abroad out of wedlock on or after November 14, 1986 to two U.S. citizen parents, and the U.S. citizen father satisfies the criteria of the “new” INA 309(a), the child will acquire U.S. citizenship if at least one of the parents had a residence in the United States or one of its outlying possessions prior to the person’s birth.
Alternatively, if the U.S. citizen father does not satisfy the criteria of the INA 309(a), the child will automatically acquire U.S. citizenship if the U.S. citizen mother does satisfy the requirements for out-of-wedlock births, as described below.
If a child was born to a U.S. citizen father and a noncitizen mother out of wedlock, the child may still be transmitted citizenship if they meet the following requirements:
Under these circumstances for gaining citizenship for their child, the father must have been present in the United States for a minimum of five years. For at least two of these five years, the father must have been at least fourteen years old.
Under a new law, if you were born out of wedlock between November 15, 1968 and November 13, 1971, you may also gain U.S. citizenship.
For anyone born abroad before June 11, 2017, citizenship may be gained through their mother if their mother was a U.S. citizen at the time of that person’s birth and living in the United States for a continuous period of one year before the birth of their child.
For those who were born abroad after June 12, 2017, acquiring citizenship through their mother can occur if the mother was a U.S. citizen at the time of their child’s birth and has lived in the United States for five years, with two of those years being after they were 14 years old. This was the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Sessions v. Morales-Santana in 2017.
Unfortunately, there are some exceptions for people who qualify for a CRBA. If you were not born in a territory or outlying possession of the United States, then these exceptions will not concern you.
The State Department does not allow application for CRBA if you were born at the indicated times below with the associated location:
If you or your child are applying for citizenship in the United States and need assistance with acquiring your Consular Report of Birth Abroad certificate, you can benefit from the support of an experienced immigration attorney. The legal team at Scott D. Pollock & Associates, P.C. are here to answer questions you may have regarding your eligibility for citizenship. Contact us today by filling out our online contact form.View Similar Articles