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Birth
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Overview

A Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA) application must be made before the child’s 18th birthday, and we strongly recommend that parents apply for the CRBA as soon as possible after the child’s birth.

A CRBA is not a travel document.  We recommended that you submit an application for your child’s U.S. passport at the same time.  Applications may be submitted together at your scheduled appointment.  Even if your child holds another nationality, he or she must enter and exit the United States on a U.S. passport.

Eligibility for a CRBA

Children born abroad to a U.S. citizen parent(s) (under the age of 18) may have a claim to U.S. citizenship. The following is a brief description of the various circumstances under which a child born abroad may acquire U.S. citizenship.  For further information please select the description below that best fits your family circumstances.

NOTE:  All periods of residence or physical presence must have taken place prior to the birth of the child
Children under 18, born to U.S. citizens who are not eligible for U.S. citizenship as described above may be eligible under the Child Citizenship Act of 2000.  Further information is available from the Department of State’s website.

If you are over 18 and believe you have a claim to U.S. citizenship, please review our citizenship information page.

 

Birth Abroad in Wedlock to Two U.S. Citizen Parents

A person born abroad in wedlock to a U.S. citizen mother and a U.S. citizen father acquires U.S. citizenship at birth under section 301(c) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), if one of the parents has had a residence in the United States or one of its outlying possessions prior to the person’s birth.

 

Birth Abroad in Wedlock to a U.S. Citizen and an Alien

A person born abroad in wedlock to a U.S. citizen and an alien 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 birth 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 fourteen. For birth 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 the person to acquire U.S. citizenship at birth. The U.S. citizen parent must be the genetic or the gestational parent and the legal parent of the child under local law at the time and place of the child’s birth to transmit U.S. citizenship.

 

Birth Abroad Out-of-Wedlock to a U.S. Citizen Father – “New” Section 309(a)

A person born abroad out-of-wedlock to a U.S. citizen father may acquire U.S. citizenship under Section 301(c) or 301(g) of the INA, as made applicable by the “new” Section 309(a) of the INA if:

  1. A blood relationship between the person and the father is established by clear and convincing evidence;
  2. The father had the nationality of the United States at the time of the person’s birth;
  3. The father (unless deceased) has agreed in writing to provide financial support for the person until the person reaches the age of 18 years, and
  4. While the person is under the age of 18 years —
    • the person is legitimated under the law of his/her residence or domicile,
    • the father acknowledges paternity of the person in writing under oath, or
    • the paternity of the person is established by adjudication of a competent court.

If you have questions about the contents of this section or related citizenship laws you should contact a private attorney.

 

Birth Abroad Out-of-Wedlock to a U.S. Citizen Father – “Old” Section 309(a)

A person born abroad out-of-wedlock to a U.S. citizen father may acquire U.S. citizenship under the formerly designated Sections 301(a)(3) and 301(a)(7) (changed to INA 301(c) and 301(g) effective October 10, 1978) of the INA as made applicable by the “old” Section 309(a) of the INA if the paternity of the child has been established by legitimation before the person turned 21. The “old” Section 309(a) of the INA is applicable to individuals who were 18 or older on November 14, 1986 and to individuals whose paternity had been established by legitimation prior to that date. Individuals who were at least 15 on November 14, 1986, but under the age of 18, could opt to have their claim determined in accordance with the provisions of either the “old” or the “new” Section 309(a).

 

Birth Abroad Out-of-Wedlock to a U.S. Citizen Mother

A person born abroad out-of-wedlock to a U.S. citizen mother and alien father on or before June 11, 2017, may acquire U.S. citizenship under Section 309(c) of the INA if the mother was a U.S. citizen at the time of the person’s birth and if the mother was physically present in the United States or one of its outlying possessions for a continuous period of one year prior to the person’s birth.

In light of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Sessions v. Morales-Santana, 582 U.S. ___, 137 S.Ct. 1678 (2017), a person born abroad out-of-wedlock to a U.S. citizen mother and alien father on or after June 12, 2017, may acquire U.S. citizenship at birth if the mother was a U.S. citizen at the time of the person’s birth and was physically present in the United States or one of its outlying possessions for a period of five years, two after the age of fourteen under Section 301(g) of the INA.

In all cases, the U.S. citizen mother must be the genetic or the gestational mother and the legal parent of the child under local law at the time and place of the child’s birth to transmit U.S. citizenship.

If you have questions about the contents of this section or related citizenship laws you should contact a private attorney.

How to Apply for a CRBA

The U.S. Embassy in Tirana has resumed the routine scheduling of most services for U.S citizens, to include regular passport applications and renewals, Consular Reports of Birth Abroad (CRBA), and notarial services.

You may schedule an appointment by following the links below.  For more urgent issues that may not be accommodated through our normal scheduling process, please contact us directly at ACSTirana@state.gov.

Note: The information below applies to children under 18.  If you are over 18 and attempting to document citizenship acquired through your U.S. citizen parent(s), please see instructions on our “Citizenship Claim” web page.

 

Confirm Whether You Qualify to Transmit U.S. Citizenship: Visit the Department of State’s web page “Acquisition of U.S. Citizenship by a Child Born Abroad” to confirm your child qualifies.  Depending on the circumstances of the birth, the parent(s) must meet certain U.S. physical presence requirements.  Note that application fees are non-refundable if your child is found not to qualify. Visit the Department of State’s web page “Acquisition of U.S. Citizenship by a Child Born Abroad” to confirm your child qualifies.  Depending on the circumstances of the birth, the parent(s) must meet certain U.S. physical presence requirements.  Note that application fees are non-refundable if your child is found not to qualify.

Application Checklist: Print and fully complete our CRBA Checklist (PDF 271 KB).  Please check the appropriate box in front of each document that you will be submitting.  Note that for some required documents, you will need to submit both the original and a photocopy.  The documents should be placed in the same order as listed in our checklist, with the original on top of the copy.

Schedule an Online Appointment: After you gather all required documents and complete the checklist, schedule an appointment through our Online Calendar. We cannot accept walk-in CRBA applications.  The child must be present for the appointment.

Applying for Your Child’s U.S. Passport: Most parents choose to apply for their child’s first U.S. passport at the same time they apply for the CRBA. Please note that both parents must be present in order to apply for the passport (or the non-present parent must complete Form DS-3053 Statement of Consent (PDF 52 KB).  See the checklist above or our web page on applying for a passport for a minor for forms and instructions.

Processing Times: Expect at least 20-30 minutes of paperwork submission and about 15-20 minutes of interview with an officer.  If the application is approved, it will be send electronically to the Department of State for processing.  A Form FS-240 certification will be printed in the United States and express mailed to our office in about 10 business days.  We will email you a notification email to appear and pick it up, or if you requested courier service, we will notify that the certificate was mailed via private courier.  (Please ask about the courier service when you appear for the interview.)

Questions: If you have a question that is not answered on our website, please contact us at ACSTirana@state.gov.