As U.S. citizen parent(s), you should report your child’s birth abroad as soon as possible to the U.S. Consulate to establish an official record of the child’s claim to U.S. citizenship at birth. The official record will be the Consular Report of Birth Abroad, Form FS-240, which is a basic United States citizenship document, issued to a child born abroad to a U.S. citizen parent or parents who meet the requirements for transmitting citizenship under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).
Although applications are accepted up until the child’s 18th birthday, you should apply for your child’s Consular Report of Birth Abroad as soon after his/her birth as is practical. Applications submitted years after the child’s birth may take significant time to resolve because evidence to prove the child’s citizenship may be difficult to obtain.
Also, a determination of acquisition of U.S. citizenship must be made before the child can obtain a U.S. passport. Anyone who has U.S. citizenship or a claim to U.S. citizenship must be in possession of a valid U.S passport to enter and exit the United States, even if they have citizenship of another country, as well.
For applicants older than age 18 who have never been issued a CRBA, please refer to Possible Derivative Claim to U.S. Citizenship (PDF, 3,300 Kb). Anyone who has a claim to U.S. citizenship must be in possession of a valid U.S passport to enter and exit the United States, even if they have citizenship of another country, as well.
Apply for a Consular Report of Birth Abroad:
The following forms and documents are required:
- Completed “Application for Consular Report of Birth” – Form DS-2029 (PDF 345 KB). This form can be filled out and submitted by either parent. The application form DS-2029 requires you to list your precise periods of physical presence in the United States, including the places where you lived (from month-day-year to month-day-year). Please fill out the information as thoroughly and accurately as you can. Incomplete or incorrect applications will delay your appointment and may require that you take a new appointment at a later date to submit the complete application. For an example of a completed Application, please click on DS-2029 Sample.The application must be signed by the applying parent in the presence of a Consular officer (or a U.S. notary public, if both parents are in the U.S.).
- Affidavit of Parentage, physical presence and support – Form DS-5507 (PDF 131 KB): Must be completed by the U.S. citizen father when the child is born out of wedlock and the mother is not a U.S. citizen. It requires the U.S. citizen father to acknowledge that the child is his, and to state, as specifically as possible, the father’s periods of physical presence in the United States. Extra sheets may be attached as necessary. The document must be signed in front of a U.S. consular officer or a U.S. notary public.
- Completed Passport Application – Form DS-11 (PDF 104 KB): While you are not required to apply for your child’s passport at the same time that you apply for his/her Consular Report of Birth Abroad, you are encouraged to do so. Please do not sign the application until the consular officer interviews you. If you decide to apply at another time, both parents and the child must appear at the Embassy again. For children under age 16, the presence of the child and both parents is required at the time of application. Unequivocal consent to passport issuance is demonstrated by the parents signing the application form in front of a Consular Officer. If there are special circumstances and both parents cannot submit the application together, for example if one parent is not present in country, the absent parent’s English language, notarized Statement of Consent, Form DS-3053, not older than 90 days, must be submitted. If a parent has sole custody, an original or court certified copy of the custody order granting sole custody must be submitted with the application. If one parent is deceased, the death certificate should be submitted.
- Child’s Romanian Birth Certificate issued by the Vital Records office (Starea civila) where the birth was registered.
- Proof of parents’ marriage: If the child’s parents are married, the consular officer will also request the original marriage certificate. If either parent has been married previously, the consular officer will request evidence that any previous marriages were terminated, such as a certified divorce decree or death certificate. The marriage certificate must be an original document issued by local, state, or national government authorities. If your marriage certificate is in a language other than Romanian or English, the original certificate must be presented along with a certified English translation (original certificate and one photocopy).
- Proof of termination of prior marriages for both parents, if applicable, such as original divorce decree, dissolution of marriage or death certificate. Please bring certified translations, if the documents are issued in a language other than English or Romanian.
- Evidence of parent’s US citizenship: The U.S. citizen parent must present his/her U.S. passport. If the U.S. citizen parent was naturalized he/she must bring the original Certificate of Naturalization in addition to the passport.
- Evidence of physical presence: The U.S. citizen parent needs to bring proof of physical presence in the United States for a period of time required by law. To check the physical presence requirements for transmission, please review the Citizenship transmission requirements listed below. Primary evidence documents that may establish your physical presence in the U.S. before the child’s birth include: transcripts from high school and/or college, wage statements, DD214 Separation statement (military members only). Secondary evidence include: credit card bills, utility bills, tax forms, airline ticket stubs, former/current passport with stamps.
- Proof of parents’ identity for a non-U.S. citizen parent: A non-U.S. citizen parent must bring his/her passport or other government issued photo-ID, such as a national identity card (“carte de identitate”).
- Proof of paternity/maternity: In cases in which paternity or maternity is in question, the consular officer may request additional proof. Sometimes this proof may take the form of family photographs, baptism records, or other documents. In other cases, DNA testing may be suggested. If DNA testing is required, the test has to be performed under specific guidelines. Please Note: In the event that paternity is not confirmed, ACS Bucharest is not able to refund the fees paid for Consular Report of Birth Abroad.
- Records of Pregnancy: If available, records of the mother’s pregnancy. For example, sonograms, doctor’s certificates, photographs of mother during pregnancy and photographs from the hospital.
- Additional evidence: The consular officer, in his/her discretion, may request additional documents or other evidence as necessary. You will be advised at the time of application if such evidence is required in your case.
- Application Fee: The 100$ application fee can be paid at the Consular Section Cashier when the application is submitted. If you also request a U.S. passport for the child, the 115$ passport fee must be paid when the application is submitted. Both fees are non-refundable. We accept cash payments in US dollars or Romanian lei. We cannot accept checks, but we do accept credit cards. You may pay using your VISA, Mastercard, Discover, Diners Club or American Express card. Please be advised that due to intermittent network connection issues we are sometimes unable to process credit card payments. There are no ATMs on site. To avoid potential delays in service, we encourage you to bring sufficient cash with you in the event that we are unable to process your payment via credit card.
- One passport photograph: No photo is required for the Consular Report of Birth Abroad however, if you decide to apply for your child’s passport, you must submit a passport photograph of the child, measuring 5×5 cm (2×2 inches) and with a white background: see our Photo requirements.
If you do not bring the required documentation, we will suspend processing of the application and you will need to schedule another appointment.
To schedule an appointment for a Consular Report of Birth Abroad, with or without a U.S. passport application, please follow this link: US Citizenship Appointment. DO NOT use this link to make appointments for visa applicants or legal residents, such appointments cannot be honored. To set an appointment for a visa applicant or legal permanent resident, please visit the Visas page.
There are two lines to enter the U.S. Embassy: one line is strictly for visa applicants; the other line is for American Citizen Service (ACS) customers and other visitors to the Embassy, and usually requires no waiting. Upon arrival at the Embassy for their appointment, U.S. citizens should go directly to the entrance – do not stand in the visa application line. Show your U.S. passport or other type of photo ID and your appointment confirmation sheet (if you were able to print it) to the local security guards. You will go through a security screening process before entering the Embassy grounds. Look for directions for ACS customers to enter the consular waiting room. Once inside the waiting room, take a number from the Qmatic “ACS” button and proceed toward window 14.
Citizenship Transmission Requirements
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.
NOTE – MEANING OF “IN WEDLOCK”: a person is considered to be born in wedlock for the purposes of citizenship acquisition when the genetic and/or gestational parents are legally married to each other at the time of the person’s conception or birth or within 300 days of the termination of the marriage by death or divorce, and both parents are the legal parents of the child under local law at the time and place of 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:
- A blood relationship between the person and the father is established by clear and convincing evidence;
- The father had the nationality of the United States at the time of the person’s birth;
- 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
- 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.
Is my Child a Dual National? Which Passport Does He/She Use?
Does your child have at least one Romanian parent? If so, he or she may qualify for Romanian citizenship. Follow this link for information on Romania’s citizenship law. A U.S. Citizen must use his or her U.S. passport to enter and exit the United States, even if he or she has dual citizenship. The Romanian passport should be used when entering or exiting Romania. You may have to show both to demonstrate that your child can travel to the U.S. without a valid U.S. visa.
Does My Newborn Need a Romanian Visa?
The final decision on any matter involving Romanian visas and/or Romanian nationality rests with the Romanian Government. However, here is some general information to get you started.
If your child has one Romanian parent and one American parent, the child may qualify to be a dual national (U.S. and Romanian Citizen). As a Romanian citizen, s/he does not need a temporary residency permit for Romania, but will need to apply for a passport at the local passport office. Follow this link for more information on the United States’ policy on dual nationality.
If one or more parents is in SOFA-status, check with your base legal adviser or personnel officer for details.
If your child does not have or qualify for Romanian citizenship and will stay in Romania for more than 90 days, he or she will need residence status. For stays longer than 90 days, a temporary residency permit may be obtained in Romania from the local Romanian Immigration Office in your area of residence. While U.S. citizens who overstay are subject to fines and will need a voluntary departure order from the Romanian Immigration Office in order to leave Romania, these provisions do not apply to U.S. citizen children under the age of 14. Please contact the nearest Romanian Immigration Office for more information. You cannot obtain a temporary residency permit at the U.S. Embassy and we cannot assist you in obtaining a temporary residency permit from the Romanian Immigration Office.
Can I Do This While In The US?
If your child was born abroad you should complete the Report of Birth process in the country where the child was born.
If your child was born in Romania, the processing must be done at the U.S. Embassy in Romania. While you can file the documents at another U.S. Embassy or Consulate abroad, if you and your child no longer reside in Romania, that office is required to send them to us in Romania for processing. This will take extra time, so it is best to complete the entire procedure while you are still in Romania.
How Do I Get Additional or Corrected Copies of the Consular Report of Birth Abroad?
Additional copies of the Consular Report of Birth Abroad are available from the Department of State only; no records are kept at the Embassy in Bucharest.
For information about obtaining copies of a Consular Report of Birth Abroad, please visit Replace or Amend a Consular Report of Birth Abroad.