I am an American citizen and my husband, Craig, is Canadian. This can sometimes complicate things when it comes to issues of immigration. It seems like we ought to be experts by now when it comes to filling out legal forms, such as getting a passport for kids. We’ve done more than our fair share of completing legal forms. Blah! Getting a certificate of birth abroad (legally known as a Consular Report of Birth Abroad) was one of the simpler legal shenanigans we’ve endured – twice.
Our first daughter was born in the States, and she therefore received U.S. citizenship at birth. However, our next two children were born in Canada. Nothing wrong with that – other than the fact that we’d like them to have proof of their U.S. citizenship as well.
So, in order to prove their American citizenship, we wanted to get a certificate of birth abroad. To do this, we had to report their birth to receive a Consular Report of Birth Abroad (FS-240).
If you are a U.S. citizen and deliver a baby abroad, you should report your baby’s birth as soon as possible to the nearest American consular office if you want your child to have proof of U.S. citizenship. This can be done while the child is under age 18. We did ours almost immediately following their birth so we wouldn’t forget or procrastinate until it was too late! There are a few documents that must be submitted to the American consular office overseas in order to receive this certificate of birth abroad.
What documents must be submitted to receive a Consular Report of Birth Abroad?
1. Official record of child’s birth abroad
2. Proof of parent(s) U.S. citizenship (current U.S. passport or certified birth certificate are acceptable)
3. Parents’ marriage certificate, if applicable
4. Confirmation of parent(s)’ residence and physical presence in the U.S. (school transcripts will work)
5. A service fee of $65 (at the time of this writing)
**Other documents may be required in some cases (affidavits of paternity and support, divorce decrees from prior marriages, or medical reports of blood compatibility)
When the registration for Consular Report of Birth Abroad is approved, the parents will receive an official FS-240. That’s the exciting part!!
FYI: The Consular Report of Birth Abroad is an acceptable form of U.S. citizenship.
For more information on how to obtain a certificate of birth abroad or to amend yours, click here.