Consular Report of Birth Abroad

Filing Form FS-240? Get in Touch with the Law Offices of Simone Bertollini

New Jersey immigration attorney

If you are a U.S. citizen and you are the parent of a child born outside the United States, you need to document your child's U.S. citizenship with a Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA). A CRBA, or Form FS-240, is a document similar to a birth certificate.

You have to apply for this document with the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in the country of your child's birth before his 18th birthday. On the other side, if your child is 18 years of age or older, he will have to apply for a Certificate of Citizenship with USCIS.


If your child does not have a U.S. travel document, you should consider reporting your child's birth as soon as possible at the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate, in order to avoid complications.


The U.S. embassy or consulate will provide one original copy of an eligible child's CRBA. The CRBA application can be filed only at a U.S. embassy or consulate, and the presence of one or both parents may be required at the interview.

How to Get a U.S. Birth Certificate if Born Abroad

You will need to bring some documents with you to your appointment to the U.S. embassy or consulate. If the consul determines that the child has acquired the U.S. citizenship at birth, a consular officer will approve the CRBA application and the Department of State will issue a CRBA, which is essentially an overseas birth certificate. If the CRBA application is not immediately acceptable, the officer will tell you what you need to do in order to complete the process.

  1. The CRBA is recognized in the United States as proof of acquisition of U.S. citizenship and it is acceptable evidence of citizenship for obtaining a passport, entering school, or health benefits.
  2. Additionally, you may also wish to complete the Form SS-5-FS (Application for a Social Security Card). The child's parents may also choose to apply for a U.S. passport for the child at the same time that they apply for a CRBA.
  3. Once the application is approved, your child's CRBA and passport will be sent to you by courier within approximately three to four weeks. The Social Security Card will be sent to you directly by regular mail in approximately four to six months.
  4. If the child was born abroad from one U.S. citizen parent and one alien parent in wedlock, he or she acquires U.S. citizenship at birth if it is provided the American parent was physically present in the U.S. for the time period required by the law.

Under the 22 CFR 50.7, the CRBA may be canceled if it appears that such document was illegally, fraudulently, or erroneously obtained, or was created through illegality or fraud. The person will be given a written notice of the cancellation, together with the specific reasons and the procedures for review. It may be helpful to consult with an immigration lawyer to review your CRBA process.

Contact a New Jersey Immigration Attorney for assistance with the FS-240 application to obtain a Consular Report of Birth Abroad.

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