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The CRBA: What It Is And When You Need It

Have you had a child born abroad and need to establish their U.S. citizenship? The first step is to obtain a Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA). The CRBA is a document that verifies the birth of a U.S. citizen born outside the United States to an American citizen’s parent or parents. While this process doesn’t only apply to newborns, it is wise to get the paperwork done early on so you don’t have to worry about it later.

To get a CRBA, the parents need to give proof of their child’s birth, like a local birth certificate, and proof of their own US citizenship. This may include a U.S. passport or a Certificate of Citizenship. Additionally, the parents will need to fill out the appropriate forms and pay a fee. Once submitted, the embassy or consulate will process the application and issue the CRBA if approved.

The CRBA is a vital document for American citizens born abroad. By providing proof of a U.S. citizen’s birth, it establishes legal U.S. citizenship and access to government benefits and services. Under U.S. Immigration regulations children who meet the criteria for a CRBA do not need to obtain a visa to immigrate to the United States.

Having a CRBA has numerous benefits. A CRBA establishes legal U.S. citizenship and provides a secure way to prove U.S. citizenship. This document is a critical tool that is recognized by all U.S. government agencies. In short, a CRBA is a very important document for those looking to become U.S. citizens. It is a secure way to prove U.S. citizenship, provides access to government benefits and services, can be used to obtain a U.S. passport, and is necessary for certain immigration documents.

It may not seem like a necessary note, but it is important to understand the My USCIS website. We at IRB Immigration have decades of experience with these processes and can help guide you through it with no problem. This website is the official source for information on the immigration process, including forms, filing fees, and processing timelines. It is important to use this website as a resource when applying for a CRBA. What you will be looking for is DS-2029. 

When relocating to the US with a non-resident parent, additional forms may be required by the family. 

Once you complete your application and interview, it takes about 15 working days to process your Consular Report of Birth Abroad and your first passport. As of the time of this writing, the application fee is $100 USD.

Please note that there is no expedited service for a CRBA. However, in case of emergencies or urgent travel, there is the possibility that you might be issued an emergency passport.

A consular officer will notify you of the decision on your child’s application both verbally and in writing. If a parent can’t transmit citizenship to the child, the child will be denied a Consular Report of Birth Abroad. 

So as a quick recap: A CRBA confirms that your child was a U.S. citizen when they were born. However, it does not serve as evidence of the identity of the child’s legal parents. Your child does not have to be a newborn, but they do need to be under the age of 18. The US grants CRBAs to children born abroad who :

1: Acquired U.S. citizenship or nationality at birth and 

2: are below 18 years old at the time of the application.

It is imperative to remember that the names indicated on the CRBA are those of U.S. citizens or national’s parents who have a genetic or gestational relationship with the child. The name of the parent(s) who transmits U.S. Citizenship must appear in the CRBA. A non-transmitting parent can be listed on the CBRA with the consent of the transmitting parent. 

Neither parent can use the CRBA as an ID for themselves as their own birth certificate would. 

Applying for a CRBA isn’t an overwhelming process, but it is possible to have an application rejected. Paying attention to the questions on the form is imperative. You can also hire us at IRB Immigration to handle any of your immigration needs including the CRBA for your child can be the best possible move. Everything will be filled out and filed correctly, and every step will be explained to you along the way.

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