A Consular Report of Birth Abroad is a certificate that states that a child is a U.S. citizen from birth. Many, but not all, children born abroad to a U.S. citizen parent are eligible to be documented as U.S. citizens through issuance of a Consular Report of Birth Abroad and U.S. passport.
If you were previously issued a Consular Report of Birth Abroad and wish to request a replacement copy, please click here.
Parents of children born of surrogacy, please read general information below under Surrogacy, ART and IVF.
Report a Birth Abroad
Appointment and Interview
Application for a Consular Report of Birth must be made, in person, through a prearranged appointment. The child must accompany the parent to the Embassy/Consulate. Appointment availability for American citizens varies depending on your location. Further, the Embassy/Consulate is closed on American and Indian holidays.
We strongly encourage both parents to be present when filing an application for a child’s CRBA and first time passport.
Parents typically choose to apply for the child’s U.S. passport at the same time they apply for the Consular Report of Birth Abroad. The list below covers both the Consular Report of Birth Abroad, and the U.S. passport.
Please bring the following original items to the interview:
- Proof of the parents’ identity and citizenship such as U.S. or other passports.
- Child’s original birth certificate issued by the local authorities (including English translation, if applicable). The birth certificate must include the name of the child.
- One studio quality photograph of the child, 2″ x 2″ in size and taken against a white background. The child must be facing forward with his/her ears showing and eyes open. Glasses are not acceptable in your photo. If you cannot remove your glasses for medical reasons, please include a signed note from your doctor with your application. More information.
- Prenatal and hospital records (e.g., ultrasounds, prescriptions, evidence of pre-natal doctor visits, hospital discharge documents, vaccination card, etc.).
- If the child was born through surrogacy: a detailed medical certificate from the surrogacy clinic or ART physician which reflects this fact.
- The parents’ marriage certificate, or other proof of their relationship prior to the child’s conception, if applicable.
- Proof of the U.S. citizen parent’s physical presence in the U.S. (This is not required if BOTH parents are U.S. citizens.) For children born to one U.S. citizen and one foreign national, the U.S. citizen parent will need to show five years of CUMULATIVE physical presence in the U.S., two of which must be after the age of 14. Examples of items that show physical presence are school transcripts, pay receipts, passport entry/exit stamps in current and previous passports, etc.
- If also applying for a passport (see below) and only one parent is present in India, the other parent must complete Parental Consent Form DS-3053. This form must be notarized and submitted with a notarized copy of the absent parent’s photo ID (their passport is preferred).
- Complete and print the following forms online before coming to your appointment but Please Do Not Sign The Forms Until Directed To Do So By A Consular Officer.DS-2029, Application for Consular Report of Birth Abroad (PDF)Form DS-11 Application for a U.S. Passport
Insufficient Evidence of Relationship
If the Consular Officer finds that there is insufficient evidence of a genetic relationship between the parent(s) and the child(ren), a DNA test may be recommended at the time of interview. If the interviewing officer makes this recommendation, then parents can expect a processing delay of approximately two weeks to allow for the receipt of the DNA test kit at the Embassy/Consulate, sample collection, the mailing of the sample, and the receipt of results from the lab. Parents should factor this possible delay into their plans. If a DNA test is recommended, you will be provided with all details related to this testing at the time of your interview. All costs and expenses associated with DNA testing must be borne entirely by the passport applicant and his/her family.
For more information on DNA testing, see “Information for Parents on U.S. Citizenship and DNA Testing”
Whether you plan to stay in India or travel outside India, your child will need an Indian visa. After receiving the passport for your child, you can apply for an Indian visa at the Foreigners Regional Registration Office (FRRO) in your area, where the visa will be placed in your child’s new passport. Make an appointment with FRRO here.
The process of getting an Indian visa generally takes up to three business days. In surrogacy cases, getting the Indian visa can take up to 2 weeks. Because this is a government of India process, the Embassy/Consulate cannot say exactly how long it will take, or expedite the process. Your child cannot leave India without this visa.
Passport Processing Time
Except in emergencies, passports are printed in the United States and take approximately 7-10 business days. Please consider this timeline when renewing or applying for passports. You will receive an automated email when your passport is ready.
Surrogacy, ART and IVF
Please note that starting November 4, 2015, commercial surrogacy is no longer lawful in India. Surrogacies commissioned before November 4 will continue under previous regulations, but should contact Indian State Health Authorities and the Indian Ministry of Health for further details.
Dual Nationality: India and the United States
The Indian government’s Overseas Citizens of India (OCI) and Person of Indian Origin (PIO) programs are often incorrectly described as offering “dual nationality” or “dual citizenship.” This is not true, as India does not recognize dual citizenship. The OCI and PIO programs do offer card holders some travel and residency privileges. Read more about the OCI/PIO programs and dual nationality here:
- More Information about OCI and PIO Status (PDF 20 KB)
- OCI Information from the Government of India
- General Information on Dual Nationality for U.S. Citizens
Frequently Asked Questions
I was born in the US when my parents were there on assignment. I came back to India when I was a child and have not lived there since. Am I an American citizen? Since you were born in the US, you may be an American citizen. Please note that if your parents were in the U.S. under diplomatic status at the time of your birth then you would not have become a citizen at the time when you were born. Please visit the American Citizen Services office of the Embassy to verify your citizenship. If you are a U.S. citizen, you will need a U.S. passport to travel or move to the United States. Please visit our website for more information on how to receive a passport.
Please also note that India does not allow dual nationality. By asserting your U.S. citizenship, India would expect you to renounce your Indian citizenship.
My mother/father was a U.S. citizen, but I was born outside the U.S. Am I a U.S. citizen, too? Maybe. Please click here for more information. The requirements to pass citizenship to a baby are that the transmitting parent was an American at the time of the baby’s birth, lived in the U.S. for at least 5 years prior to the birth, and at least 3 of those 5 years were after reaching the age of 14. For more information about applying for immigration for your baby please contact the Citizenship and Immigration Services office at firstname.lastname@example.org or call them at 2419-8506/8639.
I am an American citizen. I recently had a child born in India. Does s/he have a claim to American citizenship? Possibly. Your child’s claim to citizenship depends on several factors. Please read more. The requirements to pass citizenship to a baby are that the transmitting parent was an American at the time of the baby’s birth, lived in the U.S. for at least 5 years prior to the birth, and at least 3 of those 5 years were after reaching the age of 14. For more information about applying for immigration for your baby please contact the Citizenship and Immigration Services office at email@example.com or call them at 2419-8506/8639.
If I cannot transmit citizenship to my child, is there any way that s/he may become a U.S. citizen? Yes. If you are not eligible to transmit citizenship to your child, it may be possible for him or her to apply for either expeditious naturalization, if an American citizen grandparent has enough physical presence time in the United States, or an immigrant visa, conferring citizenship upon entry to the U.S.
We are Americans living in India. We just adopted a child and s/he is living with us here. Does that make him/her a U.S. citizen? Adoption by a U.S. citizen parent does not automatically confer citizenship, but it does qualify a child for expeditious naturalization, or citizenship upon entry to the U.S.
Can my spouse obtain a U.S. passport or citizenship through marriage? A U.S. citizen cannot transmit citizenship to a spouse. Your spouse would be required to apply for an immigrant visa and reside in the United States as a lawful permanent resident (LPR). An application for naturalization can be made to the Department of Homeland Security on fulfilling a residency requirement. Once naturalized, your spouse would be eligible to apply for a U.S. passport.