Citizenship Services

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.

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.

Make an Appointment Here

We strongly encourage both parents to be present when filing an application for a child’s CRBA and first time passport.

Required Documents

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. A scanned copy of DS-3053 will not be accepted unless there is an emergency need to travel. 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”  

Complete fee information is available here.

Third Party Attendance at Passport and CRBA Appointment Interviews

Generally, immediate family members may accompany passport or CRBA applicants to their appointment interviews at a U.S. embassy or consulate, and all minor children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.  Passport or CRBA applicants also have the option of being accompanied by an attorney at their appointment interview.  Attendance by any third party, including an attorney, accompanying an applicant is subject to the following parameters designed to ensure an orderly appointment interview process and to maintain the integrity of the adjudication of the application(s):

  • Given space limitations in the consular section, not more than one attendee at a time will be allowed to accompany an applicant (or the applicant’s parent or guardian if the applicant is a minor).
  • Attendance by an attorney does not excuse the applicant and/or the minor applicant’s parent or guardian from attending the appointment interview in person.
  • The manner in which a passport or CRBA appointment interview is conducted, and the scope and nature of the inquiry, shall at all times be at the discretion of the consular officer, following applicable Departmental guidance.
  • It is expected that attorneys will provide their clients with relevant legal advice prior to, rather than at, the appointment interview, and will advise their clients prior to the appointment interview that the client will participate in the appointment interview with minimal assistance.
  • Attorneys may not engage in any form of legal argumentation during the appointment interview and before the consular officer.
  • Attendees other than a parent or guardian accompanying a minor child may not answer a consular officer’s question on behalf or in lieu of an applicant, nor may they summarize, correct, or attempt to clarify an applicant’s response, or interrupt or interfere with an applicant’s responses to a consular officer’s questions.
  • To the extent that an applicant does not understand a question, s/he should seek clarification from the consular officer directly.
  • The consular officer has sole discretion to determine the appropriate language(s) for communication with the applicant, based on the facility of both officer and applicant and the manner and form that best facilitate communication between the consular officer and the applicant.  Attendees may not demand that communications take place in a particular language solely for the benefit of the attendee.  Nor may attendees object to or insist on the participation of an interpreter in the appointment interview, to the qualifications of any interpreter, or to the manner or substance of any translation.
  • No attendee may coach or instruct applicants as to how to answer a consular officer’s question.
  • Attendees may not object to a consular officer’s question on any ground (including that the attendee regards the question to be inappropriate, irrelevant, or adversarial), or instruct the applicant not to answer a consular officer’s question.  Attendees may not interfere in any manner with the consular officer’s ability to conduct all inquiries and fact-finding necessary to exercise his or her responsibilities to adjudicate the application.
  • During a passport or CRBA appointment interview, attendees may not discuss or inquire about other applications.
  • Attendees may take written notes, but may not otherwise record the appointment interviews.
  • Attendees may not engage in any other conduct that materially disrupts the appointment interview.  For example, they may not yell at or otherwise attempt to intimidate or abuse a consular officer or staff, and they may not engage in any conduct that threatens U.S. national security or the security of the embassy or its personnel.  Attendees must follow all security policies of the Department of State and the U.S. embassy or consulate where the appointment interview takes place.

Attendees may not engage in any conduct that violates this policy and/or otherwise materially disrupts the appointment interview.  Failure to observe these parameters will result in a warning to the attendee and, if ignored, the attendee may be asked to leave the appointment interview and/or the premises, as appropriate.  It would then be the applicant’s choice whether to continue the appointment interview without the attendee present, subject to the consular officer’s discretion to terminate the appointment interview.  The safety and privacy of all applicants awaiting consular services, as well as of consular and embassy personnel, is of paramount consideration.

Indian Visa

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.

CRBA/Passport Delivery or Pick Up

Frequently Asked Questions

 

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.

 

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:

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 cis.ndi@dhs.gov 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 cis.ndi@dhs.gov 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.

Frequently Asked Questions about passports