An official website of the United States government

Frequently Asked Questions about the Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA)
November 1, 2023

  1. What is eCRBA?  

eCRBA is the Department of State’s new online application for a Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA). eCRBA does not require any new information or processes – applicants enter the same information in eCRBA as in the paper application. This new application method, however, will allow you to enter your data, upload required documents, pay the fees, and schedule your appointment all online. (If you’re requesting an appointment in Abuja, you will need to schedule by writing to AbujaACS@state.gov). Additionally, you will be able to check the status of your application online.

  1. How will eCRBA affect me?

Submitting your application electronically is more efficient than paper processing. It saves time by allowing you to upload your documents, pay your fees, and schedule your appointment (with the exception of scheduling an appointment in Abuja, which is by writing to AbujaACS@state.gov) all in one convenient online location. Furthermore, it is more transparent as you will be able to check the status of your application at any time.

  1. Is eCRBA secure?

Yes. Security is an important priority for all services provided by the Department of State. Electronic processing is very secure and has been developed with stringent security considerations built into each design and development step. Only authorized users will be able to access the online CRBA application and supporting documents.

  1. Who is eligible to use eCRBA?  

You can use eCRBA if you meet the following criteria:

  • The child was born abroad (outside of the U.S. and its outlying possessions).
  • The child born abroad must be under the age of 18.
  • At least one of the child’s parents must have been a U.S. citizen.
  • The biological parents of the child, the child’s legal guardian, or the child her/himself, are/is completing the application.  No third-party applicants or facilitators can use eCRBA.
  • Applicant can pay online via the U.S. Government’s official payment site, pay.gov, using a credit card or a U.S. bank account.
  1. Can I apply for a CRBA with a paper application if I can’t use eCRBA?

If you can show that accessing eCRBA is not possible for you, you will be permitted to submit a paper application (DS-2029). To pursue that option, send an email to either AbujaACS@state.gov (with E25 in the subject line) or LagosCRBA@state.gov detailing your efforts to access eCRBA and requesting permission to submit a paper application.

Only proceed once you have received our written authorization. Do not appear at the Embassy or Consulate General with a paper application (DS-2029) without a written authorization, or you will have to set a new appointment.

  1. How does eCRBA work?

You will start by creating a new MyTravelGov account or accessing your existing account. Once you have an account, you can create an eCRBA application, which will guide you step by step through the process of applying online, including uploading supporting documents to ensure that the application is complete. Once the application is complete, you need to pay the eCRBA fee online. Once the payment is complete, you will be prompted to schedule an in-person interview at the U.S. Embassy in Abuja or the U.S. Consulate General in Lagos. You must bring the child and the originals of all supporting documents to the in-person interview, where a consular officer will interview you to verify the information provided, review the original documents, and decide whether to approve the application. Please see the Customer Application Instructions on the U.S. Embassy and Consulate in Nigeria’s webpage for step-by-step instructions.  

  1. What is a “MyTravelGov” account? 

A “MyTravelGov” is an online account that applicants can use to request consular services.  You must register for a MyTravelGov account to use the eCRBA application.  You can find the MyTravelGov portal here (MyTravelGov | Department of State). 

  1. What are the password requirements for a MyTravelGov account? 

MyTravelGov uses Login.gov to provide secure access your account. Login.gov passwords must be at least 12 characters and you cannot use common words or phrases.

  1. How do I reset my Password?

Follow these steps to reset your password for Login.gov. 

  1. Why should I create a MyTravelGov account?   

MyTravelGov allows for secure, individual access to online services offered by the Bureau of Consular Affairs. Through your MyTravelGov account, you can start an application, review an existing application, see status updates, and view messages from us about your application. 

  1. I didn’t get a confirmation email when I tried to set up my MyTravelGov account. What should I do?  

Recheck your inbox and look in your spam folder. Look for a confirmation email sent from Login.gov. If you did not receive a confirmation email, you can try to create the account again or call Login.gov for help at (844) 875-6446. They are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

  1. What if I get an error message when I try to sign into MyTravelGov?

If you get the message “We’re sorry. Something went wrong on our end,” take these steps:

  • An outdated browser might be the cause of your error. Try updating your browser to the latest version.
  • Clear your internet browser’s cookies and cache. Depending on your browser, you will find this information referred to as “Browsing Data,” “Browsing History,” or “Website Data.”
  • Make sure your cookies are enabled in your browser settings. Depending on the browser you’re using, you will usually find this information in the “Tools,” “Settings,” or “Preferences” menu.

If you’ve taken these steps and still cannot sign in, call Login.gov at (844) 875-6446 or submit a contact form here Contact us | Login.gov. They are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week or visit the Login.gov Help Center. Login.gov can only resolve issues related to account sign in, they cannot help you with consular services.

  1. I requested an eCRBA before October 2023 and the transition to Login.gov and now want to check the status of my eCRBA application or complete my in-progress application. What do I do?

Beginning in October 2023 we transitioned to a new log-in system (Login.gov). To access your previous application or continue an application already in progress, you will need to recreate a MyTravelGov account using the same email address you used for your previous MyTravelGov account. You must use the same email address to view the pre-existing application in the new system. 

  1. What documents do I need to apply for eCRBA?

The eCRBA application will guide you through the process and will help you understand which documents to provide, as well as what type of documents are acceptable.  You must provide supporting documents to show:

  • Record of child’s birth
  • Evidence of biological relationship between the child and parents
  • Proof of U.S. nationality for transmitting parents(s) (typically, a U.S. passport or birth certificate)
  • Parents’ identification
  • Evidence of parents’ marriages and/or termination of marriages by death or divorce
  • Evidence of legal relationship and financial support (only in certain cases)
  • Residence and physical presence in the United States, its outlying territories, or qualifying U.S. government service overseas prior to the child’s birth

You can scan, save, and upload documents in each section of the eCRBA application.  You must bring the originals to the in-person interview where a consular officer will verify all original documents.

  1. Is there a deadline to report my birth or my child’s birth overseas to obtain a Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA)?

Yes. Currently, the birth of a U.S. citizen overseas must be reported to a U.S embassy or U.S. consulate before the child turns age 18. Prior to November 1990, a Consular Report of Birth Abroad must have been issued by a U.S. embassy or U.S. consulate before the child turned age 5.

  1. How do I complete the Physical Presence section in eCRBA?

The Physical Presence section of the eCRBA form is the most complicated part of the form. You need to list all dates you have been physically present in the United States. The transmitting U.S. Citizens parent will have to write down all the dates that s/he has been physically present inside the United States. This means that if you left the U.S. for even one day, on vacation to Canada, Mexico, or any other place outside the U.S. or any of its outlying possessions, these dates should not be included on this list.

Tips and tricks for completing the Physical Presence Section of the form are below:

  • S. citizen parents should include ALL physical presence in the U.S., even if it occurred before they became a U.S. citizen. This can include physical presence in the U.S. as a Legal Permanent Resident (Green Card holder), B1/B2 tourist, F1 student, J1 intern, etc. This also includes time spent in the U.S. without status.
  • Use previous and current passports with passport stamps, previous airline tickets, itineraries, or reservations to confirm your dates.
  • It is important to remember you must only include only the dates you were physically present in the United States. If you spent five years abroad, then your timeline will have a 5-year gap between when you left the U.S. and resuming when you returned to the U.S.
    • For example, if you were born and raised in your home state, and you only did a study abroad during your 2010 spring semester, then you would list your physical presence as:
      • City, State  and birth date – Date you left the U.S.
      • City, State   and date you returned to the U.S. – Date you left the U.S. again

Additional tips for American parents born and raised in the U.S.:

  • Start from your date of birth and list the dates chronologically.
  • If you moved a lot in your life, then write down when you moved to a different city.  Moves within the same city should not be given their own line.
  • It’s fine if you don’t remember the exact dates of your trips abroad when you were a child.  Try to at least include the month/year that you left and returned to the U.S.  Look for the entry and exit stamps in your old passports for reference.
  • While in high school or college did you ever do a study abroad program or vacation abroad during summer/winter break?

Additional tips for American parents who were not born and raised in the U.S.:

  • Start from the first date that you entered the U.S. and list the dates chronologically.
  • If you moved a lot while in the U.S., write down when you moved to a different city.  Moves within the same city should not be given their own line.
  • If you spent time in the U.S. as a child and want the time to be counted towards your Physical Presence in the U.S., then you may be asked to provide documented evidence of the time: old passports with entry/exit stamps, plane tickets, school documents, etc.

If you studied in the U.S., did you go abroad during summer or winter breaks?  Did you visit relatives who lived abroad?    

  1. How do I upload photos and attach documents in eCRBA?

Throughout the eCRBA application, there are several places where you can provide required documents by uploading a file from your computer.  The maximum allowable file size is 10MB.  You can click “attach a file” or “add” to bring up a document upload pop-up and then click the “select a file” button to choose the file you wish to upload.  When choosing documents to upload, focus on uploading only required documents. 

  1. Can I request duplicate copies of the CRBA through the eCRBA system?

No, you will need to request additional copies of your child’s CRBA through the Vital Records section at the State Department by filling out this form..

  1. Can I apply for a Social Security number and passport through my eCRBA application?

No. Applicants cannot apply for a passport or a Social Security number through the eCRBA application at this time. However, at the end of the eCRBA application, you will be directed to online resources detailing the process for completing the passport and Social Security number applications separately. Passport application can be submitted in person at the time of the interview. Please note that an application for a Social Security Number can only be submitted after receiving the original Consular Report of Birth Abroad and Passport. To obtain a Social Security Number for your child, see further details.

  1. How do I replace or amend a CRBA?

You can request to replace or amend a CRBA from the State Department’s Vital Records section. Only the individuals listed below can request to replace or amend a CRBA:

  • The individual listed on the birth record (if age 18 or older)
  • A parent (for minors under age 18)
  • An authorized government agency, or
  • A person with written authorization from the individual listed on the birth record

You can request to amend or replace a CRBA by filling out this form.

  1. What system requirements must my computer meet to use eCRBA?

You will need access to the Internet, and you will need the ability to scan, save, and upload documents in the eCRBA application.  eCRBA also works through a mobile phone or a tablet, using your device’s camera to create images of documents to upload.  

  1. What if I don’t have a computer or internet connection at home?

If you don’t have a computer or an Internet connection at home, a local library, university, or Internet café may provide computers and Internet access for a small fee.  You can also use the computers provided in any American Center.  Local charities or religious organizations may also have computers to use for the application process.

  1. What are my payment options?

eCRBA requires payment using the U.S. government’s official payment site pay.gov which accepts payments in U.S. dollars from a credit card (MasterCard, Visa, American Express, Discover) or U.S. bank account. 

  1. How secure is the payment option?

The payment system is secure.  The payment occurs through pay.gov, an online payment system used by many U.S. government agencies. 

  1. What if I do not have a U.S. bank account or credit card?

If you are not able to pay online, then you must complete a paper CRBA application and pay the fees at the U.S. Embassy in Abuja or the U.S. Consulate General in Lagos during your interview.

  1. What if I have a problem making my online payment? 

If you cannot complete the online payment, then you must pay at the U.S. Embassy in Abuja or the U.S. Consulate General in Lagos at your interview.

  1. How do I know if my eCRBA has been received? 

After successfully submitting an eCRBA application and payment, you will see a confirmation screen.  You will also receive a follow-up email, confirming receipt of your application.

  1. How do I make changes to my eCRBA information once it has been submitted?  

You won’t be able to access your application online after it is submitted.  If you need to make subsequent changes, you must contact the U.S. Embassy in Abuja or the U.S. Consulate General in Lagos for help.  You can also let consular staff know of changes during your interview.

  1. How do I schedule my in-person appointment?  

After completing the online application and choosing whether or not to make a payment online, you will be directed to the U.S. Embassy and Consulate in Nigeria’s website to schedule an appointment. Please allow 72 hours between payment submission and your CRBA interview appointment time, if you paid online. This provides time for your application and payment to be processed.

  1. Can I make one appointment for my child’s passport and CRBA?

Yes, you can schedule one appointment for a passport and CRBA.  Other services may require separate appointments.

  1. What if we used a surrogate?

Please review our information on surrogacy carefully, as parents often are not prepared for the complications that can arise with surrogacy in Nigeria. In most cases, the surrogate will also need to appear at the CRBA interview, with government-issued ID, and will need to sign a consent form for the issuance of a passport. You should also be sure to bring the surrogacy contract to the appointment.

  1. What types of documents can I submit for proof of biological relationship?

Biological relationship can sometimes be challenging to prove. Evidence of a biological relationship between the U.S. citizen parent and the child can be supported by evidence of the parent’s relationship to each other. Therefore, it is helpful to present evidence of courtship and relationship over time and the marriage (if applicable). It is also helpful to know if there are any other children in the family relationship. The parents will need to prove they had access to each other at the time of the child’s conception. This may be supported with flight itinerary or passport stamps. Prenatal records of the pregnancy of the child will also need to be provided. These should include records of doctor’s visits during the pregnancy, as well as any records of scans of the child that indicate gestational age.

We recognize in some cases evidence of biological relationship is more challenging to provide. However, it is the responsibility of the applicant to provide this information and it is a requirement of law that there be a biological relationship between the U.S. citizen parent and the child.

  1. I cannot get all the documents before my 90-day deadline. What happens next?

Except in extenuating circumstances, all applications may only remain open for 90 days from the time of the initial appointment. If you cannot submit supporting evidence within the 90 days, your case will be administratively closed and the CRBA will not be issued. You will receive a denial letter that explains this decision. If you wish to continue pursuing a CRBA, you will need to submit the application again and pay the fees over again. In order to avoid such processing delays and added expenses, please do not request an appointment until you have gathered all the required documents and evidence.

  1. I cannot provide proof of biological relationship. Can I just do DNA?

You should not initiate DNA testing until after your interview with the consular officer. You will be given specific instructions on what labs you may use and how to complete the process if you opt to get DNA testing. Initiating the process without being asked to do so may result in increased expense and processing delays. Furthermore, the DNA process should not be initiated until certain requirements for the CRBA have been completed.

  1. The Consular Officer said that DNA is an option for my child’s case. What do I do next?

You should have been given instructions and an explanation about the DNA process at the time of your interview. Read the instructions carefully about how to choose a lab. You will pay the fees directly to an approved lab. Once you have chosen your lab and paid your fees, please wait for the DNA unit to contact you about scheduling your DNA collection appointment. Remember that all parties being tested, including the child, will need an international passport at the time of DNA collection. Therefore, in order to avoid delays in the process, it is important to obtain the child’s Nigerian passport in a timely manner. Once DNA results are received by the American Citizen Services unit, they will be reviewed by a Consular Officer. If more information is needed to process the case, you will be contacted via email or phone. A decision about whether the child qualifies for the CRBA will be made once the file is reviewed by a Consular Officer. You will receive a letter explaining the denial or information about collecting the documents.

  1. How can I cancel or reschedule my appointment?

If you schedule your appointment online, you will receive a confirmation that includes instructions on how to cancel or reschedule your appointment online.  You may also contact the U.S. Embassy in Abuja or the U.S. Consulate General in Lagos to cancel or reschedule.

  1. My child’s CRBA was denied. What do I do next?

You may wish to consult with an immigration attorney to assist you through this complicated process. Your next steps will depend on the reason for the denial. If the application was “not issued” because you failed to supply required evidence within the 90-day deadline, you may be able to resubmit your application with new evidence, but you will need to pay a new fee. Remember, your application will only be considered if you provide new evidence. If your application was denied, you have different options. For example, an application may be denied because neither parent was a U.S. citizen when the child was born or there was no genetic relationship between the U.S. citizen parent and the child. If the child does not qualify for a CRBA, the parents may want to consider the immigrant visa process.

  1. Whom do I contact if I have additional questions?   

Contact the U.S. Embassy in Abuja or the U.S. Consulate General in Lagos with additional questions at AbujaACS@state.gov or LagosACS@state.gov.