Birth

General Information on Applying for a Consular Report of Birth Abroad

The Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA) of a Citizen of the United States of America documents the birth of a United States citizen in a foreign country. It is accepted by all U.S. Government agencies as proof of a child’s U.S. citizenship and for obtaining a U.S. passport. Although not technically a birth certificate (which can only be issued by the local jurisdiction), the CRBA can be used in the U.S. in the same way as a birth certificate issued by a state or local government.  You may apply for a child’s U.S. passport at the same time you apply for the CRBA.  As a general rule, however, CRBAs cannot be issued if the child is 18 years of age or older at the time the application is made.

Children born abroad to a U.S. citizen parent may be eligible to be documented as U.S. citizens through issuance of a CRBA and U.S. passport, if the parent is able to provide credible evidence of a blood relationship to the child as well as proof that the parent meets the requirements to transmit citizenship to the child.   The parents have the burden of proof of establishing that the child is eligible for a CRBA and U.S. passport, and we encourage applicants to read and follow these instructions carefully..

APPLYING FOR A CRBA IN NIGERIA

If your child was born overseas, the U.S. Embassy in Abuja, Nigeria, and the U.S. Consulate in Lagos, Nigeria, can accept the application for the child’s CRBA.  Please note that we can only approve or deny CRBA applications for children born in Nigeria. If a child was born in another country, we can only collect the application and supporting documents and forward them to the U.S. Embassy in that country for adjudication.  To save time and streamline the process, we strongly encourage applicants – where possible – to apply for the CRBA in the country where the child was born.

Step One: Complete the CRBA Application

All applicants must fully complete the CRBA application (Form DS-2029: Application for Consular Report of Birth Abroad) prior to the interview. If the child was born out of wedlock to a U.S. citizen father or if the U.S. citizen parent is not present at the interview, the applicants should also complete and bring Form DS–5507: Affidavit of Physical Presence or Residence, Parentage and Support. Form DS-5507 must be completed by the U.S. citizen parent and duly notarized by a U.S. commissioned notary or a U.S. Consular Officer.  We do not accept Nigerian notaries.

All CRBA applications must be fully completed prior to the interview.  Do not leave any items blank.  Please note that the U.S. citizen parent must list every trip in and out of the United States with an exact day, month, and year for each entry to, and exit from, the United States on the CRBA application and form DS-5507

Example of long and short stays in the USA
Place (City, State) Date (month-day-year) Date (month-day-year)
Baltimore, MD From 11/10/1993 04/06/1998
Baltimore, MD From 02/14/2003 To 05/11/2004
Washington, DC 08/11/2010 To 08/15/2010
Los Angeles, CA From 04/10/2016 To 03/24/2017

If there is not enough room in the form to list all of your trips, you may attach additional plain sheets of paper listing the additional trips.  For any question that does not apply, mark “N/A” (not applicable). 

If the child is not also applying for a passport, please also submit one passport photo with the CRBA application so we have a photo on file for the child who applied for the CRBA.  

Do not sign the application.  If both parents will attend the CRBA appointment, which we recommend, you sign the application at the interview in front of a Consular Officer.  If the U.S. Citizen Parent will not be present at the interview, please see below: “Information for Applications Where U.S. Citizen Parent Is Not Present for Interview.

Step Two: Complete the Passport Application

All applicants for a child’s passport must complete Form DS-11: Passport Application prior to the interview.  Do not leave any items blank.  For any question that does not apply, mark “N/A” (not applicable).  We encourage you to apply for a CRBA and passport at the same time. 

Do not sign the passport application.  The application must be signed in the presence of a Consular Officer.

If either parent is not able to attend the appointment, the applicants should also bring Form DS- 3053: Statement of Consent or Special Circumstances: Issuance of a Passport to a Minor Under Age 16The DS-3053 must be duly notarized by a U.S. commissioned notary or a U.S. Consular Officer.   We do not accept Nigerian notaries.  The original, notarized DS-3053 must be presented at the interview; we do not accept scanned or faxed copies.  We also do not accept notaries from outside of the United States.  If the parent who is not at the interview is not in the United States, the DS-3053 can be notarized at the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate.

Step Three: Gather Required Documents and Supporting Evidence

On the day of your appointment, you must present original records for each of the following items (photocopies or scanned or faxed copies will not be accepted):

  • The child’s birth certificate from the National Population Commission (NPC)(hospital birth notifications are not acceptable).
  • Original marriage certificate for the parents(if they are married).
  • Original divorce certificate or NPC death certificate to prove termination of all previous marriages for both (if either parent was previously married).
  • Passport photos for the child (measuring 2” x 2”, on a white background, and meeting the requirements listed on the back of the passport application).
  • Proof of parent’s U.S. citizenship (original or certified copies of the U.S. citizen parent’s passport and Naturalization Certificate, if applicable).
  • Proof of parent’s identity (originals of non-U.S. citizen parent’s passport or national identification card)

Step Four: Gather Proof of Physical Presence

On the day of your appointment, you must present sufficient evidence to demonstrate that a U.S. citizen parent was physically present in the U.S. for a sufficient amount of time to transmit citizenship.

How long is long enough? That will depend on whether the parents are married, and whether one or both is a U.S. citizen. Learn more about transmitting citizenship here.

In most cases where only one parent is a U.S. citizen, the U.S. citizen parent must show that he or she was physically present in the U.S. for a total of five (5) years before the birth of the child.

Please visit the State Department’s website for more information about the physical presence requirement.

Evidence that may be presented includes, but is not limited to:

  • School transcripts
  • Social Security Statements found at www.ssa.gov
  • School diplomas
  • Elementary and middle school report cards
  • W-2s from employment held while in the United States
  • Tax records
  • Pay stubs
  • Employment records
  • Military discharge papers
  • Original naturalization certificate (or a certified copy)
  • Rental or lease agreements
  • Utility bills

The suggested documents may not be enough to establish sufficient physical presence and we may ask for additional evidence.

Step Five: Gather Proof of Blood Relationship

On the day of your appointment, you must present sufficient evidence to demonstrate that the applicant is the biological child of the U.S. Citizen parent(s).

If your child was conceived via In Vitro Fertilization (IVF), or other assisted reproduction technologies, please bring a copy of the signed IVF contract and all relevant prenatal records. If your child was born to a surrogate, please bring the surrogate to the initial interview along with her government-issued, valid photo ID.

For in-wedlock births and out-of-wedlock births to a U.S. citizen mother, examples of the types of evidence that can demonstrate the blood relationship between the child and the U.S. Citizen parent(s) include:

  • Pregnancy and birth records, such as dated ultrasounds containing the name of mother, laboratory test results, doctor/ultrasound/hospital receipts, pictures of the mother pregnant, pictures of mother and baby immediately following the birth and during the hospital stay, the baby’s and mother’s hospital identification bracelets, crib card, discharge orders, or paid hospital bills.
  • Proof of relationship between parents, such as time-stamped photos of the couple together before, during, and after the pregnancy, photos of the U.S. Citizen parent with the newborn baby, Western Union money transfer receipts, birthday cards, email printouts, lease agreements, bank statements, home utility bills, or IRS tax declaration documents showing a shared address.
  • Proof the couple was together at time of conception, such as original or certified copies of passport pages showing entry and exit stamps.
  • A biological relationship with the child/applicant and the claimed U.S. citizen parent must be established.  The burden of proving the blood relationship is on the person making the claim to U.S. citizenship.  When no substantive form of credible evidence is available in conjunction with a CRBA application, a parent may find genetic testing to be a useful tool for confirming a stated biological relationship.
  • Note: Do not initiate a DNA test unless it is recommended by the Embassy for your pending CRBA application.  A DNA test that is done independently will not be accepted to support a CRBA or Passport application.

For out-of-wedlock births to a U.S. citizen father, it is not enough for the parents to present evidence showing that the couple had access to each other to conceive the child and that the father has a fatherly relationship with the child after the birth.  In such cases, the parents should present:

  • Clear and convincing evidence of the blood relationship between the father and the child/applicant.
  • A biological relationship with the child/applicant and the claimed U.S. citizen parent must be established.  The burden of proving the blood relationship is on the person making the claim to U.S. citizenship.  When no substantive form of credible evidence is available in conjunction with a CRBA application, a parent may find genetic testing to be a useful tool for confirming a stated biological relationship.
  • Note: Do not initiate a DNA test unless it is recommended by the Embassy for your pending CRBA application.  A DNA test that is done independently will not be accepted to support a CRBA or Passport application.

Step Six: Scheduling a CRBA Appointment

The American Citizen Services (ACS) sections in Abuja and Lagos accept applications for Consular Reports of Birth Abroad by appointment only.  You may choose to schedule your appointment in either Abuja or Lagos using the following links:

Abuja: https://evisaforms.state.gov/acs/default.asp?postcode=ABU&appcode=1

Lagos: https://evisaforms.state.gov/acs/default.asp?postcode=LGS&appcode=1

IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT REGARDING PASSPORT AND CRBA DELIVERY

U.S. Passports and Consular Reports of Birth Abroad will no longer be picked up at the U.S. Embassy in Abuja after January 1, 2018.   For documents issued at Abuja, you will be given instructions at the conclusion of your interview on how and where to come and pick-up the CRBA.

U.S. Passports and Consular Reports of Birth Abroad will no longer be picked up at the U.S. Consulate in Lagos. These items will be available for pickup from DHL at their Victoria Island and Port Harcourt locations for a fee. Details will be available during your passport or CRBA appointment.  

In order for us to provide quality service to all our customers, it is important that you arrive on time for your appointment.  Applicants who arrive more than 60 minutes late for their appointments will have to reschedule.  Applicants who arrive on time for their appointment without the cash to pay the fees, without a valid photo id for at least one parent who is present, without correctly filled out application forms, or without the child will also have to reschedule their appointments. 

Step Seven: The Day of the CRBA Appointment

On the day of the initial appointment, the applicants should come to interview with valid government-issued photo ids for the applying parents.  We cannot begin processing a CRBA application unless at least one parent is present with a valid photo id.  If the applicant appears without a parent with a valid photo id, your appointment will be cancelled and you will need to schedule a new appointment.

The applicants must also submit all required forms and supporting documentation.  The forms must be properly completed.  The applicants must bring the child to the interview.  At intake your application will be reviewed for completeness.  If your application is not complete your appointment will be cancelled and you will need to schedule a new appointment.

All applicants must also pay the CRBA application fee of $100 per application. If you are applying for a passport at the same time you must also pay the passport application fee of $115 per application for children under the age of 16.  All fees are payable in U.S. dollars or the equivalent in Nigerian Naira; the exchange rate may vary.  All fees must be paid in cash.  Credit cards are not accepted.  The fees are not refundable.  Please note that if you arrive at your CRBA appointment and are unable to pay the fee, your appointment will be cancelled and you will need to schedule a new appointment.

No refunds will be issued for denied applications and applicants are responsible for confirming their own eligibility.

Tips for your appointment:

    • It is the responsibility of the parents, not the Embassy or Consulate, to prove (1) the biological relationship between the child and the U.S. Citizen parent(s), (2) that the U.S. citizen parent(s) held U.S. citizenship at the time of the child’s birth, and (3) that the U.S. Citizen parent(s) were physically present in the United States long enough to transmit citizenship to the child.
    • Never assume that, because you successfully applied for another child’s U.S. citizenship, you do not need to bring any evidence to interviews for subsequent children.  You must bring all supporting documents with you for each application. However, we suggest that you bring any CRBAs issued for previous children as they may be helpful in establishing the U.S. citizen parent’s eligibility to transmit citizenship to other children
    • You must bring hard-copy printouts of all documents, photos, ultrasounds, etc.  Printouts on regular paper are acceptable; you do not need to print photos on photo paper. No digital media will be accepted and we will not look at photos on phones.  We are not able to access the internet on your behalf to view evidence and documents associated with your application, and you are prohibited from bringing computers, tablets, or smart phones to the interview.
    • In some instances, it may not be possible for the adjudicating officer to conclusively determine from the available evidence that the child is the biological offspring of a U.S. citizen.  In these cases, the Consular Officer may recommend DNA evidenceto establish parentage. The test will consist of saliva samples from the child and the parents (taken under supervision) and the subsequent testing of the samples in an approved laboratory. If the adjudicating officer recommends DNA, the applicants will be provided with instructions on how to have it performed.
    • Please do not conduct independent DNA exams, as only results from Embassy ordered tests can be used to determine a genetic relationship for citizenship purposes.

Information for Applications Where U.S. Citizen Parent Is Not Present for Interview

We highly recommend that the parent who is transmitting U.S. citizenship to the child attend that CRBA interview.  If the U.S. citizen parent is unable to attend the CRBA interview, however, then he or she must:

  1. Complete FormDS-2029: Application for Consular Report of Birth Abroad (PDF 62 KB), duly notarize it in front of a U.S. commissioned notary or a U.S. Consular Officer,  and send the original to the parent who will attend the interview (We do not accept Nigerian notarials.);
  2. Complete FormDS-3053: Statement of Consent or Special Circumstances: Issuance of a Passport to a Minor Under Age 16 , duly notarize it in front of a U.S. commissioned notary or a U.S. Consular Officer,  and send the original to the parent who will attend the interview, along with a certified copy of the identification that the notary public used to confirm the parent’s identity; and
  3. If the child was born out of wedlock, complete Form DS–5507: Affidavit of Physical Presence or Residence, Parentage and Support(PDF 36 KB), duly notarize it in front of a U.S. commissioned notary or a U.S. Consular Officer,  and send the original to the parent who will attend the interview.
  4. The parent attending the interview must then bring the original signed and notarized DS-2029, DS-3053, and, if applicable, DS-5507 to the interview, along with the documents and evidence outlined above in Steps Three, Four, and Five.  Photocopies or scanned or faxed copies of the forms will not be accepted.

Questions and Further Information

For more information, please visit the State Department’s website or send an email to AbujaACS@state.gov or LagosACS@state.gov.