How to Get a Certificate of Birth Abroad

A certificate of birth abroad, more commonly known as a Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA) is a record that establishes a child’s United States citizenship if they are born outside of the US. It is a birth certificate or birth record and is required all legal activities involving the child, including travel and even education.

Many countries now offer “jus soli” or birthright by soil. This means that the child automatically acquires citizenship in the country in which they were born. However, they may not automatically be considered US citizens, even if one or both parents are citizens of the US.

A CRBA is not issued by a state, but instead, by the Federal Government. It can be used for passport application, US citizenship proof, and other legal purposes. The process is more complex and can be quite lengthy which is why many people find it preferable to request the document through VitalChek for expedited, worry free express certificate service.

How to Get a Certificate of Birth Abroad

If you have your child abroad and are a United States citizen, you need to report the birth of your child to the American consular office closest to you. The sooner you do it, the better; as long as the child is under 18 years of age it can be done.

In order to get a consular report of birth abroad you must submit the following documents:

  • The official record of the child’s birth abroad
  • Proof of US citizenship for one or both parents (whichever applies). This can be a certified US birth certificate or US passport.
  • If the parents are married, then the marriage certificate for the parents.
  • Proof of the parents’ US residence such as school transcripts.
  • The service fee.

In some cases, other documents may be required such as divorce decrees from previous marriages, affidavit of paternity, or certain medical reports (blood compatibility, etc.).

The official FS-240 is issued once the registration is approved.

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