Read to learn how to get a Certificate of Birth Abroad.

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 U.S. citizenship if born outside of the United States. It is a birth certificate or birth record. Importantly, it is a requirement for all legal activities involving the child, such as travel and even education.

Many countries now offer “jus soli” or birthright by soil. This means the child automatically acquires citizenship in the country in which they were born. However, he or she may not automatically receive U.S. citizenship, even if one or both parents are U.S. citizens.

The Federal Government issues a CRBA (i.e., not the state). You may use a CRBA as proof of U.S. citizenship for the passport application process and other legal purposes. The process is more complex and lengthy, which is why it makes sense to request the document through VitalChek for an expedited, worry-free Certificate of Birth Abroad service.

How to Get a Certificate of Birth Abroad

If you are a U.S. citizen but had your child abroad, you must report the birth of your child to your nearest American consular office. The sooner you do it, the better — as long as your child is under 18 years old.

In order to get a consular report of birth abroad, you must submit:

  • The official record of the child’s birth abroad.
  • Proof of U.S. citizenship for one or both parents (whichever applies), such as a certified U.S. birth certificate or U.S. passport.
  • If the parents are married, then the marriage certificate for the parents.
  • Proof of the parents’ U.S. residence, such as a school transcript.
  • Any applicable service fees.

In some cases, you may need to present other documents, such as divorce decrees from previous marriages, affidavit of paternity, or medical reports (blood compatibility, etc.).

You will receive an official FS-240 upon registration approval.


For more info, please contact us by phone or email.

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