The Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA) documents the birth of a U.S. citizen in a foreign country. It is accepted by all U.S. federal and state government agencies as proof of an individual’s U.S. citizenship. Although a CRBA is not technically a birth certificate (which is only issued by the local jurisdiction of a child’s birth), a CRBA can be used in the United States in much the same way that a birth certificate issued by a city or county registrar is used. The U.S. Embassy, Moscow recommends that you apply for your child’s U.S. passport at the same time that you apply for the CRBA.
Most, but not all, children born abroad to a U.S. citizen parent are eligible to be documented as U.S. citizens. More information pertaining to the acquisition of citizenship by birth abroad can be found by clicking here.
Please bring all of the documents listed below with you to your CRBA appointment. This will allow us to quickly process your application and will minimize or eliminate the need for repeated visits to the Embassy.
- Completed DS-2029 (PDF 61 KB): Application for Consular Report of Birth Abroad for a Citizen of the United States of America
Please complete all required items for BOTH parents; do NOT leave any items blank. If you believe an item does not apply to you, please write the abbreviation “N/A”. The back of the form has additional instructions. Do NOT sign this form. You will be asked to sign this form in front of an authorized official during the interview.
- Completed online DS-11: Application for a U.S. Passport (only if applicable)
This form is required if you plan to apply for a U.S. Passport. Please complete all required items (numbered 1 – 22); do NOT leave any items blank. Please use zeroes when the applicant child has never had a social security number. The back of the form has additional instructions. Please do NOT sign this form. You will be asked to sign this form in front of an authorized official during the interview.
- Completed DS-3053: Parental Consent Form (only if applicable)
According to U.S. law, both parents must be present in order to apply for a U.S. passport for their child. If one parent is unable to attend the interview, he or she will need to provide parental consent by filling out the DS-3053. This document must be notarized. You are also required to attach a copy of the absent parent’s photo ID.
- Passport Photo
One color passport photo of the child is required. The photo must be 2 inches by 2 inches with a white background ONLY. The photo must NOT be retouched and should have a full frontal view of the child’s face, including ears.
- Proof of Citizenship for the U.S. Citizen Parent
The U.S. citizen parent intending to transmit citizenship to the child must provide his/her U.S. Passport. If the U.S. citizen parent is not in Russia, a copy of the U.S. passport must be submitted.
- Parental Identification
Both parents should bring photo ID as proof of identity. A valid passport or government issued ID will suffice. If one parent is unable to attend the interview, a copy of their photo ID may be submitted.
- Birth Certificate for the Minor Child
You must submit the original government issued birth certificate. Birth certificates that are issued by a hospital or other medical institution will NOT be accepted.
- Documentation of Parent’s Marriage (if applicable)
If the marriage took place in Russia, please submit the original marriage certificate (a translation is not required). If the marriage took place in the United States or another country, please submit the original marriage document, and an English translation, if applicable.
- Proof of Termination of Parents’ Prior Marriage(s) (if applicable)
If the death or divorce occurred in Russia, the corresponding death certificate or divorce certificate must be submitted. If the death or divorce occurred in the United States or another country, the original death or divorce certificate must be submitted, as well as an English translation, if applicable.
- Evidence of Physical Presence in the United States
In the event that the child has one U.S. citizen parent, proof of the U.S. citizen parent’s physical presence in the United States is required. The best way to establish this proof is to submit the original passports documenting entry and exits to all countries visited. Pay stubs, transcripts from educational institutions (NOT diplomas), and medical records may also be helpful in establishing physical presence. See below for a detailed description of physical presence requirements.
The processing fee for a CRBA application is $100, and the processing fee for a U.S. Passport application is $105. Fees must be paid in cash or by credit card, and are payable either in U.S. Dollars or the Ruble equivalent. Please note that the full U.S. passport fee will not be collected until after the CRBA application is adjudicated. If the CRBA application is denied, the U.S. pa ssport application will not be adjudicated.
Please feel free to bring additional documentation (i.e. evidence of relationship) if you feel it would be pertinent to the adjudication of your application. In some cases it may be necessary to submit additional documents, including the Affidavit of Parentage and Physical Presence (PDF 281 KB), divorce decrees from prior marriages, evidence of pre-natal care, evidence of prior U.S. residence and/or physical presence, or DNA test results. Ideally all evidentiary documents should be certified as true copies of the originals by the registrar of the office where each document was issued.
More Information on Physical Presence Requirements
Physical presence requirements for transmission of U.S. citizenship to a child born overseas vary depending on several factors: whether both parents are American citizens, whether the child is born in wedlock, and when the child is born.
- For a child born in wedlock to one American citizen parent and one non-American citizen parent: the American citizen parent must have been physically present in the United States for five years (1825 days) prior to the birth of the child, two of which are after the parent’s 14th birthday. The five year requirement is not consecutive but it is exact – 1820 days is not sufficient to transmit citizenship.
- An American citizen father of a child born out of wedlock must have five years cumulative physical presence and must have recognized the child and agreed to support the child financially.
- An American citizen mother of a child born out wedlock must demonstrate that she spent one continuous year in the United States.
- If both parents are American citizens, they need only show that one of them has resided in the United States at some time.
There are no waivers of the physical presence requirement. You must be able demonstrate to the consular officer’s satisfaction that you meet the physical presence requirement in order to transmit citizenship to your child. To demonstrate proof of your physical presence in the United States, you may provide limited school diplomas and transcripts, employment records, Social Security statements, W2 tax forms, salary slips, U.S.-based credit card transaction histories, tax returns, immigration stamps in passports, etc. If your parents could claim you as a dependent on their U.S. tax returns, you can bring their papers. Newspaper articles, school yearbooks, family picture albums, vaccination and doctor records, and letters with U.S. postmarks, can also help demonstrate physical presence in the United States.
What to Expect When You Visit the Embassy
- We suggest arriving 15 minutes before your scheduled appointment to allow time for security checks at the Embassy entrance.
- When you arrive, let the guards know that you have an appointment with the American Citizen Services Unit. You will be asked to show photo ID.
- Our guards will check your belongings. Cameras, mobile phones and other electronic devices are not allowed inside the Embassy.
- You will be asked to pass through a metal detector.
- Once you enter, you will find the American Citizen Services Unit’s waiting room Our staff will be expecting you at window 2.
In addition to a U.S. Passport, your child will need either an exit visa or a Russian passport in order to exit the Russian Federation.
If both parents are American citizens, you will need to obtain a Russian exit visa from the Federal Migration Service before departure.
If one parent is a Russian national, you may add your child to that parent’s Russian individual travel passport or apply for an individual Russian passport for the baby to use to depart Russia. Both procedures, i.e. issuance of a Russian exit visa, issuance of a Russian travel passport are handled by the Federal Migration Service and may take several weeks to complete.
Appointment System for American Citizen Services
The American Citizen Services (ACS) Unit has introduced an Appointment System for all services, including passport renewals (and passport extra pages), birth registrations, notarial services, and general inquiries. Please make your appointment before you visit the Consular Section.
Appointments are available immediately; beginning September 1, 2009, only customers with appointments will be admitted into the Consular Section. Appointments may be made at any time via the link below. Applications for Consular Reports of Birth Abroad (CRBA) are filed twice a week, on Tuesdays and Thursdays, between 1:45 p.m. and 3:00 p.m.
For details, or to make an appointment, please follow this link: Make an Appointment Now!