A child born outside the United States to a U.S. citizen parent or parents may be eligible for U.S. citizenship if the parent(s) meets the requirements for transmitting U.S. citizenship under the Immigration and Nationality Act. U.S. citizens eligible to transmit citizenship are required to file for a Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA).
The CRBA application must be made before the child’s 18th birthday, and we strongly recommend that parents apply for the CRBA as soon as possible after the child’s birth. A CRBA is not a travel document. Please note that CRBA is not a birth certificate and serves as a citizenship proof document which does not expire.
Even if your child holds another nationality, he or she must enter and exit the United States on a U.S. passport. We encourage applying for CRBA and a U.S. passport at the same time.
Please note: Applications for Consular Reports of Birth Abroad and U.S. passports for children born in Crimea must be accompanied by the appropriate Ukrainian civil documents. We do not accept or recognize the validity of Russian civil documents issued in Crimea. For information regarding obtaining civil documents related to life events that occurred in Crimea, please contact U.S. Embassy Kyiv’s American Citizen Services Unit at KyivACS@state.gov.
Do You Qualify to Transmit Citizenship?
Children born abroad to a U.S. citizen parent(s) (under the age of 18) may have a claim to U.S. citizenship. The following is a brief description of the various circumstances under which a child born abroad may acquire U.S. citizenship. For further information please select the description below that best fits your family circumstances.
NOTE: Children under 18, born to U.S. citizens who are not eligible for U.S. citizenship as described above may be eligible under the Child Citizenship Act of 2000.
All periods of residence or physical presence must have taken place prior to the birth of the child.
Child Born in Wedlock to Two U.S. Citizens
A child born outside of the United States and in wedlock to a U.S. citizen mother and U.S. citizen father, acquires U.S. citizenship at birth if one of the parents has been resident in the United States or one of its outlying possessions prior to the child’s birth.
Child born in wedlock to one U.S. citizen parent and one non U.S. citizen parent
A child born outside of the United States and in wedlock to a U.S. citizen parent and a non U.S. citizen parent, may acquire U.S. citizenship at birth if the U.S. citizen parent has been physically present in the United States or one of its outlying possessions for a period of five years, two of which were after the age of fourteen. The U.S. citizen parent must be the genetic or the gestational parent, and the legal parent of the child under local law at the time and place of the child’s birth.
Child born out of wedlock to a U.S. Citizen mother
A child born outside of the United States and out of wedlock to a U.S. citizen mother, on or before June 11, 2017, may acquire U.S. citizenship if the mother was physically present in the United States for a continuous period of one year (365 days) prior to the birth of the child.
A child born outside of the United States and out of wedlock to a U.S. citizen mother on or after June 12, 2017, may acquire U.S. citizenship if the mother was physically present in the United States for a period of five years, two of which were after the age of fourteen.
In both cases, the U.S. citizen mother must be the genetic or gestational mother and the legal parent of the child under local law at the time and place of the child’s birth in order to transmit U.S. citizenship.
Child born out of wedlock to a U.S. Citizen father
A child born outside of the United States and out of wedlock to a U.S. citizen father, may acquire U.S. citizenship if the father was a U.S. citizen at the time of the child’s birth and, if the father was physically present in the United States or one of its outlying possessions for five years, two of which were after the age of fourteen.
In addition, the U.S. citizen father must acknowledge paternity and agree in writing to provide financial support for the child until he/she reaches the age of 18 years old.
Please bring all of the documents with copies. It will get you through the process quickly!
- Consular Report of Birth Abroad Application (CRBA) DS-2029 (PDF, 104Kb) (completed online and printed out). Please complete all required items for BOTH parents and please do NOT sign it.
- Passport Application Form DS-11 (completed online and printed out). Please include address in Russia in item 7 and please do NOT sign it.
- Parental Consent Form (if applicable) DS-3053. According to U.S. law, both parents must be present in order to apply for all minor’s (under 16) U.S. passport services.
- One Passport Photo.
- Proof of Citizenship for the U.S. Citizen Parent (original and a copy): U.S. Passport; or U.S. Birth Certificate; or U.S. Naturalization Certificate, or U.S. Certificate of Citizenship.
- Parental proof of identity (original and a copy): A valid US or foreign passport. A professional translation must be provided if the latter does not contain an English version of data.
- Child’s original Russian Birth Certificate (original and a copy). A professional translation must be provided. Please note: Birth certificates that are issued by a hospital or other medical institution will NOT be accepted.
- Parent’s Marriage Certificate (if parents are married) (original and a copy): issued by local, state, or national government authorities. Church/Religious certificates are not acceptable. A professional translation must be provided if the document is in a language other than English.
- Divorce Decrees/Death Certificates (if applicable) (original and a copy): you will need to demonstrate the termination of all prior marriages for both parents. A professional translation must be provided if the document is in a language other than English.
- 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 (five years) in the United States such as: transcripts from high school and college; wage statement & tax returns; separation statement military (DD214-military members only).
The processing fee for a CRBA application is $100, and the processing fee for a U.S. Passport application is $115. 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. passport 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
In order to exit the Russian Federation your child needs: a valid U.S. Passport and Russian exit visa or a Russian passport.
If both parents are American citizens, your child needs to obtain a Russian exit visa from the Federal Migration Service before departure.
If one parent is a Russian national, parents can add child’s bio data to his/her Russian international travel passport (zagranichnuy) or they can apply for a child’s Russian international travel passport (zagranichnuy) at the Federal Migration Service.