Birth of an American Citizen Abroad
A child born abroad to a U.S. citizen is more than likely a U.S. citizen. A U.S. citizen usually transmits American citizenship to his or her child born outside of the United States. Once citizenship is determined, the Consular Officer issues to the family a Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA), which is an English language document acceptable in the United States as a birth certificate. It is also a primary proof of American citizenship and is usually done in conjunction with obtaining a passport for a child born outside of the United States.
Parents should contact the American Citizen Services Unit as soon as possible after the birth to obtain a Report of Birth Abroad of a U.S. Citizen. Parents will need to produce:
- an official record of the child's foreign birth;
- evidence of the parent(s)' U.S. citizenship (e.g., a certified birth certificate, current U.S. passport, or Certificate of Naturalization or Citizenship);
- evidence of the parents' marriage, if applicable, and dissolution of any previous marriages; and
- evidence of parent(s)' residence and/or physical presence in the United States.
Transmission of American citizenship to your child is determined by citizenship of both parents as well as whether the child is born in or out of wedlock. In certain instance, the Consulate may require additional documentation to substantiate citizenship. More information about transmission of citizenship and registering newborns can be found at the Department of State website.
We recommend that you fill out the necessary forms before you come to the Consulate. We also encourage you, once you have all the documents assembled, to contact the American Citizen Services unit by telephone to make sure that you have all the required paperwork.
Review the required documents checklist (PDF - 31 KB).
Rarely, when genetic testing appears warranted, the consular officer may advise the applicant that genetic testing may establish the validity of the relationship. Such testing is entirely voluntary, and all costs of testing and related expenses must be borne by the applicant and paid to the laboratory in advance. General guidance about requirements for DNA parentage testing is available on the website of the Department of State at http://travel.state.gov/visa/immigrants/info/info_1337.html .
It is also suggested that parents or guardians submit an application for their child’s passport while applying for the Consular Report of Birth Abroad. Review the Passports for Minors section of our website for further information.
Parents or guardians may also apply for a Social Security Number at time of registration. Complete the Application for Social Security Card (PDF - 65 KB) form and the Consulate will forward it to the Social Security Administration.
Appointment System for American Citizen Services
The American Citizen Services (ACS) Unit of the U.S. Consulate General in St. Petersburg has introduced an Appointment System for all services, including passport renewals (and passport extra pages), Consular Reports of Birth Abroad, notarial services, and other inquiries. Please make your appointment before you visit the Consular Section. Make an Appointment Now!
All downloadable documents on this page are provided in PDF format. To view PDFs you must have a copy of Adobe Acrobat Reader. You may download a free version by clicking the link above.