The birth of a child abroad to U.S. citizen parent(s) should be reported to the nearest U.S. Consulate or Embassy as soon after the birth as possible. To do this, the child’s parent or legal guardian should file an Application for Consular Report of Birth Abroad of a Citizen of the United States of America (Form FS-579/SS-5). This form may also be used to apply for a Social Security Number for the child. A $100.00 fee is charged for reporting the birth.
The application must be supported by evidence to establish the child’s U.S. citizenship. Usually, the following documents are needed:
- The child’s birth certificate;
- Evidence of the U.S. citizenship of the parent(s) such as a certified copy of a birth certificate, U.S. passport, or Certificate of Naturalization or Citizenship;
- Evidence of the parents’ marriage, if applicable; and
- Affidavit(s) of the physical presence of the parent(s) in the United States.
Each document should be certified as a true copy of the original by the registrar of the office that issued the document. Other documents may be needed in some cases. Contact the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate for details on what evidence is needed.
When the application is approved, a Consular Report of Birth Abroad of a Citizen of the United States of America (Form FS-240) is given to the applicant. This document, known as the Consular Report of Birth, has the same value as proof of citizenship as the Certificate of Citizenship issued by the Immigration and Naturalization Service.
A Consular Report of Birth can be prepared only at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate overseas, and only if the person who is the subject of the report is under 18 years of age when the application is made. A person residing abroad who is now 18 years of age or over, and whose claim to U.S. citizenship has never been documented, should contact the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate for assistance in registering as a U.S. citizen.
The Department began issuing a new consular Report of Birth on January 3, 2011. You may request multiple copies of this document at any time. As of December 31, 2010 the Certificate of Report of Birth Abroad (DS-1350) is no longer issued. All previously issued FS-240 and DS-1350 documents are still valid for proof of identity, citizenship and other legal purposes.
Documents are issued only to the subject of the Consular Report of Birth, the subject’s parents or legal guardian. Effective September 1, 2003 all requests must be notarized and include a copy of the requester’s valid photo identification.
To request multiple copies of FS-240, write to Passport Services, Vital Records Section, U.S. Department of State, 1111 19th Street NW, Suite 510, Washington, DC 20036. Please include the following items:
- The full name of the child at birth (and any adoptive name);
- The date and place of birth;
- The names of the parents;
- The serial number of the FS-240 (if the FS-240 was issued after November 1, 1990);
- Any available passport information;
- The signature of the requestor and the requestor’s relationship to the subject;
- A check or money order for $50.00 for the FS-240 made payable to the U.S. Department of State; Remittance must be payable in U.S. dollars through a U.S. Bank. Do Not Send Cash
To obtain a Consular Report of Birth in a new name, send a written request and fees as noted above, the original (or replacement) Consular Report of Birth, or if not available, a notarized affidavit about its whereabouts. Also, send a certified copy of the court order or final adoption decree which identifies the child and shows the change of name with the request. If the name has been changed informally, submit public records and affidavits that show the change of name.