Documentation of US Citizens Born Abroad

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If you are a US citizen and your child was born abroad, you have to report the child’s birth as soon as possible to the nearest American consular office to establish an official record of the child’s claim to US citizenship at birth. The official record is in the form of a Consular Report of Birth Abroad of a Citizen of the US. This document, known as the Consular Report of Birth or FS-240, is considered a basic US citizenship document. Once the registration is approved, an original FS-240 will be provided to the parent(s).

Note that a Consular Report of Birth can be prepared only at an American Consular office abroad when the child is under the age of 18. All supporting documents have to be certified as true copies of the originals by the registrar of the office wherein each document was issued. You are required to submit a $65 service fee for a Consular Report of Birth.

To get a replacement for a lost or mutilated document, you have to submit a notarized written request along with the original FS-240 or a notarized affidavit concerning the loss of the FS-240 and a $30 fee, payable to the “Department of State.”

If the birth was recorded in the form of a Consular Report of Birth, there is an option where a Certification of Report of Birth (DS-1350) can be issued in multiple copies. The DS-1350 will have the same information as that on the new format Consular Report of Birth and is generally accepted for all legal purposes.

To amend or correct a Consular Report of Birth, you have to submit a written request and it should be accompanied by certified copies of all documents appropriate for effecting the change (foreign birth certificate, marriage certificate, court ordered adoption or name change, birth certificates of the adopting or legitimating parents, affidavits, etc.). The original FS-240 or replacement FS-240, or a notarized affidavit also has to be included.

You can get the DS-1350 or a replacement FS-240 by writing to:

Vital Records Section
Passport Services
1111 19th Street, NW, Suite 510
Washington, D.C. 20522-1705

You have to notarize the written request and should include a copy of valid photo identification. The written request must have the full name of child at birth, date and place of birth, names of parents, serial number of the FS-240 (if known), any available passport information, the signature of the requester, and a notarized affidavit for a replacement FS-240.

The submission fee for an FS-240 is $30. The submission fee for DS-1350 and PCZ certificate are $30 for the first copy and $20 for every additional copy. Make a check or bank draft drawn on a US bank, or money order, payable to the “Department of State.” Documents will be given to the person who is the subject of the Report of Birth, the subject’s parents, the subject’s legal guardian, authorized government agency, or a person who submits written authorization from the subject of the Report of Birth.

A person, who acquired US citizenship through birth abroad to a US citizen parent(s) or who acquired US citizenship through derivative naturalization can apply for a Certificate of Citizenship by filing Form N-600 with the local USCIS Office in the US. After the application is approved, a Certificate of Citizenship will be issued in the name of the subject. But the person has to be in the US. Getting this certificate involves presentation of basically the same documentation required to get a Consular Report of Birth. Both the Consular Report of Birth and the Certificate of Citizenship are equally and legally accepted as proof of US citizenship.

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