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Documentation of U.S. Citizens Born Abroad

 


Documentation of United States Citizens Born Abroad Who Acquire Citizenship At Birth

The birth of a child abroad to U.S. citizen parent(s) should be reported as soon as possible to the nearest American consular office for the purpose of establishing an official record of the child’s claim to U.S. citizenship at birth. The official record is in the form of a Consular Report of Birth Abroad of a Citizen of the United States of America. This document, referred to as the Consular Report of Birth or FS-240, is considered a basic United States citizenship document. An original FS-240 is furnished to the parent(s) at the time the registration is approved.

REPORTING THE BIRTH

A Consular Report of Birth can be prepared only at an American consular office overseas while the child is under the age of 18. Usually, in order to establish the child’s citizenship under the appropriate provisions of U.S. law, the following documents must be submitted:

(1) an official record of the child’s foreign birth;
(2) evidence of the parent(s)’ U.S. citizenship (e.g., a certified birth certificate, current U.S.
passport, or Certificate of Naturalization or Citizenship);
(3) evidence of the parents’ marriage, if applicable; and
(4) affidavits of parent(s)’ residence and physical presence in the United States.

In certain cases, it may be necessary to submit additional documents, including affidavits of paternity and support, divorce decrees from prior marriages, or medical reports of blood compatibility. All evidentiary documents should be certified as true copies of the originals by the registrar of the office wherein each document was issued. A service fee of $65 is prescribed under the provisions of Title 22 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Section 22.1, item 9, for a Consular Report of Birth.

NOTE: Consular Reports of Birth are not available for persons born in Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Panama Canal Zone before October 1, 1979, the Philippines before July 4, 1946, American Samoa, Guam, Swains Island, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, or the former U.S. Trust Territories of the Pacific Islands. Birth certificates for those areas, except the Panama Canal Zone, must be obtained from their respective offices of vital statistics. Panama Canal Zone birth certificates should be requested through the Vital Records Section of Passport Services (see address below.) The fees are the same as those for DS-1350.

DOCUMENTS AVAILABLE

Consular Report of Birth (FS-240)

On November 1, 1990, the Department of State ceased issuing multiple copies of the Consular Report of Birth (FS-240). As of that date, a new format for the FS-240 went into effect. All previously issued FS-240s are acceptable proof of U.S. citizenship (Public Law 97-241 - Aug. 24, 1982). To obtain a replacement for a lost or mutilated document, please submit a notarized written request including 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.” Mail it to the address below. The affidavit must contain the: 1) name, (2) date, and (3) place of birth of the subject; (4) a statement regarding the whereabouts of the original FS-240; and (5) be signed by the subject, parent, or legal representative.

Certification of Report of Birth (DS-1350)

If the birth was recorded in the form of a Consular Report of Birth, a Certification of Report of Birth (DS-1350) can be issued in multiple copies. The DS-1350 contains the same information as that on the new format Consular Report of Birth and is acceptable for all legal purposes. The DS-1350 is not issued overseas and can be obtained only by writing to the address below.

AMENDING/CORRECTING THE CONSULAR REPORT OF BIRTH

To amend or correct a Consular Report of Birth, submit a written request - accompanied by certified copies of all documents appropriate for effecting the change (e.g., 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 concerning its whereabouts, also must be included.

OBTAINING COPIES OF THE FS-240, DS-1350, AND PANAMA CANAL ZONE BIRTH CERTIFICATES
The DS-1350 or a replacement FS-240 can be obtained by writing to:

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

A written request must be notarized and must include a copy of valid photo identification of the requester. The written request must include:
(1) full name of child at birth (plus any adoptive names)
(2) date and place of birth
(3) names of parents
(4) serial number, if known, of the FS-240 (on those issued after November 1, 1990) if known
(5) any available passport information
(6) signature of requester and
(7) notarized affidavit for a replacement FS-240 (if applicable).
Note: For Panama Canal Zone (PCZ) birth certificates, just include items (1) through (3).

The fee for an FS-240 is $30. The fees for DS-1350 and PCZ certificates are $30 for the first copy, $20 each additional copy . Make check or bank draft drawn on a bank in the United States, or money order, payable to the "Department of State." The Department will assume no responsibility for cash lost in the mail. Documents will be provided 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.

CERTIFICATE OF CITIZENSHIP ISSUED BY THE IMMIGRATION AND NATURALIZATION SERVICE

A person, who acquired United States citizenship through birth abroad to a U.S. citizen parent(s) or who acquired U.S. citizenship by derivative naturalization, may apply for a Certificate of Citizenship under the provisions of Section 341 of the Immigration and Nationality Act. Application for this document may be made in the United States to the nearest office of the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services in the Department of Homeland Security. Upon approval, a Certificate of Citizenship will be issued in the name of the subject, but only if that person is in the United States. Obtaining this certificate involves presentation of basically the same documentation required to obtain a Consular Report of Birth. Under law, the Consular Report of Birth and the Certificate of Citizenship are equally acceptable as proof of citizenship.