Reporting of Birth Abroad
Congratulations on the birth of your child! As United States citizen parent(s) you must be anxious to know whether your child, who is born outside of the United States, is entitled to American citizenship, and if so, what procedures you need to follow in order for your child to be documented as a citizen. Whenever an American citizen child is born outside of the United States, a legal document called the Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA) is issued to the child. The CRBA serves as original evidence of U.S. citizenship and functions the same way as a birth certificate does in the United States.
We recommend that you register your child's birth as soon as possible, but you must do so before his/her eighteenth birthday or before his/her first visit to the United States, whichever comes first. United States law requires that U.S. citizens, including dual nationals, travel to the United States on valid U.S. passports. We cannot issue a CRBA on or after the child's 18th birthday.
A CRBA must be applied for in the consular district in which the child was born. In Pakistan, these districts are Islamabad, Lahore, Karachi, and Peshawar. If you are unsure of the consular district in which your child was born, you should verify it at the time you call for an appointment. To schedule an appointment for a CRBA for a child born in the Karachi Consular District, please call us.
Eligibility for Citizenship
Eligibility for citizenship must be documentarily proven before a CRBA is issued. A child over the age of 18 is ineligible for a CRBA, but may still be eligible for a passport and citizenship. Contact the Consulate General for more information.
- A child born in wedlock to two U.S. citizen parents is a citizen as long as one of the parents has resided in the United States sometime prior to the child's birth.
- A child born in wedlock to one U.S. citizen parent and one alien parent is a citizen as long as the U.S. Citizen parent was present in the United States for 5 years prior to the child's birth, two of which were after age 14.
- A child born out of wedlock to a U.S. citizen mother is a citizen as long as the mother was physically present in the United States continuously for 12 months at any time prior to the child's birth.
- A child born out of wedlock to a U.S. citizen father is a citizen as long as paternity is clearly and convincingly established, the child is legitimated for the purpose of citizenship, and the father commits to financially support the child. The father must have been physically present in the United States for 5 years prior to the child's birth, two of which were after age 14.
Please bring the following items with you when applying for a Report of Birth Abroad. All documents must be presented in the original. If the document is not in English, then both the original in the foreign language and a certified English translation with photocopy are required.
- Completed Application for Consular Report of Birth Abroad (DS 2029);
- Optional: Completed Application for a Passport (DS-11). We recommend that parents apply for their child's U.S. passport along with the CRBA. The standard passport requirements and fees apply to this service;
- Optional: Application for a Social Security Card (SS-5);
- The total fee is $205 (CRBA--$100 and passport--$105);
- One recent photograph of the child. 2 x 2 inches, non-glossy photo with white background, front pose; both ears should be visible.
- Child's birth certificate issued by the hospital with one photocopy;
- Child's birth certificate issued by the local government authority (e.g., Union Council, NADRA, or Cantonment Board) with three photocopies;
- Notarized English translation of birth certificate issued by the local government authority with three photocopies;
- U.S. passport and/or Certificate of Naturalization of U.S. citizen parent(s) with three photocopies or a certified copy of either. Certified copies must be notarized by a U.S. notary public or the U.S. Embassy/Consulate. Pakistani notarials will not be accepted;
- Evidence of citizenship of non-U.S. citizen parent (e.g., Pakistani passport) with three photocopies;
- Parents' original marriage certificate with one photocopy;
- Notarized English translation of parents' marriage certificate with one photocopy;
- Evidence of termination of any previous marriages (an original Divorce/Death Certificate with one photocopy). Rupee paper will not be accepted;
- Notarized English translation of Divorce/Death Certificate with one photocopy;
Completed Affidavit of Parentage, Physical Presence and Support (DS-5507 (PDF165KB), if only one parent is a U.S. citizen, stating precise periods of physical presence in the United States Beginning from the date first entered the U.S., regardless of the status, list all the dates when American citizen parent was physically present in the United States, up until the date of the execution of this form.
- Documentary proof that the American citizen parent meets the physical presence requirements for transmission of citizenship. If only one parent is a U.S. citizen, five years' proof of physical presence in the United States is required. At least two years must be after the American parent reached the age of 14. Proof of physical presence may take the form of bank or credit card statements showing monthly transactions, property leases, postmarked letters, motor vehicle records, medical records, military records, school and university transcripts, tax returns with W-2's, letters or HR records from employers stating precise periods of employment in the United States, pay stubs, and/or passport entry/exit stamps, among others. We will consider the evidence in its totality -- one document by itself will not establish proof of physical presence for time in the United States. As income may be earned in the United States while not being physically present there, Social Security, tax, and bank records by themselves cannot serve as proof of physical presence. We understand that it is often difficult to obtain these documents, but proof of physical presence cannot be waived.