Reporting a Birth Abroad
Children born abroad to U.S. citizen parents may have a claim to U.S. citizenship. If the parent or parents meet the legal requirements to transmit citizenship to their child, the child’s birth may be reported at the Consular Section and a U.S. passport and social security number may be obtained for him or her. Provided the citizenship transmission requirements are met, the Consular Section will issue a Consular Report of Birth Abroad, which will serve as evidence of the child’s U.S. citizenship. For details on the requirements for transmitting citizenship, please click here. Please note that you must have been a U.S. citizen at the time of your child’s birth in order to pass citizenship to your child.
We strongly recommend that you report the birth of your child as soon as possible after birth. It is not possible to issue a Consular Report of Birth Abroad for a child who is over the age of 18, but the child may still be documented as a U.S. citizen and issued a passport. If you would like to document the citizenship of a child over the age of 18 who was born outside the United States and who never received a Consular Report of Birth Abroad, please e-mail our office for instructions.
Please note that even if your child holds the nationality of a country other than the United States, if your child has a claim to U.S. citizenship, he or she must be in possession of a valid U.S. passport to enter and exit the United States. In general, a child with a claim to U.S. citizenship may not be issued a U.S. visa in his or her foreign passport.
The process of applying for a Consular Report of Birth Abroad is a complex one that takes time. You should expect to spend between one to two hours at the Consular Section. Coming with all of your documents in order will reduce your time spent in our office. Please read our strict security requirements closely so that you will be prepared, as well. Note that you will be required to leave your baby carriage at our security checkpoint.
Requirements for Applying for a Consular Report of Birth Abroad
Please read all of the following information carefully in order to ensure a smooth and efficient visit to the Consulate to register the birth of your child.
You must bring the following with you to the appointment:
- A completed Application for Consular Report of Birth Abroad (DS-2029) (PDF 53 KB). Please ensure that all blanks are filled in or marked "N/A" if not applicable.
- The child's original, certified birth certificate that indicates both parents' names, if applicable. This certificate must be issued by a governmental issuing authority; a hospital birth record is not acceptable.
- In cases involving parents who are not Israeli citizens, or if the parents' marriage took place outside of Israel, the Israeli Ministry of the Interior may issue a birth confirmation instead of a birth certificate. The birth confirmation may not list the father’s name, and in some cases, the mother’s maiden name may appear as the child’s surname. These confirmations constitute valid evidence of birth for the purposes of applying for a Consular Report of Birth Abroad, but the parents must provide supplementary evidence of relationship to the child, which may include, but is not limited to, a marriage certificate. The Consular Section will thoroughly review all materials presented and has the discretion to request additional evidence.
- Proof of the parent(s)' U.S. citizenship. This may consist of a U.S. passport, a certificate of naturalization, a certificate of citizenship, a Consular Report of Birth Abroad, or a U.S. birth certificate accompanied by a valid photo ID.
- The parents' original, certified marriage certificate (if applicable).
- The original divorce decrees from any of the parents' previous marriages (if applicable).
- Evidence of name change (if applicable). If the name of the U.S. citizen parent(s) or the child varies from document to document, you must provide evidence showing the link between the names. This evidence may include a marriage certificate, a court order, a name change certificate issued by a government authority, or other evidence showing the use of both names.
- A non-refundable application fee of $100. This fee will not be refunded if the consular officer determines that your child is not eligible for citizenship. Please click here for more information about paying fees at our office.
In addition, please take note of the following important points:
- While applying for the Consular Report of Birth Abroad, you may also apply for a passport and Social Security number for your child. For details on the requirements for a passport application, please click here. To apply for a Social Security number for your child, you must complete this form (PDF 238 KB) and bring it with you to your appointment.
- Only one U.S. citizen parent needs to come to the Consular Section to apply for a Consular Report of Birth. However, if you are also applying for a passport for your child, the child must be present and both parents must either appear or provide notarized consent for the passport's issuance. For further information, please visit this page.
Proof of Physical Presence or Residency
In order to transmit citizenship, the U.S. citizen parent or parents must show evidence of physical presence or residence in the United States. Click here for more information on the physical presence requirements. If only one of the child’s parents is a U.S. citizen, the U.S. citizen parent must complete this physical presence affidavit (PDF 15 KB) and provide evidence of time spent in the U.S., such as school records, old passports, and other documentation that corroborate the affidavit.
Consular Reports of Birth Abroad for previous children do not constitute sufficient proof that parents can transmit citizenship, since each child’s case must be adjudicated separately. Please bring evidence of your physical presence or residency in the U.S. even if you have presented that evidence in conjunction with applications for other children.
Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART)
Effective January 31, 2014, The Department of State interprets the Immigration and Nationality Act to require that a U.S. citizen parent have a genetic or gestational connection to his or her child in order to transmit U.S. citizenship to the child at birth. In other words, the U.S citizen parent must have provided the sperm or the egg for the child, or the U.S. citizen mother must have carried the child in utero. (Depending on the circumstances of your case, we may request medical records in addition to the child’s birth certificate.) For a detailed discussion of the implications of ART in the context of transmitting U.S. citizenship, please visit this page.
Failure to Transmit Citizenship
If the consular officer determines that you did not meet the requirements to transmit citizenship to your child at birth, he or she will issue you a letter to that effect that you can use when applying for a visa for the child to travel to the United States.
The Child Citizenship Act
A child who did not obtain citizenship at birth may be eligible to obtain U.S. citizenship under the Child Citizenship Act of 2000. For further information on this process, please visit the State Department's Child Citizenship Act information page.
Delivery of Issued Documents
The delivery time for a Consular Report of Birth Abroad is generally two to three weeks if you are also applying for your child’s passport. Wait times for only the Consular Report of Birth Abroad are slightly shorter. Please examine the Consular Report of Birth Abroad immediately upon receiving it to confirm that the information is correct.
You may either pick up your issued Consular Report of Birth Abroad at our office or have it mailed to you. When you come to the Consular Section for your appointment, you can arrange courier delivery by one of our contracted courier services. The courier service will either deliver your documents directly to your chosen address or call you for pick-up at one of its distribution centers. You may also, if you wish, submit a self-addressed, stamped envelope (A4 size) with at least 16.70 NIS of postage.
Replacement or Correction of a Consular Report of Birth Abroad
If a mistake was made on your Consular Report of Birth Abroad certificate due to our error or omission, we will correct and replace your Consular Report of Birth Abroad certificate at no additional cost. To request such a replacement, you must submit the original Consular Report of Birth Abroad certificate, a statement explaining the mistake, and original documentation confirming the correction that should be made. Please send your package by registered mail to the following address:
U.S. Consulate General Jerusalem
ATTN: American Citizen Services Unit
P.O. Box 290
Please include a self-addressed, postage paid envelope with your package so we can send the documents back to you.
To replace a lost or stolen Consular Report of Birth Abroad or to request an amendment to a Consular Report of Birth Abroad for a reason other than an error committed by our office, please follow the instructions here.
Scheduling an Appointment
You must make an appointment to apply for a Consular Report of Birth at our office. Each appointment is valid only for one child’s application; to register multiple children, you must make multiple appointments.
Please remember that while applying for the Consular Report of Birth Abroad, you may also apply for a passport and Social Security number for your child without making an additional appointment. For details on the requirements for a passport application, please click here. To apply for a Social Security number for your child, you must complete this form (PDF 238 KB) and bring it with you to your appointment.
Copies of Documents
The U.S. Consulate General Jerusalem is often asked how people can obtain copies of vital documents that were issued in the U.S.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC), a U.S. government entity, offers state-specific information on how to obtain copies of birth, marriage, divorce, and death certificates issued in the United States.
Please follow this link to the Centers for Disease Control's National Center for Health Statistics, which will guide you through the process. You may follow this link to view/download the PDF version of this information (431.15 KB).