CRBA/Derivative Citizenship

Derivative U.S. Citizenship & Consular Report of Birth Abroad

Guess what? Immigrant visas are not actually the only way that people born in foreign countries obtain lawful status in the USA. Yes, it’s true that the U.S. Constitution says if someone is born on U.S. soil, they are automatically citizens. But Congress has also passed laws that allow U.S. citizenship to pass from a parent to a foreign-born child in certain situations.

You may be wondering…

Am I eligible to pass citizenship to my child?
Did my parent pass U.S. citizenship to me?

The answer depends on a lot of factors. The derivative citizenship laws are complicated and have changed many times over the years. We recommend you contact our legal team for analysis of your specific case. However, if you can answer YES to any ONE of the questions below, it is definitely worth looking into the possibility!

  • Are you a U.S. Citizen whose child was born abroad?
  • Are you a U.S. Citizen who naturalized while your child was under 18 years old?
  • Was one of your parents a U.S. citizen at the time you were born?
  • Did one of your parents become a U.S. citizen when you were under 18 years old?

Certificate of Citizenship vs. Consular Report of Birth Abroad

If you are confused about the difference between a Certificate of Citizenship and a Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA), you are not alone! These two documents are both used as proof that a person derived U.S. citizenship from a parent. Which document you’ll receive depends on the application process you use.

  • CBRAs are issued by the U.S. State Department when a child is born abroad to a parent that is a U.S. Citizen.
  • Certificates of Citizenship are issued by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to anyone who has gone through the N600 Application process to have their derived citizenship recognized.
  • Be aware that a U.S. Passport is also proof of citizenship and is also issued by the U.S. Department of State (but unlike the other documents, passports expire!)

Get Weekly Updates

Sign up for the "Immigration for Couples" newsletter, sent directly to your inbox every Monday and Thursday. We understand that navigating immigration laws as a couple can be challenging, so we're here to offer you guidance and support. Our newsletter includes easy-to-understand articles, helpful tips, and inspiring success stories to help you and your loved one every step of the way. Each edition is filled with compassionate advice and practical solutions to help you manage the complexities of immigration together. Let us help make your journey a little easier—subscribe today!

Start Receiving Our Newsletter