How Do Children Born Outside the US Get Citizenship?


If you are a U.S. citizen and your child is born outside of the United States, you may wonder how to prove their citizenship. The process can be a bit complex, but it’s essential to ensure your child’s rights as a U.S. citizen. In the United States, there are two primary ways individuals can become citizens: “jus soli” (by birth on U.S. soil) and “jus sanguinis” (by blood). In this blog post, we’ll explore the process of proving citizenship for children born abroad to U.S. citizen parents and provide some insights into the steps involved.

1. Understanding Citizenship by Birth Abroad To establish your child’s U.S. citizenship, you will need to go through a process called a Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA). This process involves reporting your child’s birth to the nearest U.S. Embassy or consulate.

2. Completing the Application (DS-2029) The first step in the CRBA process is to complete an application, known as DS-2029. You can find this form on the specific website of the U.S. Embassy or consulate closest to your location. Each country may have its own unique procedures for scheduling appointments, so make sure to follow the guidelines provided.

3. Scheduling an Appointment After filling out the DS-2029 application and gathering all the necessary documents, you’ll need to schedule an appointment with the U.S. Embassy or consulate. In most cases, it’s advisable for both parents to appear for this appointment. During the appointment, you’ll submit the application and sign it in the presence of an immigration official.

4. Applying for a U.S. Passport At the appointment, you can also apply for a U.S. passport for your child. This is a crucial step, as the Consular Report of Birth Abroad proves your child’s citizenship, but a U.S. passport is necessary for international travel.

5. Required Documents The specific documents required may vary depending on whether the parents are married, which parent is the U.S. citizen, and other individual circumstances. Generally, you will need your child’s birth certificate, marriage certificate (if applicable), proof of the U.S. citizen parent’s residence in the U.S. before the child’s birth, and possibly documents like U.S. tax returns and proof of employment.

Proving citizenship for a child born abroad to U.S. citizen parents involves a careful and well-documented process through the Consular Report of Birth Abroad. While the requirements may differ based on individual situations, following the guidelines provided by the U.S. Embassy or consulate and ensuring all necessary documents are in order will help you secure your child’s citizenship. This process is essential for families who want to ensure that the whole family unit can enter and live in the United States together.

For more valuable information and resources on navigating your immigration journey, be sure to check out our free Resource Center at We offer a wealth of resources designed to assist individuals and couples on their path to becoming U.S. citizens.