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Report of Birth

Reporting of Birth Abroad

Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA) documents the American nationality of a person born abroad to at least one U.S. citizen parent. It is not a birth certificate, but it serves as primary evidence of American citizenship. The birth of a child abroad to at least one U.S. citizen parent should be reported to the Embassy or Consulate where the birth occurred as soon as possible in order to establish the child’s claim to U.S. citizenship.

The U.S. Consulate General in Dubai can only issue a CRBA for a child born within its consular district: Dubai, Sharjah, Ras al Khaimah, Fujeirah, Umm al Quwain and Ajman.  The U.S. Embassy in Abu Dhabi issues CRBAs for children born in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.  In some cases we may accept CRBA applications for children born outside the UAE and forward it to the appropriate Embassy or Consulate for processing.  Please note only completed applications will be accepted and that this process can take approximately 2-3 months.

At the time a CRBA application is accepted, parents can almost always apply for a first-time passport to be issued along with the CRBA. It takes approximately fifteen business days to process both documents. Once the CRBA and passport are issued, parents are encouraged to apply for a Social Security Card for their child.

How to Apply for a CRBA

Only the parents or legal guardian(s) of a child may apply for a CRBA, and both parents as well as the child must appear at the U.S. Consulate General when applying for a CRBA. The following forms and documents are required for all CRBA applicants, and all documents must be originals and have certified English translations, if necessary. We require copies of all original forms submitted. While copies can be made by Consulate staff there is a $1USD charge per copy for this service. 

The following original documents are required if applicable:

  • Original naturalization certificate(s) of parent(s) and one photocopy
  • Original divorce decree(s) and one photocopy
  • Original death certificate(s) for parent(s) and one photocopy
  • If only one parent is a U.S. citizen AND the U.S. citizen parent will not appear for the Consular Report of Birth Abroad interview, DS-5507 - Affidavit of Parentage & Physical Presence and Support
  • Proof of five years physical presence in the U.S. of the American citizen parent

Transmission Requirements

The Immigration and Nationality Act defines the ability of one or both U.S. citizen parents to transmit American citizenship to a child born abroad. This ability is based primarily on the citizenship of the parents, their time(s) of residence in the U.S., and their relationship status at the time of the child’s birth. The requirements are outlined here:

  • If both parents are U.S. citizens and the child is born in wedlock, they must have resided in the U.S. at some time prior to the child’s birth.
  • If one parent is a U.S. citizen and the child is born in wedlock, the U.S. citizen parent must have been physically present in the U.S. for five years prior to the child’s birth, two of which must be after the age of 14.
  • If the child is born out of wedlock, transmission requirements depend on which parent is the U.S. citizen parent. If the mother is the U.S. citizen, she must have been physically present in the U.S. for 12 consecutive months prior to the child’s birth. If the father is the U.S. citizen, he must have been physically present in the U.S. for five years prior to the child’s birth, two of which must be after the age of 14. For either parent, additional requirements to establish the blood relationship between parent and child and to assure support for the child may apply.

Important: Residency is not equivalent to physical presence and the burden of proof is on the U.S. citizen parent to provide sufficient evidence of physical presence in the United States. Evidence may include military discharge papers, school transcripts, W-2s and tax returns, and previous CRBAs from the same family (i.e., the children share the same parents). All documentary proof must be originals. You are welcome to bring other documents (i.e. leases, phone bills, etc.) as secondary evidence, which may or may not be accepted upon review.

Immigrant Visas: There are two Immigrant Visa alternative routes that may apply to cases where it may be difficult or impossible for a U.S. citizen parent to meet the transmission requirements of physical presence in the United States.  The Child Citizenship Act of 2000 allows parents to apply for an Immigrant Visa and subsequently U.S. citizenship to children who meet certain criteria.  If the criteria is not met for the Child Citizenship Act of 2000, the American citizen parent may still apply for an immigrant visa for the child, if the family is planning on living in the U.S. permanently.  To file an immigrant visa, please visit www.USCIS.gov.  In the UAE, immigrant visas are handled solely by the U.S. Embassy in Abu Dhabi.  You may contact the U.S. Embassy in Abu Dhabi’s through this link:  http://abudhabi.usembassy.gov/contactus.html or go to their website for more information http://abudhabi.usembassy.gov/immigrant_visas.html.

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