FAQ: How to Get Your Birth Certificate When You Are a US Citizen Born Abroad?

Are you an American citizen that was born abroad? If you haven’t already acquired it, knowing how to obtain a birth certificate if you were born overseas might be beneficial if you find yourself unsure of where to start. It is imperative that if you gave birth abroad, or had children born abroad, you contact your local consulate or U.S. Embassy as soon as possible. Once notified, your consulate or embassy will start the application process. A Consular Report of Birth Abroad (a CRBA or Form FS-240) will be granted to your child. You may also apply for a passport for your child at this time. You are not required to have a CRBA to apply for your child’s passport, but it is advised to obtain one for future identification purposes when you and your child return to the United States.

Frequently Asked Questions about obtaining a birth certificate for foreign born children of American citizens:

Q: Who do I contact to obtain a birth certificate if my child was born abroad?

A: You will need to call the office responsible for issuing vital documents for the facility you gave birth at. Then you’ll need to contact your nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate to begin the application process for a CRBA (Consular Report of Birth Abroad) as soon as possible after the birth of your child born abroad to determine citizenship.

Q: Will my child be issued a birth certificate, and if so, where will it state my child was born?

A: Once you’ve contacted the office responsible for issuing vital records for the facility and location that your child was born and it is submitted to your US Embassy or Consulate, you will fill out a Form FS-240. Once that is approved the document you will be provided with is a CRBA (Consular Report of Birth Abroad). This document will be your child’s official record to claim of citizenship with the United States. This will serve as ID in all the same capacities as a regular birth certificate.

Q: What if I was born abroad and need a birth certificate replacement?

A: You can request a replacement CRBA at any time through the U.S. Department of State. If you need an actual copy of your birth document, you’ll need to contact the vital records office responsible for the location you gave birth.

Q: I would like to amend mine or my child’s CRBA, how do I do that?

A: Contacting the U.S. Department of State will tell you all requirements necessary to amend your CRBA.

The process is pretty straight forward when it comes to ordering or vital birth records from overseas. Sometimes you’ll be required to provide documentation for yourself if you are the legal guardian of a child born abroad. In the event you find yourself needing a certified copy of your vital documents, Vitalchek.com can assist you in replacing those documents in a secure and timely fashion.


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