One can become a U.S. Citizen through a variety of means—birth in the United States, birth abroad to a U.S. citizen parent, or through the naturalization process. For all of these, a specific series of legal requirements must be met. At the U.S. Embassy and Consulates in Germany, we can provide certification of U.S. citizenship for eligible individuals born abroad to U.S. citizen parents. Our Consulate in Frankfurt also processes Certificates of Loss of Nationality for those U.S. citizens who would like to give up their U.S. citizenship or believe that they have expatriated themselves.
For more information, please click on the appropriate service below:
Consular Report of Birth Abroad (under age 18)
As a U.S. citizen parent(s), you should report your child’s birth abroad as soon as possible to the U.S. Embassy or a U.S. Consulate to establish an official record of the child’s claim to or acquisition of U.S. citizenship at birth. The official record will be the Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA), Form FS-240. This form is evidence of U.S. citizenship, issued to a child born abroad to a U.S. citizen parent or parents who meet the requirements for transmitting citizenship under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). CRBA applications must be made before the child’s 18th birthday.
Applying for a Consular Report of Birth Abroad
Applying for a CRBA is a simple process, but does require you to collect and submit some documentation. We offer this service by appointment only in Berlin, Frankfurt, Munich and at our Consular Agency in Bremen. Generally speaking, both parents should appear along with their child, to apply. For your convenience, if both parents appear, you may also apply for your child’s first passport and social security number when you report your child’s birth.
To Apply for Your Child’s Consular Report of Birth Abroad, please complete Form DS-2029 (pdf), Application for Consular Report of Birth Abroad. Then schedule an appointment for the service, and bring payment for the appropriate fee, along with the following supporting documents:
- Child’s German Birth Certificate (beglaubigte Abschrift/Ausdruck aus dem Geburtenregister). This is the German birth certificate issued by local authorities on request. This document must show the biological parents’ names. Other short-form birth certificates (like the “Geburtsurkunde”) are not acceptable for documenting your child as a U.S. citizen. [Note: Children born before January 1, 2009 may have been issued an “Abstammungsurkunde.” All Abstammungsurkunden issued before January 1, 2009 are also acceptable.] Please bring the original and two photocopies of the document.
- Evidence of Parents’ Citizenship and Identity. Your current passport is the preferred form of proof. A U.S. birth certificate or naturalization certificate is also acceptable, but in this case, you must also present government-issued photo ID. Please bring the original plus 2 photocopies of the bio page of the passport or/and Certificate of Naturalization or Citizenship.
- For married parents, a marriage certificate. If your certificate is in a language other than English or German, a certified translation must be provided. Please bring the original and 1 photocopy of the document.
- For parents with prior marriages, we require divorce decrees, annulments, or death certificates showing that the marriages have ended, legally speaking. If your document is in a language other than English or German, a certified translation must be provided. Please bring the original and 1 photocopy of the document.
- Proof of the U.S. citizen parent’s physical presence in the U.S. Examples of acceptable primary evidence of this physical presence include: Original school transcripts, records of military service showing nature of discharge (if any), Social Security income statements, and employment records. Please submit original statements rather than copies of originals. Secondary evidence might include: income tax returns filed in the U.S., utility bills, medical records, former/current passports with stamps, airline ticket stubs, credit card bills, or notarized affidavits from former/current employers. The amount of time you must demonstrate that you resided in the U.S. to transmit citizenship to your child will depend on your marital status and if only one or both parents are U.S. citizens. More information can be found here at travel.state.gov/. Please bring the original and 1 photocopy of the document.
- If the parents are not married or if the unmarried U.S. citizen father is not present on the day of the application, we need a notarized affidavit of parentage, physical presence, and financial support from the father. Please fill out the DS-5507 Affidavit of Parentage and Physical Presence (pdf).
- For unmarried U.S. citizen fathers, we also require a legal statement recognizing paternity (“Vaterschaftsanerkennung”) and a legal statement regarding custody(“Sorgerechterklärung”). Please bring the original and 1 photocopy of the document.
- If you also wish to apply for your child’s first passport, please also bring the forms outlined here.
- To apply for your child’s Social Security number, please also complete an SS-5 Application for Social Security Card (pdf). Further general information on this subject and the application form can be found on the main website for the Social Security Administration or by emailing directly to Frankfurt@ssa.gov.
Please remember to bring all required documentation with you to your appointment. If you do not bring all of the required forms and supporting documentation, you may be required to reschedule your appointment and there will be a delay in processing your case.
Claims to U.S. Citizenship (over age 18)
If you are over the age of 18, were born to a U.S. citizen parent or parents, and believe that you have a claim to U.S. citizenship, please review this website for more information on U.S. nationality law. If, after reviewing it, you still believe you have a claim to citizenship, arrange for a personal appointment at the Embassy or Consulate that serves your area through the sidebar on the right hand side of this page.
Renunciations & Relinquishments
To renounce U.S. citizenship, you must perform a series of actions voluntarily and with intent to relinquish U.S. citizenship. The basic nature and elements of a renunciation are outlined here at travel.state.gov/.
U.S. citizens cannot effectively renounce their citizenship by mail, through an agent, or while in the United States because of the provisions of section 349(a)(5) of the Immigration and Nationality Act. All renunciations and other recognitions of loss of nationality for U.S. citizens in Germany are processed at the U.S. Consulate General in Frankfurt. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange for an appointment, and for more information on the required documentation.