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A child born outside the United States may be eligible for U.S. citizenship if at least one parent meets the transmission of the Immigration and Nationality Act. U.S. citizens eligible to transmit citizenship may apply for a Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA), on behalf of their minor child, to document the child’s U.S. citizenship.
A CRBA application must be made before the child’s 18th birthday. Please note that the CRBA is not a travel document, therefore we recommend that you apply for your child’s CRBA and first U.S. passport at the same time. and well in advance of any prospective travel to the United States. Under U.S. law, any person who is a U.S. citizen must use a U.S. passport to enter and exit the United States, even if they hold another nationality and passport.
Applying for a CRBA is a simple process but does require you to collect and submit some documentation, and then appear with your child in person by appointment at the U.S. Embassy/Consulate in Berlin, Frankfurt, or Munich. Both parents should appear along with their child to apply.
NEW! We have streamlined the first step of the application process by offering the option to complete and submit the CRBA application form and payment online through the eCRBA system.
To be eligible for the online application process, you must be able to answer YES to all of the following criteria:
- The child was born in Germany
- The child is under the age of 18
- At least one parent was a U.S. Citizen or U.S. National when the child was born
- You did not use Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) in having your child for whom you are seeking a Consular Report of Birth Abroad
- You can use a credit card or a direct payment from your U.S. bank account (also known as “ACH”), to pay online for your CRBA application
- You are a biological parent or legal guardian applying for a child born abroad
If you answered YES to all of the above, please click HERE
If any of the above statements do not apply to you, then you will need to submit the paper application from DS-2029. To apply using the paper application, please follow the guidelines below.
1. Complete the CRBA Application (form DS-2029)
Complete Form DS-2029 (pdf), Application for Consular Report of Birth Abroad and print it single-sided.
Be sure to answer all questions accurately. Do not leave any of the items blank. Enter N/A if not applicable.
Please do not sign the CRBA application until instructed to do so by the consular officer.
2. Complete your Child’s First Passport Application and Social Security Statement
The application form for the minor’s passport is called the DS-11. This form needs to be completed online (recommended) or by hand on behalf of your child. Note: You cannot currently list a “Country” when completing the “Emergency Contact” section on our forms. If you wish to include an emergency contact outside the United States, please leave the section blank and fill it in by hand after printing. Be sure to answer all questions accurately. Print the application (pages 5 and 6 only-not the instructions) on two sheets of paper leaving the reverse of the page blank and bring it with you to your appointment.
- Do not sign the application until instructed to do so by the consular officer.
- Leave the Social Security Number blank and submit this signed and dated statement. Information on how to apply for a Social Security number at the U.S. Consulate General Frankfurt is available here.
Provide one U.S. passport sized (5cm x 5cm) photo. The photo must be in color and on a white background and meet the requirements found here.
Parental Consent: Either both parents must appear with the baby, or the non-present parent must provide his/her notarized consent (form DS-3053) and a copy of the ID used to complete the form. Read more about two-parent consent.
3. Gather Documents, Make Photocopies
|On the day of your appointment, you will need all of the following and submit photocopies of each for your child’s file.|
|1- Child’s German Birth Certificate (Geburtenregister)
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.|
|2- Evidence of U.S. Parents’ Citizenship and Identity||Your current passport is the preferred form of proof of U.S. citizenship. 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 and two photocopies of the bio page of the passport or Certificate of Naturalization/Citizenship and government-issued photo ID.|
|3-Passport/identification document for non-U.S. citizen parent.||The non-U.S. citizen parent must bring his/her passport or other government issued photo identification document.||Please bring the original and two photocopies of the bio page of the passport or/and|
|4– Parents’ Marriage Certificate (if applicable)||If your certificate is in a language other than English or German, a certified translation must be provided.||Please bring the original and one photocopy of the document.|
|5– Marriage Dissolution
Documentation (if applicable)
|For parents with prior marriages, we require divorce decrees, annulments, or death certificates showing that the marriages have ended, and when they ended. If your document is in a language other than English or German, a certified translation must be provided.||Please bring the original and one photocopy of the document.|
|6– Proof of the U.S. citizen parent’s physical presence in the United States before child’s birth.
The amount of time you must demonstrate that you resided in the United States to transmit citizenship to your child will depend on your marital status and if only one or both parents are U.S. citizens. Read more.
|Examples of acceptable primary evidence of this physical presence include: Original school transcripts, records of military service (DD-214) showing nature of discharge (if any), Social Security income statements, and employment records.
Secondary evidence might include: income tax returns filed in the United States, utility bills, medical records, former/current passports with stamps, airline ticket stubs, credit card bills, or notarized affidavits from former/current employers.
|Please bring the original and one photocopy of the document.|
|7-Affidavit of parentage (if parents were not married when the child was born and the U.S. citizen father is not present at the appointment)||Please fill out the DS-5507 Affidavit of Parentage and Physical Presence (pdf). The form must be completed, signed and notarized, and should be presented along with a copy of the same identity document used to notarize the form.||Please bring the original notarized document.|
|8– Unmarried U.S. citizen fathers must submit a legal statement regarding custody (“Sorgerechterklärung”), if applying for the child’s passport.||Please bring the original and one photocopy of the document.|
|Note: If your child was conceived via assisted reproductive technology (ART)/surrogate please visit the U.S. Department of State website for more information on what is required.|
4. Calculate Fees and Forms of Payment
Unless you submitted an electronic CRBA application, all payments are done at the consulate or embassy the day of your appointment.
The CRBA application fee is $100. If you also wish to apply for your child’s passport, the fee is $115 in addition to the CRBA fee ($215 total). The fees are non-refundable.
Accepted payment methods are:
- Cash in U.S. Dollars or Euros (for payments in cash local currency is preferred);
- Credit Cards: Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover; no EC Cards are accepted.
5. Provide Courier Envelope For Returning Your Documents
To avoid delay and increase security, please submit a prepaid traceable commercial courier envelope (non-padded, A4 size), such as the DHL Express Easy, FedEx, DPD, etc. when coming to your appointment.
As of January 2020, you cannot purchase the DHL ExpressEasy envelope at your local German post office. You now need to purchase the equivalent shipping label online. Please click here and follow the process online.
The return address should be the address of the U.S. Embassy in Berlin or the U.S. Consulate General in Frankfurt or Munich depending on where you are having your appointment. Please use your own email address for the “Absender” so the label will be emailed to you, and not the embassy or consulate.
Please make sure you affix the waybill label to a sturdy envelope and submit it with all other documents on the day of your appointment.
6. Schedule your Appointment
- To schedule an appointment at the U.S. Embassy in Berlin, write an email to ACSberlin@state.gov
- To schedule an appointment at the U.S. Consulate General in Frankfurt, write an email to FrankfurtPassports@state.gov (only if you don’t qualify for online CRBA submission – otherwise follow the guidelines above for eCRBA)
- To schedule an appointment at the U.S. Consulate General in Munich, write an email to Consmunich@state.gov
Remember to bring all required documentation with you to your appointment. If you do not bring all of the forms and supporting documentation, you may be required to reschedule your appointment and there will be a delay in processing your case.
The child and both parents must appear in person (review information under #2 and 3 if one of the parents cannot attend).
If you are sick or cannot make the appointment, please let us know at least 24 hours in advance so we can try and fill your slot with someone on the waiting list.
Applicants who show up late or fail to appear for their scheduled appointments will need to restart the appointment request process.
Visit this information on bringing a third party to the CRBA appointment.
If you use a wheelchair or motorized chair and need assistance, please have someone accompany you to your appointment.
7. Processing Time & Return of Documents
Processing time for your CRBA and U.S. passport is approximately 4-6 weeks from the day of your appointment. The documents will be returned to you with your return envelope once processing has been completed. Please ensure you submit a prepaid, self-addressed return envelope on the day of your appointment.
Please note: Record your tracking number and keep it in a safe place as the passport unit does not maintain this information. You may use the tracking number to track the return delivery of your CRBA and passport.