Are you a U.S. citizen with a new addition to the family born overseas? Before you set off on family vacations from Disneyland to the Florida Keys, your little one will need their own U.S. passport.
While we aim to make getting your travel documents a breeze, we unfortunately can't assist with U.S. passport applications for children born abroad directly. However, our expertise is still at your service! We've designed this step-by-step guide to help you through the complexities of securing your child's U.S. passport.
Read on to get the latest and most straightforward information. We're here to simplify the complexities so you can focus on packing those cute baby swimsuits and planning your next family adventure!
Does my child have the right to the U.S. Passport?
You've bought the baby sunscreen and packed the tiniest flip-flops imaginable for your American adventure. But you still wonder if your new bundle of joy has the right to a U.S. passport.
The short answer
Great news for globetrotting families! If you're a U.S. citizen, your child usually has the right to a U.S. passport. But before you start thinking about the family selfies at the Grand Canyon, there are some boxes to check off.
The documents and details you’ll need to apply
Getting that adorable baby passport photo is not the only requirement. You must ensure your child meets specific criteria to prove they're eligible for U.S. citizenship. Let's break it down:
Parents' citizenship status: If both of you are U.S. citizens, you're off to a great start! If only one parent is, there might be additional rules about how much time that parent has spent in the U.S.
Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA): Your child will need a Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA). This is proof of U.S. citizenship and is usually obtained from a U.S. embassy or consulate in the country where your child was born.
Application form (DS-11): This is the standard U.S. passport application form for a new passport. You'll need to fill this out and bring it along with other documents like your child's foreign birth certificate and proof of your relationship with them.
Your ID: Bring your valid U.S. passport or other proof of U.S. citizenship.
Proof of parent-child relationship: Generally, the foreign birth certificate with both parents' names is sufficient. However, is more proof is required, be prepared with additional proof, like DNA test results.
How do I prove parentship to my child born abroad?
Wondering how to prove that your new addition truly belongs in the family album? Here's an essential list to help you easily establish parentship to your child born abroad:
Foreign birth certificate: Make sure it lists both parents' names.
If one parent isn't a U.S. citizen, or if the U.S. citizen parent can't be there when the child is applying for proof of U.S. citizenship (known as a CRBA), that parent should fill out a form called DS-5507. This form helps show their time spent living in the United States.
If the child's parents aren't married, and the father is a U.S. citizen or a non-citizen but a U.S. national, the DS-5507 form should be filled out. This serves as proof of paternity as well as an agreement to support the child financially. The father must sign this form either at a U.S. embassy or consulate or in front of an official who can legally record births or take official promises (oaths).
Extra proof (if needed):
DNA test results: Usually a last-resort option.
Adoption or custody papers: Required if your child is adopted or there are custody agreements in place.
Witness testimonies: Credible witnesses who can vouch for your parent-child relationship.
Additional documentation: Photos, school records, and medical records can be provided as supplementary evidence.
How does the application for a children’s U.S. passport work?
The process of applying for a U.S. passport for a child born abroad is simple. Here are the steps you need to follow:
Step 1: Fill out form DS11 with the minor’s details on the U.S. embassy website closest to you. Remember that the application must be signed in front of a consular officer, notary public, or any other person qualified to administer oaths.
Step 2: Collect U.S. citizenship evidence (if your child was born abroad, you must bring the registration certificate to the U.S. embassy), parental relationship documents, ID, and a passport photo of the child. Check how much you must pay and write a bank check with the correct amount.
Step 3: You must schedule an appointment at your nearest U.S. embassy or consulate. Usually, both parents and the child need to go to the U.S. embassy or consulate for an interview.
Please note: Some U.S. embassies and consulates allow for online applications. We strongly advise checking with your nearest U.S. embassy or consulate before you apply.
Need more information?
Contact our expert customer service team, or email them at [email protected] with all your questions. They are available to assist with your US passport renewal, visas, and other travel documents.