Reporting the Birth of a Child Abroad

The birth of a child abroad to a U.S. citizen parent should be reported as soon as possible to the nearest U.S. consular office for the purpose of establishing an official record of the child’s claim to U.S. citizenship at birth.  The official U.S. record is a Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA) for a citizen of the United States of America.  A primary requirement to qualify for a CRBA is that the U.S. citizen parent must be a U.S. citizen at the time the child’s birth.  The document, referred to as the CRBA or FS-240, is considered a vital United States citizenship document.  An original FS-240 is furnished to the parent(s) if the registration is approved.

Step 1: Complete the Applications

  • Form DS-2029 (PDF 344 KB): Application for Consular Report of Birth Abroad

Step 2: Prepare the Documents That We Need to See

You must submit ORIGINAL documents or copies certified by the custodian of the record.  Generally, we will return your documents after we have seen them.  We cannot accept photocopies or notarized copies of documents.

  1. Child’s Bolivian Birth Certificate:  This document is issued by the Corte Electoral and shows the parents’ names.
  2. Evidence of Parent(s)’ U.S. Citizenship and Identity:  This may consist of a U.S. passport, U.S. passport card, Consular Report of Birth Abroad, Naturalization Certificate, Certificate of Citizenship or timely filed U.S. birth certificate.  A passport or government issued Photo ID must be presented as proof of identity.
  3. Evidence of the U.S. citizen parent(s)’ physical presence or residence  in the United States prior to the birth of the child: Such evidence may include, but is not limited to affidavits, school, employment, tax and medical records, utility bills, rent receipts, or other official public documents.  Evidence of time spent abroad working for the U.S. government, U.S. Armed Forces or qualifying international organization, or as s dependent child of a person working abroad for such entities prior to the birth of the child is also acceptable in some cases.
  4. Evidence of a biological relationship between the parent(s) and child: Such evidence may include pre-natal and post-natal medical such as the mothers pregnancy book/records isued by a doctor, clinic, or hospital; and/or photos of the parents before, during and after the pregnancy.
  5. Parent’s marriage certificate, if applicable.
  6. Evidence of the termination of any previous marriages of the parents: divorce decree, annulment decree, or death certificate.
  7. If a person other than a parent or the child is applying for the Consular Report of Birth Abroad, the person must present a certified copy of legal guardianship or notarized affidavit from the parent(s) authorizing the person to make the application.

Please remember to bring all required application forms and documentation with you to the appointment.  If you fail to do so, you may be required to schedule a new interview.  Please bring ORIGINALS of each document.

Step 3: Schedule an Appointment

In order to provide more effective customer service, the American Citizens Services unit has an appointment system for all non-emergency services, including birth registrations. We ask that you make an appointment before your visit .  Please note that the child and the parent(s) or legal guardian(s) will all need to have appointments. Our system allows you to plan your visit in advance, ensures shorter wait times, and allows more efficient handling of individual cases. Only customers with appointments will be admitted into the Consular Section for all non-emergency matters.

Step 4: Attend the appointment and pay the fee

  • The child and parent(s) or legal guardian(s) are required to come to the interview.
  • The fee is US$100.00 (payable in cash or its equivalent in Bolivianos, or with a U.S. credit card)

Processing Time

Once the citizenship claim has been approved, the Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA) will be printed in the United States and sent to the U.S. Embassy in La Paz within 4 weeks of the date in which the Consular Officer informs you that the application is complete.  If the application was submitted at the Santa Cruz Consular Agency, the CRBA will be sent to the Santa Cruz Consular Agency.  If you are required to bring additional evidence to comply with U.S. law, you will have 90 days from the date of the interview to submit the evidence.

DNA Examinations

In some instances it is not possible to conclusively determine the U.S. citizenship of a child at birth based on the documents submitted. In these cases, the Consular Officer may request a DNA exam to establish parentage.  This will involve the supervised taking of saliva samples from the parties involved by an accredited laboratory.  Please do not conduct independent DNA exams, as only results from the U.S. Embassy requested tests can be used to determine a genetic relationship for citizenship purposes

Social Security Card

Once you receive your child’s Consular Report of Birth Abroad and U.S. Passport, please contact the SSA Federal Benefits Unit (FBU) located in Costa Rica to request information on how to apply for a Social Security Number (SSN) for your child. For more information on their services and how to contact them, please visit their webpage at: https://cr.usembassy.gov/u-s-citizen-services/social-security/.