Birth

The birth of a child abroad to a U.S. citizen parent(s) should be reported as soon as possible so that a Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA) can be issued as an official record of the child’s U.S. citizenship. A CRBA application can only be processed in the American Citizen Services Unit in the country where the child was born while the child is under age 18. To qualify, at least one of the parents must have been a U.S. citizen on the date of the child’s birth and must meet U.S. physical presence requirements.

For children born to two U.S. citizen married parents, one of the parents must demonstrate residence in the U.S. prior to the child’s birth. For children born after November 13, 1986 to a US citizen parent married to a non-US citizen parent, the U.S. citizen parent must have resided in the United States at least for 5 years (at least two years after the age of 14) before the child was born. Requirements for children born at other times or to unmarried parents are described here.

For more information about eligibility for a CRBA please click here

Child born in wedlock to two U.S. citizens

A child born outside of the United States and in wedlock to a U.S. citizen mother and U.S. citizen father, acquires U.S. citizenship at birth if one of the parents has been resident in the United States or one of its outlying possessions prior to the child’s birth.

NOTE – MEANING OF “IN WEDLOCK”: A child is considered to be born in wedlock for the purpose of citizenship acquisition when the genetic and/or gestational parents are legally married to each other at the time of the child’s conception or birth, or within 300 days of termination of the marriage by death or divorce, and both parents are the legal parents of the child under local law at the time and place of birth

Child born in wedlock to one U.S. citizen parent and one non U.S. citizen parent (on or after November 14, 1986)

A child born outside of the United States and in wedlock to a U.S. citizen parent and a non U.S. citizen parent, may acquire U.S. citizenship at birth if the U.S. citizen parent has been physically present in the United States or one of its outlying possessions for a period of five years, two of which were after the age of fourteen.  The U.S. citizen parent must be the genetic or the gestational parent, and the legal parent of the child under local law at the time and place of the child’s birth.

Child born out of wedlock to a U.S. Citizen mother

A child born outside of the United States and out of wedlock to a U.S. citizen mother, on or before June 11, 2017, may acquire U.S. citizenship if the mother was a U.S. citizen at the time of the child’s birth and, if the mother was physically present in the United States for a continuous period of one year (365 days) prior to the birth of the child.

(NOTE: Periods spent overseas with the U.S. government/military dependent are NOT considered as physical presence in the U.S. for transmission under this category)

In light of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Sessions v. Morales-Santana, 582 U.S.____, 137 S. Ct. 1678 (2017), a child born outside of the United States and out of wedlock to a U.S. citizen mother on or after June 12, 2017, may acquire U.S. citizenship if the mother was a U.S. citizen at the time of the child’s birth, and was physically present in the United States for a period of five years, two of which were after the age of fourteen.

In both cases, the U.S. citizen mother must be the genetic or gestational mother and the legal parent of the child under local law at the time and place of the child’s birth in order to transmit U.S. citizenship.

Child born out of wedlock to a U.S. Citizen father

A child born outside of the United States and out of wedlock to a U.S. citizen father, may acquire U.S. citizenship if the father was a U.S. citizen at the time of the child’s birth and, if the father was physically present in the United States or one of its outlying possessions for five years, two of which were after the age of fourteen.  In addition, the U.S. citizen father must acknowledge paternity and agree in writing to provide financial support for the child until he/she reaches the age of 18 years old.

Applications for a Consular Report of Birth Abroad are accepted by appointment only for the U.S. Embassy in Bogota or the U.S. Consular Agency in Barranquilla. Please print out and review the document requirements found here (PDF 85.6 KB) before making an appointment. To make an online appointment in Bogotá click here. You will need to bring the document’s checklist with you on the day of the interview.

If you would prefer to apply at the U.S. Consular Agency in Barranquilla, please click here for the Consular Agency’s location and hours.

At the time of the appointment, the parents and  child must appear in person and present the following:

View checklist in PDF (87.4KB)

  1. Form DS-2029(PDF 61 KB)(Application for Consular Report of Birth Abroad) completed but not signed.
  2. Non-refundable Application fee. Fees are payable in cash (U.S. dollars or Colombian pesos) or by credit card at the U.S. Embassy or Consular Agency. Checks and debit cards are not accepted.
  3. Parent(s)’ proof of identity and citizenship(original and two photocopies, e.g. two copies of photo page of passport(s); cédula or driver license, the originals will be returned)
  4. Child’s Colombian birth certificate(original and two notarized copies)
  5. Proof of physical presence of the U.S. citizen parent(s) in the United States sufficient to demonstrate the required time period  (may include school transcripts, tax records, pay slips, lease agreements, passport stamps, Colombian entry/departure records, etc.) Photocopies are acceptable.  We do not need original documents.
  6. Parents’ Marriage/Divorce Certificate(s):
    • If parents are married, please provide an original or certified copy of the marriage certificate.
    • If the parents were not married to each other at the time of child’s conception, please provide proof of the existence of the relationship at that time.
    • If one parent has sole custody, please provide the custody order. Regardless of whether the parents were married to each other at the time of the child’s conception and birth, both parents should also provide divorce or annulment certificates for any prior marriages.
  7.  Both parents and the child should be present for the CRBA appointment In order to help establish the biological relationship.  If one or both parents cannot attend the interview, the absent parent(s) must complete form 3053 (PDF 51KB) (Statement of Consent).  Note: parent can also submit their own written notarized consent, in English.  If neither parent will be present at the interview, each parent must present the original notarized consent DS-3053 (PDF 51KB) and a signed written letter authorizing a specific adult to complete the application process for U.S. Citizenship for the minor.
  8. Name Changes. Our policies require that the name on the Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA) certificate match the name on the Colombian birth certificate.  If you would like to change the existing name, you will need to follow one of four possible procedures:
    1. Amend the Colombian birth certificate prior to issuance of the CRBA.
    2. If local authorities will not amend the original birth certificate to include the requested given name, you may request an immaterial name change on the U.S. passport or CRBA, such as dropping a last name (either patrilineal or matrilineal).
    3. For a material name change on the U.S. passport or CRBA, if amendment of the local birth certificate would entail unusual hardship, or is not provided for under Colombian law, the parent must provide:
      1. (a)  An explanatory affidavit;
      2. (b)  Supporting evidence reflecting use of the correct name; and
      3. (c)  Verification that the vital records office cannot or will not amend the original record.
    4. If the name change is requested after the issuance of the CRBA, obtain a legal name change via court order in the United States.

* You may also be required to provide the following:

  • Social Security Earnings Report for U.S. Citizen parent (RECOMMENDED) ssa.gov
  • Colombia Migration Report for both parents (RECOMMENDED) migracioncolombia.gov.co
  • Proof of relationship between parents and child (may include family photos before, during, and after the pregnancy; money/wire transfer receipts; hospital records; Colombian migration report; etc.)
  • In some cases, consular officers may request DNA evidence to prove the biological relationship, a costly and time-consuming process. If DNA testing is requested during the interview, you will receive further instructions (DNA Instructions– PDF 109KB).

Please take the time to read the following as we will only accept photographs that meet U.S. passport photo specifications. The dimensions are the same for passport application forms DS-11, DS-82, and DS-5504.

Please note:  You must remove your eyeglasses for U.S. passport photos.

  • You may wear glasses if you have a medical issue such as recent surgery requiring eyeglasses to protect your eyes.
  • If you must wear eye glasses for medical reasons, you’ll need to obtain and submit a signed statement with your application from a medical professional or health practitioner (such as a surgeon or ophthalmologist) in these cases.

Your passport photo must be:

  • In color;
  • Printed on matte or glossy photo quality paper;
  • 2 x 2 inches (51 x 51 mm) in size;
  • Sized such that the head is between 1 inch and 1 3/8 inches (between 25 and 35 mm) from the bottom of the chin to the top of the head. Eye height is between 1 1/8 inches to 1 3/8 inches (28 mm – 35 mm) from the bottom of the photo;
  • Taken within the last 6 months to reflect your current appearance;
  • Taken in front of a plain white or off-white background;
  • Taken in full-face view directly facing the camera;
  • Taken with a neutral facial expression (preferred) or a natural smile, and with both eyes open;
  • Taken in normal street attire, without a hat, head covering, or dark glasses unless a signed doctor’s statement is submitted verifying the item is used daily for medical purposes.
  • Taken so there are no distracting shadows on the face or background.
  • In the case of a baby, the eyes are not required to be open. 

Digitized Photographs

If you choose to submit digitized photographs, they must meet the requirements as listed above or they will be rejected. Some printers will produce an unacceptable photograph in which the dots are seen, or the image is grainy. Acceptable photographs are printed on high-quality photographic paper, have a continuous tone image that is very photo-like, and show the subject clearly in focus

Non-refundable Application fee. Fees are payable in cash (U.S. dollars or Colombian pesos) or by credit card at the U.S. Embassy or Consular Agency. Checks and debit cards are not accepted.

The Embassy encourages applicants to apply for a CRBA and passport at the same time, because Consular Report of Birth Abroad is not a travel document. A passport application (requiring a completed but not signed DS-11 (PDF 100 KB) form with one 5 cm x 5 cm photo with a white background as well as an additional fee for the same child will be accepted at the CRBA appointment (no need to make an additional appointment). Please click here for more information about passport application for minors under the age of 16.

If one custodial parent is not able to attend, s/he must submit a notarized Form DS-3053 Statement of Consent. The form can be downloaded here .  At the time the DS-3053 form is presented, a copy of the same identity document used to notarize the form must also be provided.

Alternatively, the applying parent may furnish one of the following documents:

  • Child’s birth certificate listing only applying parent;
  • Adoption decree (if applying parent is sole adopting parent);
  • Court Order granting sole custody to the applying parent (i.e the absent parent has no access to the child.  Child’s travel must not be restricted by that order;
  • Judicial declaration of incompetence of non-applying parent, or death certificate of non-applying parent.

If the parents were not married at the time of the child’s birth and the U.S. citizen father is not able to attend the appointment, Form DS-5507 Affidavit of Parentage, Physical Presence and Support is required.  The form can be downloaded here (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.

The Embassy strongly encourages parents to apply for their child’s Social Security card at a Social Security office in the United States.

The Social Security Administration (SSA) has consolidated its overseas operations into several regional offices that provide a full range of SSA services for U.S. citizens residing outside of the United States.  Effective October 1, 2017, individuals residing in Colombia who require social security services or have questions about SSA benefits must contact the SSA Federal Benefits Unit (FBU) located in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic rather than the U.S. Embassy in Bogota or U.S. Consular Agency in Barranquilla.

For more information or any questions about the services provided at the FBU in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic and how to contact them, please visit their webpage at: https://do.usembassy.gov/u-s-citizen-services/social-security/ . You can also reach them via email FBU.Santo.Domingo@ssa.gov .

What is a long-form birth certificate?

You must submit a certified copy of the child’s Colombian birth certificate. Colombian authorities generally issue two types of birth certificates; you must present the long-form version.

If you have not registered your child’s birth in Colombia, you can do so at a Colombian notary’s office. Please visit the website of the Colombian Superintendent of Notaries for Spanish-language information about Colombian notary services.

Generally, immediate family members may accompany passport or CRBA applicants to their appointment interviews at a U.S. embassy or consulate, and all minor children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.  Passport or CRBA applicants also have the option of being accompanied by an attorney at their appointment interview.  Attendance by any third party, including an attorney, accompanying an applicant is subject to the following parameters designed to ensure an orderly appointment interview process and to maintain the integrity of the adjudication of the application(s):

Given space limitations in the consular section, not more than one attendee at a time will be allowed to accompany an applicant (or the applicant’s parent or guardian if the applicant is a minor).

Attendance by an attorney does not excuse the applicant and/or the minor applicant’s parent or guardian from attending the appointment interview in person.

The manner in which a passport or CRBA appointment interview is conducted, and the scope and nature of the inquiry, shall at all times be at the discretion of the consular officer, following applicable Departmental guidance.

It is expected that attorneys will provide their clients with relevant legal advice prior to, rather than at, the appointment interview, and will advise their clients prior to the appointment interview that the client will participate in the appointment interview with minimal assistance.

Attorneys may not engage in any form of legal argumentation during the appointment interview and before the consular officer.

Attendees other than a parent or guardian accompanying a minor child may not answer a consular officer’s question on behalf or in lieu of an applicant, nor may they summarize, correct, or attempt to clarify an applicant’s response, or interrupt or interfere with an applicant’s responses to a consular officer’s questions.

To the extent that an applicant does not understand a question, s/he should seek clarification from the consular officer directly.

The consular officer has sole discretion to determine the appropriate language(s) for communication with the applicant, based on the facility of both officer and applicant and the manner and form that best facilitate communication between the consular officer and the applicant.  Attendees may not demand that communications take place in a particular language solely for the benefit of the attendee.  Nor may attendees object to or insist on the participation of an interpreter in the appointment interview, to the qualifications of any interpreter, or to the manner or substance of any translation.

No attendee may coach or instruct applicants as to how to answer a consular officer’s question.

Attendees may not object to a consular officer’s question on any ground (including that the attendee regards the question to be inappropriate, irrelevant, or adversarial), or instruct the applicant not to answer a consular officer’s question.  Attendees may not interfere in any manner with the consular officer’s ability to conduct all inquiries and fact-finding necessary to exercise his or her responsibilities to adjudicate the application.

During a passport or CRBA appointment interview, attendees may not discuss or inquire about other applications.

Attendees may take written notes, but may not otherwise record the appointment interviews.

Attendees may not engage in any other conduct that materially disrupts the appointment interview.  For example, they may not yell at or otherwise attempt to intimidate or abuse a consular officer or staff, and they may not engage in any conduct that threatens U.S. national security or the security of the embassy or its personnel.  Attendees must follow all security policies of the Department of State and the U.S. embassy or consulate where the appointment interview takes place.

Attendees may not engage in any conduct that violates this policy and/or otherwise materially disrupts the appointment interview.  Failure to observe these parameters will result in a warning to the attendee and, if ignored, the attendee may be asked to leave the appointment interview and/or the premises, as appropriate.  It would then be the applicant’s choice whether to continue the appointment interview without the attendee present, subject to the consular officer’s discretion to terminate the appointment interview.  The safety and privacy of all applicants awaiting consular services, as well as of consular and embassy personnel, is of paramount consideration.