Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA) definition

The Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA) certifies that a child born abroad to U.S. citizens acquired U.S. citizenship at birth. The birth of a U.S. citizen that took place overseas or at a U.S. military base outside the United States is registered through CRBA Form DS-2029.

The Consular Report of Birth Abroad -also known as Form FS-240- is then issued and can be used as proof of U.S. citizenship.

How Do I Get a Consular Report of Birth Abroad?

Whenever a child with rights to U.S. citizenship is born overseas, their mother or father should apply for a CRBA as soon as possible. Parents must register a child’s birth abroad at the local consulate or embassy.

When a child is born abroad, their mother or father can apply for a CRBA and the child’s U.S. passport at the same time.

Although CRBA applications can be made at any time before the citizen’s 18th birthday, parents are encouraged by the Government to “apply for their child’s Social Security Number and U.S. Passport at the same time as applying for their CRBA”.

The CRBA serves as proof of U.S. citizenship and can be used to register for school, get a U.S. passport, and many other official purposes. The Department of State will maintain all registered records of births abroad.

Consular Report of Birth Abroad vs Birth Certificate

A Consular Report of Birth Abroad is the equivalent of a US Birth Certificate. While birth certificates are issued to US citizens born on US soil, a CRBA is issued to US citizens born on US military bases or outside US territory.

There are, however, a number of individuals who may be unclear as to whether they have a CRBA or a US Birth Certificate.

Individuals who acquired U.S. nationality by virtue of having been born in one of the following current or former US territories or outlying possessions during the relevant periods detailed below are not eligible for a CRBA.

Applicable locations and periods include:

  • Puerto Rico after April 10, 1899
  • U.S. Virgin Islands after January 16, 1917
  • American Samoa after February 15, 1900
  • Guam after December 23, 1952
  • Swains Island after March 3, 1925
  • The Panama Canal Zone before October 1, 1979
  • The Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands after January 8, 1978 (8PM EST)
  • The Philippines before July 4, 1946

Citizens born in the periods and locations mentioned above are not considered to have been born abroad. Therefore, they can simply order a birth certificate rather than a CRBA.

When applying for a U.S. passport, these citizens will be asked to present their US birth certificate along with any other evidence required to establish the acquisition.

How to Replace a CRBA

Citizens whose CRBA was lost, damaged, misplaced, or stolen will need a copy or replacement of their document.

To obtain a replacement of a Consular Report of Birth Abroad form (FS-240), applicants must submit a notarized request that includes the following details:

  • Full name of the individual at birth —adoptive names, if applicable
  • Individual's date and place of birth
  • Passport information available, including passport date of issuance, date of expiration, passport number
  • Full names of parents or legal guardians
  • The serial number of the FS-240, if known
  • Signature of requester
  • A certified court order granting guardianship —if the requester is a legal guardian
  • Requester's mailing address
  • Requester's contact number

Furthermore, the requester will also have to submit a copy of their valid photo ID and pay the necessary fees.

Adding or Amending Gender Markers on a Consular Report of Birth Abroad

To ensure that members of the LGBTQI+ community can receive documentation that correctly reflects their lived gender, the US government has introduced a number of changes to the application process.

It will soon be possible to apply for passports and CRBAs with a gender that is different to supporting documentation, via an “x” gender option for non-binary and gender-fluid individuals.

This has already been trialed for US passports, with no requirement to provide evidence of a sex change or change of gender when selecting a binary gender of “M” or “F”. This is in addition to introducing an “x” gender passport for the first time.

The Department of State issued its very first US passport with an “x” gender marker in 2021 and expects that applicants will have the regular choice of this option from early 2022.

Whilst this is not yet a possible choice for CRBAs, the DOS plans to make this feature available very soon.

Once in place, it will allow children and teenagers who are intersex, or gender non-conforming the option to have their gender status reflected accurately when they receive a CRBA.