The Visa Hour: Consular Report of Birth Abroad (1 of 2)

GREG: Welcome to the latest
episode of The Visa Hour. Today, we’re branching out
from the topic of visas and will actually be
discussing some issues related to U.S. citizenship. Particularly, we’re going to
talk about the Consular Report of Birth Abroad, also known as
the C-R-B-A or CRBA, for short. And we’ll also be
talking about derivative claims to U.S. citizenship. I’m Greg, and I’m a
consular officer in the American Citizens Services section. I’m one of the consular officers
that assists Americans with Consular Reports of Birth
Abroad, as well as passports. I’m joined today by
one of my colleagues, who’s also from the
Consular Section, and we will answer
some of the questions that we’ve gathered online. REJ: Hi, everyone. I’m Rej, and I am with the American
Citizen Services, handling citizenship
and passport services. So Greg, let’s start off,
before we answer questions, what is C-R-B-A? GREG: That is a
very good question. The C-R-B-A, or the CRBA,
is – it’s a document that the U.S. government
produces that is a claim – it’s a document of U.S. citizenship. It is issued to children born
overseas outside the U.S. under the age of
18 who have a U.S. citizen parent and who meet the
legal requirement for acquiring U.S. citizenship at birth. In many aspects, it’s similar
to a birth certificate issued in the United States. It’s recognized by the Social
Security Administration, by schools and other
institutions within the United States as a valid
claim to U.S. citizenship. REJ: That’s right. And if not being mentioned, these
certificates are only being issued for children
17 years old and below. GREG: Yes. REJ: Okay, so at this point, we
are now ready and we can start answering your questions. GREG: So the first question we
have comes from Stephen Chan, who posts a question
on Facebook. And his question is, “I have a
daughter in the Philippines “out of wedlock and she
was born six months “before I became a U.S. citizen. “Is she qualified to be a U.S. citizen? “And if not, are there other
forms I can complete?” “The short answer to
that question is no. She does not qualify for
U.S. citizenship at birth.” REJ: Right. GREG: The reason is, in order
to qualify for a CRBA – in order to qualify as a
U.S. citizen at birth, one of the parents has
to be a documented U.S. citizen by the
time the child is born. That does not mean that
she may never become a U.S. citizen. But it is not through birth. There are other avenues of
immigration that might lead to U.S. citizenship, but she won’t
be eligible for receiving a Consular Report of Birth Abroad. REJ: That’s right. And so we have another one
form Art Mescardo on Twitter. “My two-year-old
grandson is natural-born “U.S. citizen and his parents
are H1B visa holders. Will they be deported
when their H1B expires?” I’m not sure this is – well,
I think this is not a CRBA really good question, but Greg? GREG: Yeah, this is definitely
a visa-related question. REJ: Okay. [LAUGHING] GREG: And also dealing
with deportation, which is handled by the
Department of Homeland Security. I would recommend that you
submit this question via email to our nonimmigrant visa unit. They are the ones
that could give you a little more insight into that. We don’t want to give any
wrong information on this topic because I understand it’s an
important topic to people. But I would suggest
submitting it online. You can get a more
complete answer. So our next question
from email states, “How can I make an appointment
for a CRBA or an adult derivative application?” Rej, what’s the best
way they can do that? REJ: Well, actually, there’s
only one way for you to have an appointment for the CRBA or
adult derivative application and that is if you visit our website
and go to the link of the American Citizens Services. So, our website address is When you get to that site, you
look for the tab where it says “U.S. Citizen Services.”
You click on that. A drop-down list will appear. You click either Consular Report
of Birth Abroad application of derivative citizenship. And from there on, that link
will show you how you could actually book an appointment
to file for the application with the U.S. Embassy for a CRBA. Okay, so our next question is,
“Your online system shows that all appointment slots
are blocked, or full,” which is always. [LAUGHING] “So can I call your office
to book an appointment?” Can they, Greg? GREG: Unfortunately, we do
a lot of these appointments. And people often do see that
our online calendar is full. We do open up new appointments
on a regular basis. REJ: Yes. GREG: We – if it’s an
emergency situation, you can attempt to call
or come by the Embassy. But, as a general
rule, we operate on appointment system only. And, because of that, the best
thing to do is to go online. If you’re having technical
problems with the scheduling website, or if you have
an emergency, then yes, you can contact us and we
can do our best to help you. REJ: And not only that. As a reminder, if ever you’ve
already booked an appointment and you accidentally booked
a double appointment, please do contact the American
Citizen Services section to inform us of this because that
slot will have to be opened to the public for them
to make use of it. Or, if in any case, you think
you will not be able to make it on your booked appointment,
please do let us know, either by calling us
or sending us an email. And we’ll open – or we’ll cancel
that appointment for you so that the other people can use it. GREG: And our next question
– a similar question. “Can I come to the Embassy
without an appointment?” Again, we discourage people
coming without appointments, just because our services are
offered on an appointment basis. But, again, if
there’s an emergency, or if you’re an American citizen
who does have a question, then we can talk to you. We may not be able to
accommodate you that same day, but we can at least give
you some instructions on the best way to proceed. REJ: Great. Oh, and before that, let me just
correct the website address that I’ve given earlier. The right address is Again, that’s GREG: Okay. REJ: Okay. So, our next question
would be from an email. And this is the question.
“I am a U.S. citizen parent, “but I won’t be in the country
on the day of the appointment. “Can my child’s other parent,
who happens to be not a U.S. citizen, submit the
application for me?” GREG: And the answer is yes.
If you’re the U.S. citizen parent and you cannot be
here for the appointment for whatever reason, the
other parent can submit forms on your behalf. Depending on the paperwork,
we may ask for some notarized forms for you to submit. REJ: That’s right. GREG: And we do have all these
instructions on our website. We do encourage both parents
to be there if possible, but we understand that’s
not always the case. And so if the U.S. citizen parent is living or
working outside of the Philippines and cannot make
it, then the other parent can bring the child for the appointment. REJ: That’s right. So regardless of citizenship of the
parents, you can submit the application as long as
you do have the appointment. And make sure you have the
proper requirements with you ready, you have completed all
the forms, so that when the – I’m sorry – the non-U.S. citizen
parent appears at the Embassy, then the American Citizen
Services staff will be able to accommodate the application. GREG: Okay. Our next question actually
came from YouTube. [INAUDIBLE] asks,
“I am an American, “but my daughter’s birth
certificate lists me as “Filipino. Will that affect
her getting a passport and a social security number?” Rej, why don’t you
answer that one? REJ: Actually, no, it will
not have any negative effect when the child applies
for a U.S. passport or a social
security number. However, please make sure,
though, that the U.S. citizen parent will be able to
provide us documentary proof of his U.S. citizenship. That may be, as
example, would be a U.S. birth certificate. No, not that because
he’s a Filipino, right? So, [CROSSTALK] if ever a
naturalization certificate, certificate of citizenship,
or a U.S. passport. GREG: Yes. REJ: Okay, so for
a next question. “I don’t live in Manila.
So where else can I file the CRBA application
besides U.S. Embassy?” Are there any other facilities,
Greg, that we use? GREG: Actually, there are. If you live in the
Cebu area, we do have a consular agency in Cebu. And so that is one
of our offices where you can submit the CRBA applications. REJ: Right. GREG: The other option is –
the American Citizen Services section, on a regular
basis, does outreach visits to other parts of the Philippines. And when we go to
other locations, we will advertise it and we will
accept applications for CRBAs, for passports, at
those outreach visits. So there are options outside
of coming to Manila if that’s going to be a hardship for people. And again, we advertise
those opportunities, and we also have information about
our consular agency in Cebu. REJ: Right. So make sure to visit the web site
daily for announcements, or contact your wardens within
your areas to find out if there are any upcoming outreaches for
American citizens so that you’ll be ready with your applications
during the outreaches. GREG: Okay. So the next question is, “Does my
child have to come to the interview? And what requirements
do I need to prepare?” For the first question,
“Does my child have to come into the interview?” Yes. REJ: Definitely. GREG: That is a requirement. As the consular officer, we do
actually have to see the child. So the child does have to come. And we understand some people
may bring small babies. They may be sleeping. That’s fine. But we do need to actually
observe the child. Now, in terms of what
are the requirements, why don’t you answer that. REJ: Well, with
the requirements, we actually have a lot, and so
what we’ve thought of is posting a PDF file of what we call
the checklist of requirements. We have two sets of checklists. One is for Consular
Report of Birth Abroad, wherein I think it’s
a three-page form, where all the supporting
documents, forms that you need, fees that you need
to be ready for are listed on that checklist. The subject, if I’m
not – you will be able to see that on the website. It’s entitled “Checklist
for Consular Report of Birth Abroad Application.” So when you click on that, you
actually need to print that out and you have to bring it
with you on your appointment. Now the other checklist is for
the derivative citizenship. That one is totally separate
from Consular Report of Birth Abroad application
because this one pertains to adult applicants. Again, you will have to – you
can check that through the website and just click
on it, print it out. There would be a list
of the items that you need to be ready for. It’s also stated there that you
need to provide originals and photocopies of your documents. So make sure to review
the checklist carefully. And the fees are there. You’ll be able to find out
what documentary requirements you need to prepare for. So I think that is
actually an essential part of the application. GREG: Yes, please go through the
checklist and review everything because if you come prepared, it
makes it easier for you and it makes it easier for us
to be able to provide the service for you. REJ: Yes. So now we go
to the next question. “I am not married to the
other parent of my child. “Does that other parent
need to be present during the appointment?” Hmm. GREG: As a general rule,
we do want both parents to be at the appointment. The consular officers
do want to be able to speak with both parents. REJ: Yes. GREG: And so, we do
encourage both parents, regardless of whether
they’re married or not, we do encourage both the
parents to be present if at all possible. REJ: Yes, though I must say that
whenever we encounter – well, most of the applicants that
we encounter for this type of application, it’s usually just
one parent who appears because one parent may probably
be in the United States or in a different country. Then again, as long as you
have the supporting documents with you, regardless if
you’re married or not, make sure you’re prepared
and we’ll make sure to facilitate our services to you. GREG: Okay.
The next question says, “Can I apply for a passport when I come in for my
child’s CRBA appointment?” That’s a very easy one to answer
because the answer is yes. You can apply for a
passport at the same time. You’re not required to
apply for a passport. Some people do just
apply for the CRBA and can do the passport later. But for many people, applying
for both at the same time is convenient and easy
because then we can… REJ: It saves time. GREG: Yeah, it saves time
and energy because we can do it all at the same time. REJ: That’s true. It saves
you from making another trip because if you do them
separately, the first thing that we accommodate is, of
course, the CRBA application because we make the children
U.S. citizens first. And for them to travel to
the United States and they would need eventually a passport. So if you apply
for it separately, then you will have to wait
until the CRBA gets approved. Then from then on, you will have
to book another appointment. But this time, it will have to
be for a passport application. GREG: And the child will
have to be present for the REJ: That’s right. GREG: …passport
interview as well, so it’s better just to do
them all at the same time. REJ: Yeah, it’s
what we recommend. So, the next question
is from Twitter. [INAUDIBLE] asks, “I am an
American and my daughter’s “birth certificate says I am Filipino. Will this cause problems
applying for her – a document,” which I think was
already answered earlier. It’s basically the same, whether
it’s for a CRBA, a passport, a social security number. Whatever is on the birth
certificate – if it says they are a Filipino national, as long
as you can prove that you are a U.S. citizen, show that
to us and we’ll actually just refer on what document you’re showing. And the next one would be – I
think it’s a very easy question. Where do they get the forms?
Where can they actually get it? GREG: Our website. That is the
easiest place to find our forms. Everything you need to
apply for a CRBA and for a passport can be found online. REJ: That’s right. GREG: On our website. REJ: There is a
section on the website. I think it’s at the right
side of the link, of the site, where application
forms are stated. There are different
forms that you need. If it’s for a Consular Report
of Birth Abroad application, then you need the DS-2029 form. If the parents are not married
when the child was born, then American citizen fathers
will have to fill out what we call the DS-5507 form, or the Affidavit of Paternity and Physical Presence. At the same time, if you
want to apply for a passport, together with the CRBA, then
you will have to download the DS-11 form. That’s the
U.S. Passport Application form. And if you will not – like
if one of the parents will not be available during
the appointment, the form DS-3053
is a requirement. GREG: Yes. There are a lot of
forms involved in applying. REJ: There are. Yes. [LAUGHING] GREG: Okay, so
the next question. “Can I use a credit card to pay
the application fees for the CRBA and/or the passport?”
Again, a very easy one to answer. REJ: Yes. GREG: We do have a cashier at
the American Citizen Services section. And the cashier does accept credit
cards, as well as cash. REJ: Yes. Cash in peso or in dollars. GREG: In dollars, yes. REJ: It depends on the rate
on the day that you apply. So just make sure
to bring extra. GREG: Yes. REJ: Okay, so we have another
question from a Facebook – yeah – holder, Angie Anderson,
a Filipino who became a U.S. citizen whose passport
was released here at the U.S. Embassy Manila
and is now planning to go to the United States. Does she still need other
documentation from the U.S. Embassy if she plans to go to
the U.S.? I think this is a passport-related question. GREG: Yes. And if I’m
understanding the question correctly, if someone has a
U.S. passport, that is their proof of U.S. citizenship. REJ: Exactly. GREG: So there is really no
other documentation that would need to be required
to travel to the U.S. REJ: Just make sure, though,
that – just make sure, though, that the U.S. passport is valid. Yes. GREG: That is very true. Make sure it’s not
an expired passport. But, with the U.S. passport, you’ll be able to enter the U.S. at the port of entry. REJ: Okay. Okay, so our next
question is about the payments. “Can I use a credit card to
pay for the application fees?” [CROSSTALK] Yes, we are
yeah, we did answer that, so. GREG: Okay, so let’s
go to the next one. “Can I apply for a social
security number on the same day as my CRBA appointment?”
Rej, what do you think? REJ: Unfortunately, you cannot. As much as we would like
to accommodate that, it’s a totally different office. Social Security Administration
is just beside the American Citizens Services windows, but
they will have to require to see the CRBA and passport of
the child once it’s ready for a social security
number application. GREG: Yes, so even though
we do have Social Security Administration here
at the Embassy, and you could talk to
them and get the forms, they won’t actually accept
the forms until that proof of citizenship is presented with
the CRBA and the passport.

18 Replies to “The Visa Hour: Consular Report of Birth Abroad (1 of 2)”

  1. Here is part 1 of #TheVisaHour talking about Consular Report of Birth Abroad. The Visa Hour: Consular Report of Birth Abroad (1 of 2)

  2. While watching this helpful video (thank you for at least easing the burden on the families researching this) I noticed the gentleman on the left did mention about how the embassy is able to help get things done all at once.

    Example he used was being able to apply for CRBA and also child's U.S. passport at the same time.  So not to waste a trip as it might be costly and burdensome on applicants.

    My wife and her son (my step-son) just experienced this, to our surprise.

    She was there for her and her son's visa interview appointment 0630 May 9th, 2014. (born out of wedlock 4 years before to a U.S. citizen who disappeared without support for 3 years now and without knowing where he is at all, whether dead or in Philippines or the US or some other place)

    We applied in good faith for CR1 and were told her son needed his own separate case and fees as well. (CR = conditional residence)

    Surprised, we did that and I found out her son's visa would be classified as CR2.

    After being apart for 1.5 years and having high hopes for being able to be together soon in the US (where I am citizen from birth) we were shocked to find out that CR2 visa is denied as embassy classifies her son as U.S. citizen already.

    Would have been helpful to have kept the fees paid for CR2 and applied them toward family expenses.

    The agent there kindly directed my wife to the American Citizen Services though she was denied to be allowed to go upstairs to see them, even though she had everything required (to my knowledge) for the CRBA to be dealt with (except that none of us have knowledge of the current whereabouts or a way to contact the absent biological)

    That was tough to swallow hearing that from my wife as we aren't easily able to visit Manila being in central Mindanao.

    Here is our concern.

    We are told my wife needs to do a CRBA.

    No problem.

    In Philippines illegitimate children are granted to mother as having full custody for travel and all legal matters.

    The biological one signed the birth certificate and it shows his information claiming he is the father and his signature is on the document also clearly.

    Don't know if that is enough to have his US passport ordered and for the CRBA to be taken care of or not.

    Sure does leave consequences behind when people flee responsibility.

    Again, for what it's worth, thank you for the video at all.

    Many look for answers on these things and they aren't easily found.


  4. My wife is there and i have supplied most of the documentation that is needed the only thing missing is my transcript . my school wants to send the transcript but they cant send it to me .do you accept the unofficial transcript or should i have it sent to the embassy then get tit authenticated . if this gets done will you forward the transcript to the phillipenes ? or should i just have it sent to the phillipenes?

  5. The website says that I can send all the CRBA requirements( photocopies only) by mail only..If they will e-mail me for the CRBA appoinment ..Can I apply also for my child's first time passport on the day of CRBA appoinment? Thank you..

  6. my fiancé sent me birth certificate of our child they both are in Phillipines.Other than me signing it do I need to do anything else with it before I send it back I'm in Memphis tn.Im a American soldier

  7. Hi, I wish you could assist me, although my father was a US citizen by birth, and all my American family going back to the late 1700s were too, and my father served his country in the military, and spent all his life in the US, barring his military service, I still cannot claim a certificate of citizenship, there seems to be a glitch in the Citizenship law. Because my dad knew nothing of my existence he therefore could not have ligitimised me, that I can prove through Dna which was done with a half brother, which proved conclusively that we had the same father, there is no recourse for my scenario, a small clause that would allow that argument to be made would help a handful of people like me.

  8. Hi, everyone! We only answer queries on our Facebook page: Like us on Facebook to get updates from the U.S. Embassy in the Philippines! Thank you!

  9. Why make it so hard to approve?
    I lived all my life in the USA
    My old passport from the age of 20 to 30 is practically blank only 2 visists to south America..and they still want 5 years of proof that ive been living in the usa which i cant prove..oh and proof of 2 years after the age of 14… Now i have to leave my baby alone with my wife in a dangerous country , spend more money to fly back gather more "proof" and spend more money to come back here , spend more money to go to the embassy spend money for the interview and its not 100% they will aprove it …

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