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Applying for a CRBA
35 MINUTE READ
April 13, 2021

Eligibility for a CRBA

Most, but not all, children born abroad to a U.S. citizen parent are eligible to be documented as U.S. citizens through issuance of a CRBA and U.S. passport. The parents, however, have the burden of proof of establishing that the child is eligible for a CRBA and U.S. passport, and we encourage applicants to read and follow these instructions carefully.

Although the CRBAs and the application forms are the same throughout the world, different embassies and consulates may have different procedures to obtain a CRBA. If you haven’t done so already, please consult the website of your local Embassy or Consulate to learn more about local procedures for applying for a CRBA and for instructions on how to schedule an appointment for this service.

Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) and Surrogacy Abroad

Click here if you are considering coming to Kenya to have a child through use of assisted reproductive technology.

Transmitting Citizenship

Transmission of U.S. citizenship depends on:

At least one parent having the nationality of the United States at the time of the child’s birth;
The existence of a blood relationship between the child and U.S. citizen parent(s);
Documentary evidence demonstrating the U.S. citizen parent(s)’ presence in the United States prior to the child’s birth, as specified below.

If parents are married at time of child’s birth and both are U.S. citizens:
At least one parent must have held residence in the U.S. or its possessions for any length of time.

        • Proof of Residence may include a U.S. drivers license, U.S. marriage certificate, or documents which are considered evidence of physical presence

(This is only for children born on or after January 13, 1941.)

If parents are married at time of child’s birth and only one is a U.S. citizen:
The U.S. citizen parent must have had physical presence in the U.S. or its possessions for at least five years, two of which must be after the age of 14.

(This is only for children born on or after November 14, 1986.)

If parents are unmarried at time of child’s birth, the mother is a U.S. citizen, and the child was born before June 12, 2017:
The mother must have had physical presence in the U.S. or its possessions for one continuous year.

(This is only for children born on or after December 24, 1952.)

If parents are unmarried at time of child’s birth, the mother is a U.S. citizen, and the child was born on or after June 12, 2017:
The mother must have had physical presence in the U.S. or its possessions for at least five years, two of which must be after the age of 14.

If parents are unmarried at time of child’s birth and the father is a U.S. citizen:
The father must have had physical presence in the U.S. or its possessions for five years, two years of which were after the age of 14; and blood relationship established between father and child; and father (unless deceased) agrees in writing, prior to the child turning 18, to support child while child is under age 18. Conditions include:

        • child is legitimated; or
        • father acknowledges paternity under oath; or
        • paternity is established by court adjudication.

(This is only for children born on or after November 14, 1986.)

Examples of Documentation

Some examples of documentary evidence which may be considered to demonstrate that physical presence requirements have been met include (but are not limited to):

        • Wage and tax statements (W-2)
        • Academic transcripts
        • Employment records
        • Rental receipts
        • Records of honorable U.S. military service, employment with U.S. Government or certain intergovernmental international organizations; or as a dependent, unmarried child and member of the household of a parent in such service or employment (except where indicated).
        • U.S. passport stamps may be considered a part of the evidence submitted, but should not be the sole documentary evidence. Drivers’ licenses do not constitute evidence of physical presence.

If you have other children who have been issued with a Consular Report of Birth Abroad, this may be considered as supplemental evidence.

Transmission Requirements

If parents are married at time of child’s birth and both are U.S. citizens:
At least one parent must have held residence in the U.S. or its possessions for any length of time.

        • Proof of Residence may include a U.S. drivers license, U.S. marriage certificate, or documents which are considered evidence of physical presence

(This is only for children born on or after January 13, 1941.)

If parents are married at time of child’s birth and only one is a U.S. citizen:
The U.S. citizen parent must have had physical presence in the U.S. or its possessions for at least five years, two of which must be after the age of 14.

(This is only for children born on or after November 14, 1986.)

If parents are unmarried at time of child’s birth, the mother is a U.S. citizen, and the child was born before June 12, 2017:
The mother must have had physical presence in the U.S. or its possessions for one continuous year.

(This is only for children born on or after December 24, 1952.)

If parents are unmarried at time of child’s birth, the mother is a U.S. citizen, and the child was born on or after June 12, 2017:
The mother must have had physical presence in the U.S. or its possessions for at least five years, two of which must be after the age of 14.

If parents are unmarried at time of child’s birth and the father is a U.S. citizen:
The father must have had physical presence in the U.S. or its possessions for five years, two years of which were after the age of 14; and blood relationship established between father and child; and father (unless deceased) agrees in writing, prior to the child turning 18, to support child while child is under age 18. Conditions include:

        • child is legitimated; or
        • father acknowledges paternity under oath; or
        • paternity is established by court adjudication.

(This is only for children born on or after November 14, 1986.)

Applying for a CRBA in Kenya

If your child was born overseas, the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya, can accept the application for the child’s CRBA. Please note, however, that we can approve or deny CRBA applications only for children born in Kenya and Somalia. If a child was born in another country, we can only collect the application and supporting documents and forward them to the U.S. Embassy in that country for adjudication. To save time and streamline the process, we strongly encourage applicants – where possible – to apply for the CRBA in the country or consular district where the child was born.

Step One

All applicants must fully complete the CRBA application, Form DS-2029: Application for Consular Report of Birth Abroad (PDF 353 KB), prior to the interview. If the child was born out of wedlock to a U.S. citizen father or the parents are not able to present a marriage certificate, the applicants should also complete and bring Form DS–5507: Affidavit of Physical Presence or Residence, Parentage and Support (PDF 287 KB).  The applicant much also complete the Affidavit for no social security number for the child (PDF 6 KB).

All CRBA applications must be fully completed prior to the interview. Do not leave any items blank. For any question that does not apply, mark “N/A” (not applicable).

Do not sign the application. We recommend that both parents attend the CRBA appointment.  In this case, both parents will sign the application at the interview in front of a Consular Officer. If the U.S. citizen parent will not be present at the interview, please refer to the section in Step Seven below.

Step Two

All applicants for a child’s passport must complete Form DS-11: Passport Application (PDF 102KB) prior to the interview. Do not leave any items blank. For any question that does not apply, mark “N/A” (not applicable). We encourage you to apply for a CRBA and passport at the same time. Because all fees are non-refundable, we recommend that you initially pay only for the CRBA application at our office cashier. Once the CRBA is approved, you will have the option of returning to the cashier to pay for the passport application.

Do not sign the passport application. The application must be signed in the presence of a Consular Officer.

If either parent is not able to attend the appointment, the applicants should also bring Form DS- 3053: Statement of Consent or Special Circumstances: Issuance of a Passport to a Minor Under Age 16 (PDF 42KB). Do not sign the statement of consent or special circumstances. The DS-3053 must be signed in front of a notary public and the original must be presented at the interview. We do not accept scanned or faxed copies. We also do not accept most notaries from outside of the United States. If the parent who is not at the interview is not in the United States, the DS-3053 can be notarized at the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate.

Please note that the DS-3053 must be notarized within 90 days of the appointment date.

Step Three

On the day of your appointment, you must present original records for each of the following items (photocopies or scanned or faxed copies will not be accepted):

        • The child’s birth certificate.
        • The child’s hospital birth notification.
        • Original marriage certificate for the parents (if they are married).
        • Original divorce certificate or death certificate (if either parent was previously married).
        • Passport photos for the child (measuring 2” x 2” and meeting the requirements listed on the back of the passport application).
        • Proof of parent’s U.S. citizenship (original or certified copies of the U.S. citizen parent’s passport and Naturalization Certificate, if applicable).
        • Proof of parent’s identity (originals of non-U.S. citizen parent’s passport or national identification card).

Step Four

On the day of your appointment, you must present sufficient evidence to demonstrate that at least one parent was physically present in the U.S. for a sufficient amount of time to transmit citizenship. In most cases where only one parent is a U.S. citizen, the U.S. citizen parent must show that he or she was physically present in the U.S. for a total of five (5) years before the birth of the child. If both parents are U.S. citizens and are married at the time of the child’s birth, then the applicants must show that one of the parents resided in the United States prior to the child’s birth. There are exceptions and additional standards; please visit the State Department’s website for more information about the physical presence requirement.

Evidence that may be presented includes, but is not limited to:

        • School transcripts,
        • Elementary and middle school report cards,
        • W-2s from employment held while in the United States,
        • Social Security statements
        • Pay stubs,
        • Employment records,
        • Military discharge papers, and
        • Rental or lease agreements.

Please note that bank records and tax documents are not sufficient to prove physical presence.

Step Five

On the day of your appointment, you must present sufficient evidence to demonstrate that the applicant is the biological child of the U.S. citizen parent(s). Examples of the types of evidence that can demonstrate the blood relationship between the child and the U.S. citizen parent(s) include:

        • Pregnancy and birth records, such as dated ultrasounds containing the name of mother, laboratory test results, doctor/ultrasound/hospital receipts, pictures of the mother pregnant, pictures of mother and baby immediately following the birth and during the hospital stay, the baby’s and mother’s hospital identification bracelets, crib card, discharge orders, or paid hospital bills.
        • Proof of relationship between parents, such as time-stamped photos of the couple together before, during, and after the pregnancy, photos of the U.S. Citizen parent with the newborn baby, money transfer receipts or other remittance records,  lease agreements, bank statements, home utility bills, or IRS tax declaration documents showing a shared address.
        • Proof the couple was together at time of conception, such as original or certified copies of passport pages showing entry and exit stamps.
        • Please note that mobile phones and other electronic devices are not allowed within the Embassy, and that you will need to provide hard copy photos.

Step Six

The American Citizen Services (ACS) section in Nairobi, Kenya accepts applications for Consular Reports of Birth Abroad by appointment only. To submit the application, Request an appointment by sending an email to Kenya_ACS@state.gov. Be aware that each child will require his/her own appointment.

Step Seven

On the day of the initial appointment, the applicants should come to interview with all required forms and supporting documentation. The applicants must bring the child to the interview. All applicants must first pay the CRBA application fee of $100 per application. The fees are not refundable. Please note that if you arrive at your CRBA appointment and are unable to pay the fee, your appointment will be cancelled and you will need to schedule a new appointment. All fees are payable in U.S. dollars or the equivalent in Kenyan Shillings, or by a U.S. or international credit/debit card.

After paying the CRBA fee, the applicants will meet with an ACS intake specialist to review the application and supporting documentation.

Tips for your appointment:

        • It is the responsibility of the parents, not the Embassy, to prove (1) the biological relationship between the child and the U.S. Citizen parent(s) and (2) that the U.S. Citizen parent(s) were physically present in the United States long enough to transmit citizenship to the child.
        • Never assume that, because you successfully applied for another child’s U.S. citizenship, you do not need to bring any evidence to interviews for subsequent children. You must bring all supporting documents with you for each application.
        • You must bring hard-copy printouts of all documents, photos, ultrasounds, etc. No digital media will be accepted. We are not able to access the internet on your behalf to view evidence and documents associated with your application, and you are prohibited from bringing computers, tablets, or smart phones to the interview.
        • In some instances, it may not be possible for the adjudicating officer to conclusively determine from the available evidence that the child is the biological offspring of a U.S. citizen. In these cases, the Consular Officer may recommend DNA evidence to establish parentage. The test will consist of saliva samples from the child and the parents (taken under supervision) and the subsequent testing of the samples in an approved laboratory located in the United States.
        • If the adjudicating officer recommends DNA, the applicants will be provided with instructions on how to have it performed. Please do not conduct independent DNA exams, as only results from Embassy ordered tests can be used to determine a genetic relationship for citizenship purposes. If you have any questions on DNA testing, please email: NairobiDNA@state.gov.
        • The Embassy has Kiswahili translators available. Although the Embassy tries to have Somali translators available, they may not be available for your interview. For all applicants who do not speak English or Kiswahili, it is the responsibility of the applicants – not the Embassy – to bring translators. All translators must have government issued identification cards and must pass through security screening in order to enter the Embassy.

Information for Applications Where U.S. Citizen Parent Is Not Present for Interview

We highly recommend that the parent who is transmitting U.S. citizenship to the child attend that CRBA interview. If the U.S. citizen parent is unable to attend the CRBA interview, however, then he or she must:

The parent attending the interview must then bring the original signed and notarized DS-2029, DS-3053, and, if applicable, DS-5507 to the interview, along with the documents and evidence outlined above in Steps Three, Four and Five. Photocopies or scanned or faxed copies of the forms will not be accepted.

Questions and Further Information

For more information, please visit the State Department’s website or send an email to Kenya_ACS@state.gov.

General Information on DNA Testing and U.S. Citizenship

In order to transmit U.S. citizenship to a child born abroad, among other requirements, there must be a biological relationship between the child and a U.S. citizen parent or parents. Genetic testing is a useful tool for verifying a stated biological relationship in the absence of sufficient other evidence to establish such relationship. Commonly tested relationships that may be used to establish paternity and/or maternity in citizenship claims arising from birth abroad to a U.S. citizen father or mother include father-child, mother-child, child and full brother or sister, child and half brother or sister, and avuncular relationships (child and paternal aunt/uncle/grandparent). DNA testing is the only biological testing method currently accepted by the Department to establish a biological relationship. However, due to the expense, complexity, and logistical delays inherent in parentage testing, genetic testing generally should be used only in the absence of sufficient other evidence (documentation, photos, etc.) establishing the relationship. For more information on the DNA Process, please visit the Department of State Website.

DNA Testing Process in Nairobi, Kenya

        1. DNA test recommended by officer at time of interview.
        2. DNA lab selected by petitioner on AABB web page http://www.aabb.org (costs paid by U.S petitioner/parent). Lab does not have to be near your home. The lab will send kits to a qualified testing center.
        3. DNA lab sends kit to Consular Nairobi.
        4. Applicant will be scheduled an appointment for sample collection and informed of this via email from NairobiDNA@state.gov.
        5. Once applicant receives appointment letter, applicant must then go to IOM office in Gigiri, Nairobi and pay the specimen collection fee (see below) before the DNA appointment day.
        6. On the appointment day, applicant will provide the following items to the Embassy representative: 2 recent passport size photos (2″ x 2″), official photo I.D., a copy of appointment letter and a receipt showing IOM has been paid. Applicants who do not bring all these documents will not be allowed to test.
        7. DNA sample collected on appointment date and sent to the DNA lab for testing.
        8. DNA lab finalizes test and sends results to the consular section.
        9. The Immigration Visa or American Citizen Services section contact the applicants by email/phone and informs them when to return to the embassy.

For more information view the DNA Flow Chart.

Payment of Specimen Collection Fee at IOM

Each applicant being tested is required to pay a specimen collection fee of USD $45.00 per person or the equivalent of USD $40.00 in Kenyan shillings (no Bank fees are charged if payment is made in KSH) at IOM United Nations Crescent off UN Avenue, Gigiri, Nairobi.

        • Payments MUST be made BEFORE the scheduled appointment date to avoid unnecessary delays.
        • Payment for DNA testing is done at IOM Clinic at 78 United Nations Crescent off UN Avenue, Gigiri, Nairobi.
            • Contact Information: 254-020-272-0060 Extension 124 OR 254-020-272-0061 Extension 224 OR 254-020-272-3605 OR 0722-879-680 OR 0734-444-020 OR 0724-256-748
            • DNA Testing will not be performed at the U.S. Embassy if the testing fee is not paid prior to your scheduled appointment.
            • Please retain your payment receipt as the DNA Technician must see it on the day of your appointment.