A CRBA is a formal document certifying the acquisition of United States citizenship at birth for a person born abroad to a U.S. citizen parent or parents who meet the requirements for transmitting citizenship under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). United States non-citizen nationals are also eligible for a Consular Report of Birth Abroad, using the non-citizen option. CRBA applications must be made before the child’s 18th birthday. We recommend that parents apply for the CRBA as soon as possible after the child’s birth. We now offer the ability to start the process online.
How to Apply and How to Request an Appointment
Step 1: To apply for a CRBA online, you first need to create or sign in to your MyTravelGov account. MyTravelGov is a secured, encrypted portal. Watch this video to learn more about creating your account. Check your email and don’t forget to respond to the message to “confirm your email.”
Note: Applicants must have a Login.gov account to access eCRBA services on the MyTravelGov portal. Instructions for creating a Login.gov account are available at MyTravel.state.gov. If you already have an eCRBA application in progress, use the same email address previously used to access the MyTravelGov website to create an account. This ensures a streamlined linkage between your existing profile and the new authentication system.
Step 2: Once you have created a MyTravelGov account you can access the online CRBA application (called eCRBA) where you can submit your application online and pay the applicable fee. The easy-to-use online process provides applicants with step-by-step instructions on how to complete the application. Once you complete the online application, please upload ONLY the following documents in a separate .pdf file for each document:
- The child’s Guatemalan birth certificate (Certificado de Nacimiento) issued by RENAP (NOT Inscripción de Nacimiento) issued within 6 months and with a verifiable QR code
- Valid identity document for both parents (the document must show the issuance and expiration dates)
- If either parent has ever been or is currently married, the marriage certificate of each parent (Note that you must submit your marriage certificate even if you are not married to the other biological parent.)
- If either parent has ever been previously married and that marriage has been terminated through death or divorce, the document(s) proving termination of all prior marriages
DO NOT upload proof of your physical presence or residence in the United States. You will bring these original documents to your in-person interview.
Step 3: Once you complete the online application and payment, please wait 72 hours so that our system shows the confirmed payment and then email GuatemalaACSVerify@state.gov to request an in-person appointment. Please write only the child’s full name in the subject line. Within five (5) business days, we will confirm that you have submitted a complete application, paid the fee, and uploaded all applicable documents listed in Step 2 and then schedule your in-person appointment. Please Note: When you arrive at the U.S. Embassy for your in-person interview, please DO NOT make another (or duplicate) payment for a CRBA ($100) if you have already paid online. If you were unable to pay online, please include this information in the email above. You will receive instructions on how and when to pay the fee.
If you would also like to simultaneously apply for a U.S. passport book and/or card for your child, please complete a DS-11 application form and attach the .pdf completed but unsigned application and email it to GuatemalaACSVerify@state.gov along with your request for an appointment (see Step 3 above). Please also print out the DS-11 application form and bring it to the in-person appointment. Please see the requirements for applying for a passport for a minor.
Step 4: Attend your in-person interview appointment with the original documents listed in Step 2 above. Original documents will be reviewed and returned to you. The child MUST be present for the in-person interview. Generally, both parents also attend the in-person interview. Here is a list of security information and prohibited items when visiting the U.S. Embassy.
Other documentation to bring to your in-person interview:
- Proof of your physical presence or residence in the United States. See below for more information about physical presence or residence.
- Proof of relationship between the parents such as time-stamped printed photos of the couple together before, during, and after the pregnancy; printed photos of the U.S. citizen parent with the newborn baby, money transfer receipts, email printouts, proof the couple was co-located at the time of conception (e.g., passport entry and exit stamps). Photos must be printed since no electronic devices are allowed in the U.S. Embassy.
- Evidence of pregnancy and birth records such as ultrasounds containing the name of the mother, laboratory test results, hospital/doctor paid bills, printed pictures of the mother pregnant, printed pictures of the mother and baby immediately following the birth during the hospital stay, baby’s and mother’s hospital identification bracelets, crib card, and/or discharge order. In some cases, DNA testing may be suggested, and if so, instructions will be provided during your appointment at the U.S. Embassy.
Physical Presence / Residence
When the child was born, which parent is a U.S. citizen, and whether the child was born in or out of wedlock determine the applicable requirements for transmitting U.S. citizenship to a child born overseas. The requirements for acquisition of U.S. citizenship at birth may be found here.
In general, for a child born to two U.S. citizen parents, either parent must show residence in the United States prior to the birth of the child.
In general, for a child born to one U.S. citizen parent and one non-U.S. citizen parent, the U.S. citizen parent must demonstrate that prior to the child’s birth, s/he has at least five years of physical presence in the United States (in any status, even illegal status), at least two of which occurred after age 14.
You may bring whatever documentation you believe proves your prior physical presence in the United States. Suggested documents to prove physical presence in the United States may include:
- School transcripts
- Passport entry/exit stamps
- Movimiento Migratorio from Guatemala’s IGM
- Employment pay stubs
- Tax returns including W-2s
- Medical records
- Evidence of encounters with U.S. law enforcement, such as speeding tickets or other fines
Social Security Number
An application for a Social Security Number can only be submitted after receiving the original CRBA and U.S. passport. To obtain a Social Security number for your child, please directly contact the Federal Benefits Unit at the U.S. Embassy in San Jose, Costa Rica.
- Email: CostaRica@ssa.gov
- Phone: (506) 2519-2228 on Monday through Thursday from 9 am to 12 pm
- Website: https://cr.usembassy.gov/u-s-citizen-services/social-security/
Eligibility Requirements to Qualify for a CRBA
To be eligible to transmit U.S. citizenship to your child through a CRBA, you MUST be able to answer all the following criteria with YES.
- Was the child born in Guatemala? (Note that we will be able to accept a CRBA application for a child born elsewhere, but the consular section in the post of birth will have to adjudicate the request. There could be significant delays if you apply in a country other than where the child was born.)
- Is the child under the age of 18? (CRBAs may only be issued to a child who is under age 18.)
- Was at least one parent a U.S. citizen when the child was born?
- Do you have the requisite period of physical presence or residence as described above? (Note that periods of physical presence or residence only count until the child’s birth.)
If you answered NO to any of the above statements, you do not appear to meet the requirements to transmit U.S. citizenship to your child through a CRBA.
When the U.S. Citizen Parent Does Not Meet the Transmission Requirements
When the U.S. citizen parent does not meet the requirements to transmit U.S. citizenship to his/her child through a CRBA, there may be other options for a path to U.S. citizenship for the child, including but not limited to an immigrant visa (starting with the I-130 Petition for Alien Relative) or through a grandparent (N-600K). We strongly encourage you to contact an immigration lawyer for guidance and advice and to read the form instructions carefully to determine whether these or other options may be applicable to your situation. Note that all application fees – for the CRBA, I-130, and/or N-600K – are nonrefundable. Here is a link to the lawyers list on the U.S. Embassy’s website. Here is a link to the American Immigration Lawyers Association webpage.
How to Replace or Amend a CRBA
Please go here to make a request to replace or amend a CRBA.