Report of Birth Abroad
The following persons born abroad are U.S. citizens at birth:
- A child born to two U.S. citizen parents, at least one of whom resided in the United States or one of its outlying possessions prior to the birth of the child.
A child born before November 14, 1986 to one U.S. citizen parent and one foreign national parent. Prior to the birth of the child, the citizen parent must have been physically present in the United States or its outlying possessions for a period or periods totaling not less than ten years, at least five of which were after attaining the age of fourteen.
A child born on or after November 14, 1986 to one U.S. citizen parent and one foreign national parent. Prior to the child's birth, the citizen parent must have been physically present in the United States or its outlying possessions for a period or periods totaling not less than five years, at least two of which were after attaining the age of fourteen.
Note: The Immigration and Nationality Act states that periods abroad under the following circumstances may be counted as physical presence in the United States:
Service in the Armed Forces of the United States;
Employment with the United States Government;
Employment with an international organization as defined in Section I of the International Organizations Immunities Act.
In addition, time spent abroad as the dependent of a U.S. citizen parent in one of the three categories above is also counted as physical presence in the United States.
Applying for Citizenship for Children Born Abroad
Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA)
Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA) and First-Time Passport Issuance applications are accepted by appointment only (after sending requesting documents to us) in Bern, Geneva and Zurich.
In order to make processing of first-time passport applications more efficient, applicants now have the possibility to prepare documentation prior to their visit (by appointment only) to the Embassy or Consular Agencies. Please e-mail applicant’s full name, date and place of birth, home address in Switzerland, phone numbers, e-mail address and the best time to reach you. The e-mail addresses are listed below.
Cantons Bern, Basel Stadt, Baselland, Valais, Solothurn, Jura, Fribourg and Neuchâtel
U.S. Embassy Bern (by appointment only)
American Citizen Services
Cantons Geneva and Vaud
U.S. Consular Agency (by appointment only)
7 Rue Versonnex
U.S. Consular Agency
c/o U.S. Mission
11, route de Pregny
Zurich, St. Gallen, Thurgau, Schaffhausen, OW/NW, Zug, Schwyz, Lucerne, Ticino, Grison
Zurich Consular Agency (by appointment only)
A U.S. Government employee will then send you the package to apply for the Consular Report of Birth Abroad. This package will include a letter explaining the procedure including necessary documents - a sample worksheet for the DS-2029, the DS-2029 to be filled out, the DS-11 application for a passport and the SS-5 application for a Social Security number. After you have completed documents, you must send them to the Embassy or Consular Agencies (depending where you intend to appear at a later date). The documents will be reviewed and the applicant will be contacted to discuss the completion of the process.
The Consular Report of Birth must then be completed in person (at least one parent and child). If one parent cannot appear, that parent must write and have a notarized letter of consent and include a copy of his/her valid signed passport. All documents presented when the applicant comes in person must be originals or certified copies.
Supporting ORIGINAL Documents for the Consular Report of Birth Abroad
Child's Swiss birth certificate (International version)
Valid Passport/ID of parent(s)
Parent's marriage certificate
If either or both parents were previously married, evidence of termination of prior marriage(s), such as divorce decree(s) or death certificate(s) of former spouse(s);
If one parent is a non-US citizen, the US citizen parent must show proof of physical presence in the USA. For children born after November 14, 1986, the total amount of physical presence required is 5 years, 2 of those 5 years must be after the 14th birthday. It is the responsibility of the US citizen parent to prove the physical presence for the required period of time.
For a child born out-of-wedlock, the US citizen mother has to show documents of physical presence for one consecutive year (not leaving the USA for 1 entire year).
If the father is the US citizen, 5 years of physical presence are required, 2 of which must be after age 14.
For American citizen parents born overseas, information on Consular Reports of Birth, Death and Marriage on file with the Department of State is available here: http://www.travel.state.gov/law/info/overseas/overseas_704.html. The State Department’s Office of Authentication may then place an Apostille on the document to make acceptable to the Swiss authorities: http://www.state.gov/m/a/auth/.
Once the Report of Birth is completed and approved, the child may be issued a U.S. passport. One passport photo measuring 2x2 inches (5x5 cm), with a light background, is required. The photo must be in color.
Application for the Child's Passport
Effective March 26, 2004, Sections 51.21 and 51.27 of 22 CFR (Code of Federal Regulations) are amended to require the personal appearance of all minors under the age of 16, with limited provision for waiver, to enhance the accurate identification of passport applicants and aid in the prevention of international child abduction and trafficking.
We recommend that you apply for a U.S. passport for the child at the time of registration. To do so you need the following:
Completed application form DS-11. You may fill it out ahead of time, but pleasewait to sign before a consular officer. Please note that both parents must sign the DS-11 passport application in the presence of a consular official. If only one parent will be present, you must submit a statement in English from the non-appearing parent giving unequivocal and unconditional consent to passport issuance for the child. Such statements must be notarized.
There is no standard language for this statement, but the non-appearing parent, regardless of nationality, must consent to passport issuance and sign it before a U.S. or foreign notary public or at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate abroad; the consent must be unequivocal, with no conditions.
It may be handwritten or typed and must be in English.
The appearing parent must also bring along a copy of or the original passport/identification of the non-appearing parent. This document must be signed and match exactly as in the letter of consent.
- This statement becomes part of the passport application. The applying parent may be subject to criminal charges if the statement of the non-appearing parent is found to be fraudulent.
One photograph. It must be:
5 by 5 cm (2 by 2 inches) without frame
Taken within the last 6 months
Printed on normal photographic paper
Full face (no hat, sunglasses, bandana, etc.)
Head size from chin to top of head 25 mm (1 inch) minimum, 35 mm (1 3/8 inch) maximum
White, plain background
Applicants should be aware that the Embassy cannot accept any photographs not meeting these requirements (i.e. photos that are too small or too large, head size too big or too small, dark background, photo color copies, etc.).
Fees for Report of Birth and Passport for Children
Consular Report of Birth:
US $105.00 (if the child is under 16)
US $135.00 (if the child is over 16)
The total for the Consular Report of Birth and passport:
US $205.00 or Swiss Franc equivalent (if the child is under 16)
US $235.00 or Swiss Franc equivalent (if the child is over 16)
The Swiss franc amounts are calculated by the Embassy based on an average exchange rate, not the daily rate used by banks and post offices.
How can I pay?
You can pay cash in either Swiss Francs or U.S. dollars. Major credit cards are accepted (only in Bern) together with a valid passport for identification. Please note -- MAESTRO/EC/CASH cards are NOT accepted.
If you do not meet the requirements for transmission of citizenship to your child
Please contact the U.S. Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services (BCIS) at http://uscis.gov/.