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Ask the Consul

How can I transmit citizenship to my child?

It is a joyous event when a new American citizen is born overseas.  The American Citizen Services unit wishes to quickly document the birth of new Americans and assist them in acquiring a US passport.  This is usually done through a Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA).

One of the key requirements of the Consular Report of Birth Abroad is to prove that the American who wishes to transmit citizenship to their child has satisfied the residency requirements of the law.   In order to do this, they need to document their own presence in the United States before the birth of their child.  This is done via an “Affidavit of Physical Presence” (AOPP).

Please review your affidavit for accuracy before arriving for your interview.  Remember that there are no Embassy-approved third party service providers for any of the forms required by the Consular section.  If your form is incorrect, the applicant may be in the uncomfortable position of having to explain why their affidavit contradicts their sworn oral testimony.

Once you have filled out the affidavit completely and correctly, the applicant must prove to the satisfaction of the Vice-Consul that they actually resided in the United States during the times they claimed on their affidavit.

A letter from the Social Security Administration listing the years that you worked and the amount of money you earned during those years may help in satisfying this requirement.

School transcripts may also very useful in proving your presence in the United States.  This burden of proof remains with the applicant – not on the Consular Officer.

The applicant must know where they have lived, when, and be able to prove it.   

Providing a complete and accurate affidavit of physical presence, and providing proof of that presence in the United States will go a long way toward satisfying the residency portion of the Consular Report of a Birth Abroad.