U.S. Citizen Services
Birth of U.S. Citizen Abroad
Please note: Beginning September 15, 2015, U.S. Embassy Phnom Penh will no longer use the online appointment system to schedule new appointments for Consular Reports of Birth Abroad (CRBA). In order to provide better service to our clients, this new system aims to reduce the wait time for appointments and help applicants prepare for their citizenship interview. This will not impact previously scheduled interviews. Applicants who already have a CRBA appointment via the online system should plan to arrive with their completed documents at the indicated time.
Under the new appointment system, applicants should first attend an informational session with the American Citizen Services (ACS) Unit at the Embassy. The goal of this session is to provide clarity regarding our process, including a comprehensive explanation of the required documents. At the time of this informational session, applicants must bring their completed CRBA form DS-2029, the completed passport application for a minor form DS-11, as well as their supporting documents, which are listed below. The ACS Unit will then inform the applicants of any missing documents and when to expect an appointment with a Consular Officer.
Applicants may come to the Embassy any Monday through Thursday between 10 am and 11 am for the informational session. Applicants do not need to make an appointment for this initial session, and they will be permitted entry into the Consular Section by presenting the completed CRBA and passport application forms. Only one of the minor applicant’s parents is required to attend the informational session. However, at the time of the scheduled interview with the Consular Officer, both parents and the child must be present.
Registration of U.S. Citizen Children Born Abroad
American Citizen Services can register the birth of children born abroad to U.S. citizens and help parents obtain a first passport and social security number for newborn children. U.S. citizens with children who were born outside the United States must register them at the nearest U.S. Consular Office in order to document them as U.S. citizens. In the registration process, a Consular officer determines the eligibility of U.S. citizen parents to "transmit" citizenship to the child. The requirements of U.S. law for the transmission of U.S. citizenship to a child are set forth below.
Upon registration, the child will be issued a Consular Report of Birth Abroad of a Citizen of the United States of America (Form FS-240). This document is a basic citizenship document. In the United States, it may be easier to present this document as a birth certificate in place of a foreign birth certificate.
In most cases the child's passport application will be sent to the National Passport Center and the passport will be returned to the Embassy about two weeks after your interview. The passport and Consular Report of Birth Abroad can be picked up at the same time by either of the birth parents.
U.S. citizen parents should register their children as soon as possible but it is imperative that registrations take place before the children reach eighteen years of age. A Consular Report of Birth Abroad cannot be prepared if the child is 18 years old or more at the time the birth is reported. Persons born abroad who are more than 18 years of age, and who believe they have a claim to U.S. citizenship, but who have never been documented as a U.S. citizen, should apply to the nearest American consular office for information and assistance in investigating their claim to U.S. nationality.
Only the child's U.S. parent(s) or legal guardian(s) may apply for a Consular Report of Birth Abroad on a child's behalf. Both parents must sign the application for the child's first passport. Please see instructions on obtaining a first passport on following pages. A notarized statement of authorization from the natural parent may be required in some instances.
Requirements of the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act for Transmission of U.S. Citizenship to Children Born Abroad
Children born in Wedlock
- Born to two U.S. citizen parents: If either parent has resided in the United States prior to the birth of the child, the child acquires U.S. citizenship under the provisions of Section 301(c) of the United States Immigration and Nationality Act. There is no requisite period of residence for the parents in the U.S., but it must have been at some time prior to the birth of the child.
- Born to one U.S. citizen and one alien parent: a. Born before or on November 13, 1986: The U.S. citizen parent must have been physically present in the United States for a cumulative period (or periods totaling) ten years before the birth of the child, at least five years of which were after the U.S. citizen parent reached the age of fourteen. If this requirement is met, the child acquires U.S. citizenship under the provisions of Section 301(g) of the Immigration and Nationality Act. b. Born on or after November 14, 1986: The U.S. citizen parent must have been physically present in the United States for a period (or periods totaling) five years prior to the birth of the child, at least two years of which were after the U.S. citizen parent reached the age of fourteen years. If this requirement is met, the child acquires U.S. citizenship under the provisions of Section 301(g) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (as amended by Public Law 99-653 of November 14, 1986).
Children Born out of Wedlock
- Born to a U.S. citizen mother: The U.S. citizen mother must have been physically present in the United States for a continuous period of at least one year before the child's birth. This period of presence may have been at any time before this child's birth. If this requirement is met, the child acquires U.S. citizenship under the provisions of Section 309(c) of the United States Immigration and Nationality Act.
- Born to a U.S. citizen father and an alien mother: In November 1986, the United States Immigration and Nationality Act was amended to permit a child born out of wedlock to a U.S. citizen father and an alien mother to acquire U.S. citizenship at birth based upon clear and convincing evidence of paternity. The father must have fulfilled the appropriate physical presence requirements under Section 301(g) of the United States Immigration and Nationality Act (ten or five years of physical presence as explained).
In addition, the United States citizen father must:
- sign a written agreement to provide financial support until the child reaches the age of eighteen years; and
- Make a statement under oath acknowledging parentage, or legitimate the child under the law of the child's residence or domicile; or, have the paternity of the child adjudicated and established by a competent court.
What Does Physical Presence Mean
If you are an American citizen but do not have enough physical presence to transmit your U.S. nationality to your child, please refer to both of the following website pages concerning acquiring U.S. citizenship: Child Citizenship Act and Petitioning for an Immigration Visa for an Immediate Family Member.
The Child Citizenship Act of 2002 allows certain foreign-born, biological and adopted children of American citizens to acquire American citizenship automatically. These children did not acquire American cizitenship at birth, but they are granted citizenship when they enter the United States as lawful permanent residents (LPRs).
Both parents and the child must be present at the time of application. When you come in to register your child's birth, please submit the following:
- Completed form DS-2029, Application for Consular Report of Birth Abroad
- Supporting Documents:
- Parents’ passports
- Marriage certificate and/or Divorce Certificate or Parent’s Death Certificate with English translation. If not married, the U.S. citizen father must complete an Affidavit of physical presence and financial support (Form DS-5507)
- The child’s original Birth Certificate issued by Cambodian Government with English translation
- The child’s original Hospital Birth Certificate with English translation
- Evidence of five years of physical presence in the United States from the U.S. citizen parent prior to the child’s birth such as school transcripts, W-2 forms, military form DD-214, Social Security statements …etc.
- Family photos or other evidence of relationship; otherwise, DNA testing will be requested
Note: Previous Consular Report(s) of Birth Abroad
- If you have previously registered the birth of a U.S. citizen child born abroad, please bring a copy of the previous Consular Report of Birth Abroad to accelerate the processing time.
Consular Report of Birth Abroad Fee
For a list of fees, please click here.
Applying for a First Passport for all Minors Under Age 16
Each minor child shall appear in person and:
- Both parents must appear together and sign the application form (DS-11) in the presence of a Consular officer; or
- One parent must appear; he/she signs the application form in the presence of a Consular officer, and submits second parent's notarized Statement of Consent: Issuance of a Passport to a Minor Under Age 16, authorizing passport issuance for the child. The U.S. Embassy Phnom Penh offers notarial services; Then attending parent shall submit ALL of the following:
- Form DS-11
- Important: both parents must submit a legible photocopy of proof of identification, such as a signed passport whether they are U.S. citizens or not. Non-U.S. citizens may submit a legible photocopy of a signed passport or a signed national identification card.
- You MUST also submit the child's original birth certificate. Copies will not be accepted.
- Two (2) identical color photographs taken full face, with a white background, measuring 5 cm by 5 cm (2 in x 2 in). Please ask the photographer for photos for a U.S. passport, otherwise you may be given the wrong format.