Reporting a Birth
Reporting a Birth Abroad (CRBA)
All (parents of) U.S. Citizens born abroad should apply for a Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA). This document proves the citizenship of the U.S. citizen and can function in the United States as a U.S. birth certificate. Applications must be made in the consular district where the child was born. To apply for a CRBA, you must first schedule an appointment.
In order to ensure that the CRBA application is approved, please bring the following documents to the appointment:
Proof of U.S. Citizenship and Identity
Parents may use any of the following as applicable:
- Parents' passports (U.S. passport for U.S. Citizens and foreign passport for parents who are not U.S. Citizens);
- Parents' Certificate of U.S. Naturalization, if applicable; and
- Child's birth certificate (issued by the Belize Registrar Department - Vital Statistics Unit).
Proof of Marriage
Marital status of the parents at the time of the child's birth affects the requirements to transmit U.S. citizenship. For purposes of applying for a CRBA, parents in a common-law relationship are not considered to be married.
Parents must bring the original or a certified copy of the following:
- Parents' Marriage Certificate, if applicable;
- Parent's Divorce Decree(s), if parents are married to each other, but either was previously married; and
- Death certificate(s) of prior spouse(s), if parents are married to each other, but either parent was previously married and that marriage ended in the death of the spouse.
- Parents must complete an Application for a Consular Report of Birth Form DS-2029 (PDF 35KB)
- U.S. citizen fathers who were unmarried at the time of the child's birth will need to complete a "Notarized Affidavit of Paternity and Support" during the appointment
Physical Presence in the United States
In order for U.S. Citizen parents to pass on or "transmit" U.S. citizenship to their children, they must be able to show physical presence in the United States prior to the child's birth. The amount of physical presence required will vary based on the marital status of the parents and which parent is the U.S. Citizen. In general, the amount of physical presence required is as follows:
- Married U.S. citizen parents: Any presence by either parent.
- Unmarried U.S. citizen mother: one year of continuous presence.
- All others must demonstrate five years of total U.S. presence, two of those years occurring after the parent turned age 14.
Inadequate proof of physical presence is the most common source of delay in obtaining CRBAs. The documents provided must be able to show actual U.S. physical presence. (Note: Overseas service in the U.S.military counts as presence in the U.S. for transmission purposes). Job letters or W2s from employers, by themselves, are not proof of actual presence. The following documents may show proof of U.S. physical presence and are listed in their order of preference:
- University/College Transcripts
- Primary/Secondary (Elementary/High School) Transcripts
- DD-214 Military Discharge Documents
- Dated Evidence of Long-Term Incarceration
- Military Enlistment Contract
- Dated Evidence of Long-Term Hospitalization
- Military Assignment Orders
- Military ID
- Official Leave and Earnings Statements from Employment in the U.S. (weekly pay stubs)
- Official Letters of Employment from the U.S.
- W-2 Statements from the IRS (We do not accept tax returns)
If your child was born before November 14, 1986, please contact the Consular section at ACSBelize@state.gov or at 822-4011, ext. 4201.
Please note: A U.S. citizen cannot transmit U.S. citizenship to his/her non-U.S. citizen spouse. Please refer to the Immigrant Visa section for more details on this process.
Evidence of Physical Presence at the Time of Conception
In some cases, U.S. citizen fathers must provide evidence of physical presence at the time of the child's conception. Parents may document their presence with the following documents:
- Passport travel stamps
- Evidence of business licenses
- Verifiable letters of employment
- Possible other documentation that must be agreed upon by the consular officer
Although not mandatory, some parents may find a DNA paternity or maternity test is the best way to show evidence of paternity or maternity.
The Consular Report of Birth fee is USD$100 or BZD$200. We accept both cash and credit cards. Fees may be paid in U.S. or Belize dollars.
Consular Reports of Birth Abroad normally take about three to four weeks for printing.
Any documents which are not in English must be translated into English. The consular officer must see each child who is applying for a Consular Report of Birth Abroad.
Non-U.S. citizen parents should also attend the interview for the CRBA application. If it is not possible for them to attend, they must send a notarized letter agreeing to their child applying for U.S. citizenship. A copy of their official government-issued ID must accompany the notarized letter.
Parents must swear to affirm the truth of the Consular Report of Birth Abroad in front of the consular officer. All forms will be signed in front of the consular officer during the day of the interview.
If you have further questions about the Consular Report of Birth Abroad, please contact the consular section at ACSBelize@state.gov or at 822-4011, ext. 4201.
We encourage you to apply for your child's first U.S. passport at the time that the Consular Report of Birth abroad is approved, which can often be during the same appointment. Please review our passport section for more information.