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If your child was born in Burkina Faso and has a possible claim to U.S. citizenship, you may apply for a Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA). A CRBA is evidence of United States citizenship issued to a child born abroad to a U.S. citizen parent or parents who meet the requirements for transmitting citizenship under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). The CRBA may be used to apply for a U.S. passport and is acceptable as proof of U.S. citizenship for all legal purposes.

Note: You should apply for your child’s Consular Report of Birth Abroad as soon as possible.  Applications submitted years after your child’s birth could dramatically increase processing time, and in some cases may make it impossible to establish your child’s claim to citizenship. A CRBA cannot be issued to a child over age 18.

Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA)

The law on transmission of U.S. citizenship

To qualify, at least one of the parents must have been a U.S. citizen on the date of the child’s birth and must meet U.S. physical presence requirements. Learn more about transmitting citizenship through the Bureau of Consular Affairs’ Acquisition of U.S.Citizenship by a Child Born Abroad page.

Application for a Consular Report of Birth Abroad

A Consular Report of Birth Abroad (commonly referred to as CRBA) is a document issued by the U.S. Embassy reflecting the birth abroad of a child who acquired U.S. citizenship at birth.

If your child has a potential claim to U.S. citizenship, the U.S. citizen parent(s) will need to submit an application for a “Consular Report of Birth of an American Citizen Abroad” before a consular officer.  If your child is eligible for a Report of Birth, a passport may be obtained at the same time for an additional fee. U.S. citizens may often transmit citizenship to their children born abroad, but the transmission requirements vary depending on when the child was born and the marital status of the U.S. citizen parent.

The application (Form DS-2029) must be submitted by a U.S. citizen parent prior to the child’s 18th birthday. We encourage parents to document their child’s citizenship as soon as possible after their birth.  A passport application for the child may be submitted at the same time.

How to schedule a CRBA appointment:

Prior to requesting an appointment, you must:

Once the above steps have been completed, please make an appointment online at the State Department’s Appointment System webpage.

Note: The child must be physically present at the appointment. Each child requesting a CRBA needs a separate CRBA Checklist, though you may send all the information and documentation in one email.

If the U.S. parent is not in Burkina Faso and will not be present at the appointment, the following are required from him/her:

  1. Certified copy of the biographic page of the U.S. passport.
  2. Copies of entry and exit stamps on U.S. passports and all passports in his/her possession
  3. Statement of Consent, Form DS-3053, notarized by a notary public in the U.S., or by a U.S. Consular Officer at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate (if applying for the passport at the same time)

Passport Application

The Embassy encourages applicants to apply for a CRBA and passport at the same time, because the Consular Report of Birth Abroad is not a travel document.  A passport application for the same child will be accepted at the CRBA appointment (no need to make an additional appointment). Please review the requirements for Passports for Children (Under Age 16).

Picking up the Consular Report of Birth Abroad and the U.S. Passport

Approved Consular Reports of Birth Abroad and U.S. passports are usually ready for pick up two to six weeks following the final adjudication.

Transmitting Citizenship

Transmission of U.S. citizenship depends on:

  1. At least one parent having the nationality of the United States at the time of the child’s birth;
  2. The existence of a blood relationship between the child and U.S. citizen parent(s);
  3. Documentary evidence demonstrating the U.S. citizen parent(s)’ presence in the United States prior to the child’s birth, as specified in the Transmission Requirements Table .

Note: In some cases, consular officers may request DNA evidence to prove the biological relationship. If DNA evidence is requested, you will be given written instructions. The testing process is outlined on our DNA Webpage for your reference.

Examples of Documentation

Some examples of documentary evidence which may be considered to demonstrate that physical presence requirements have been met may include (but are not limited to):

  • Wage and tax statements (W-2, 1099, 1040)
  • Academic transcripts
  • Employment records
  • Rental receipts
  • Records of honorable U.S. military service, employment with U.S. Government or certain intergovernmental international organizations; or as a dependent, unmarried child and member of the household of a parent in such service or employment (except where indicated)
  • Seaman’s book/records.
  • Note: Passport stamps may be considered a part of the evidence submitted, but should not be the sole documentary evidence. Drivers’ licenses do not constitute evidence of physical presence.

Third Party Attendance at Passport and CRBA Appointment Interviews

Generally, immediate family members may accompany passport or CRBA applicants to their appointment interviews at a U.S. embassy or consulate, and all minor children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.  Passport or CRBA applicants also have the option of being accompanied by an attorney at their appointment interview.  Attendance by any third party, including an attorney, accompanying an applicant is subject to the following parameters designed to ensure an orderly appointment interview process and to maintain the integrity of the adjudication of the application(s):

  • Given space limitations in the consular section, not more than one attendee at a time will be allowed to accompany an applicant (or the applicant’s parent or guardian if the applicant is a minor).
  • Attendance by an attorney does not excuse the applicant and/or the minor applicant’s parent or guardian from attending the appointment interview in person.
  • The manner in which a passport or CRBA appointment interview is conducted, and the scope and nature of the inquiry, shall at all times be at the discretion of the consular officer, following applicable Departmental guidance.
  • It is expected that attorneys will provide their clients with relevant legal advice prior to, rather than at, the appointment interview, and will advise their clients prior to the appointment interview that the client will participate in the appointment interview with minimal assistance.
  • Attorneys may not engage in any form of legal argumentation during the appointment interview and before the consular officer.
  • Attendees other than a parent or guardian accompanying a minor child may not answer a consular officer’s question on behalf or in lieu of an applicant, nor may they summarize, correct, or attempt to clarify an applicant’s response, or interrupt or interfere with an applicant’s responses to a consular officer’s questions.
  • To the extent that an applicant does not understand a question, s/he should seek clarification from the consular officer directly.
  • The consular officer has sole discretion to determine the appropriate language(s) for communication with the applicant, based on the facility of both officer and applicant and the manner and form that best facilitate communication between the consular officer and the applicant.  Attendees may not demand that communications take place in a particular language solely for the benefit of the attendee.  Nor may attendees object to or insist on the participation of an interpreter in the appointment interview, to the qualifications of any interpreter, or to the manner or substance of any translation.
  • No attendee may coach or instruct applicants as to how to answer a consular officer’s question.
  • Attendees may not object to a consular officer’s question on any ground (including that the attendee regards the question to be inappropriate, irrelevant, or adversarial), or instruct the applicant not to answer a consular officer’s question.  Attendees may not interfere in any manner with the consular officer’s ability to conduct all inquiries and fact-finding necessary to exercise his or her responsibilities to adjudicate the application.
  • During a passport or CRBA appointment interview, attendees may not discuss or inquire about other applications.
  • Attendees may take written notes but may not otherwise record the appointment interviews.
  • Attendees may not engage in any other conduct that materially disrupts the appointment interview.  For example, they may not yell at or otherwise attempt to intimidate or abuse a consular officer or staff, and they may not engage in any conduct that threatens U.S. national security or the security of the embassy or its personnel.  Attendees must follow all security policies of the Department of State and the U.S. embassy or consulate where the appointment interview takes place.

Attendees may not engage in any conduct that violates this policy and/or otherwise materially disrupts the appointment interview.  Failure to observe these parameters will result in a warning to the attendee and, if ignored, the attendee may be asked to leave the appointment interview and/or the premises, as appropriate.  It would then be the applicant’s choice whether to continue the appointment interview without the attendee present, subject to the consular officer’s discretion to terminate the appointment interview.  The safety and privacy of all applicants awaiting consular services, as well as of consular and embassy personnel, is of paramount consideration.