Birth of an American Citizen overseas
Your Baby's Passport, Report of Birth and Social Security Number
Congratulations on the birth of your baby!
Starting September 8, 2009, all non-emergency passport services will be provided by appointment only. Please click here to make an appointment
Your new baby needs a first passport, a Consular Report of Birth Abroad (similar to a birth certificate) and a Social Security number. On this page we'll tell you what you need to do to get all three items.
Did You Know...?
Many passport/report of birth applications must be held in pending status because applicants forget to bring one or more items of required documentation, or forget to bring originals. So, to avoid making multiple trips to the Embassy, please make sure you have all of the items you will need for a successful application.
- Your Child!
- Both Parents (or a notarized consent from the non-appearing parent)
- Mom and Dad's passports (or gov't issued ID with original birth certificates - no copies)
- Proof of Child's birth (original Romanian birth certificate)
- Proof of Parent's Marriage (original gov't issued marriage certificate - no photocopies)
- Proof of Termination of All Prior Marriages of Parents (original court documents only, no copies)
- Two Identical Photos of the Child (2 inch by 2 inch on white background)
- Evidence of U.S. Citizen Parent's Physical Presence in the U.S. (if pertinent)
- Evidence of U.S. Citizen Parent's Physical Presence Together at Conception
- $ 205 in U.S. dollars, RON or credit card for application fee.
Please read further for more information.
We encourage you to start this process as soon as possible after your child is born. In the case of urgent, unexpected travel, your child will need a passport. In addition, you may need to secure a Romanian visa for your child, which also requires a passport.
That said, the only "deadline" for completing this process is before your child's 18th birthday.
For more information on where to apply, including our phone and FAX numbers and directions, please contact the American Citizen Services section of the Embassy.
Once you have assembled all the necessary items (see below), you'll need to come by our office with your child. (U.S. military parents in Romania should check with their base Personnel Office for more information on application procedures at your specific installation).
How Long Does it Take?
Once we have everything we need, processing time is normally about seven to ten days, as all passport printing is now done in the U.S. However, because computers break, unexpected events happen, and mail delivery is sometimes late, please allow plenty of time before you plan to travel. It is better to begin the process earlier. You can collect the new passport and Consular Report of Birth Abroad at the Embassy or you can have it delivered to you at your home in Romania (for a nominal fee paid directly to the courier service).
Your child's Social Security card will be sent to you directly by the nice folks at Social Security. Please allow three to six months for the card to arrive.
All birth, adoption, marriage, death, or divorce certificates must bear the original seal, stamp or signature of the office that issued the document. Notarized copies, church records and uncertified photocopies are not official documents and may be invalid as primary evidence. All documents must be originals. We will return the original documents to you the same day, but we do need to see them. All documents not in English must be translated.
Proof of Parent(s) U.S. Citizenship
Citizenship is proven though an official birth certificate or naturalization/citizenship certificate, a Consular Report of Birth Abroad and/or a valid or expired (issued no more than 15 years ago) passport. Originals only please. We will copy your documents and return them to you the same day.
Follow this link to learn how to obtain a copy of your birth certificate.
Or, follow this link to learn how to obtain other vital records.
In all cases, parents must present an original Romanian birth certificate.
The birth certificate must include the child's and parents' full names, the date and place of birth and stamp of the ward or city official who certified the document.
If the original document is not in English, you will need to provide a translation.
You'll need to bring along your official marriage certificate; again, originals only please. We will return the original document to you. All documents not in English must be translated.
If your child was born out-of-wedlock, or within six months of your marriage, please follow this link for some additional requirements.
Please bring along any and all original official divorce or death certificates for both parents.
If any of the documents is not in English, please provide a translation of your divorce decree.
Application for a Consular Report of Birth (FS-579 or DS-2029)
You can download form DS-2029 (formerly known as FS-579) to print out and complete by hand.
The law on acquisition of American Citizenship varies if one or both biological parents are also Americans, and if the child is born in or out of wedlock. Follow this link to learn more about acquisition of American Citizenship.
Passport Application (DS-11)
Please submit one copy of Form DS-11, available for download (forms are also available for pick-up in our office). Though the instructions for world-wide use say only 8.5" x 11" paper is acceptable, we can accept A4 sized copies if you print it out at home.
Two-Parent Consent for Passport Issuance
All applicants under the age of 16 must meet the requirements listed in the Law on Passport Applications for Minors. In most instances this means that both parents must sign the child's passport application, even if one parent is not an American.
Parents can consent in one of two ways:
Both parents can come to the Embassy or Consulate with their passports and sign together, in person, or...
One parent may sign in person and the other parent give his/her consent through a written affidavit (One parent signs and submits second parent's signed consent; download the affidavit form. The form must be notarized). Follow this link to learn more about these requirements. Note the parent who signs in person will need to still have a copy of the non-present parent's passport with him/her. We need to see the original passport of at least one American Citizen parent in these first-time, Report of Birth cases.
Written consent by both parents must be given either in person at the Embassy or provide a notarized statement of written consent. Previously a simple signature would suffice, but that is no longer the case. Romanian notarials are acceptable, as are notarials done on US military bases. Notarials for this purpose can be done at no charge at the Embassy. All notarized statements must be in English.
Unacceptable photos can result in delayed processing of Consular Reports of Birth Abroad.
The photos must be 2" X 2" (approximately 5 cm X 5 cm) with a plain white background.
Please make sure your child's eyes are open and that the photo clearly shows your child’s face. One way to do this is to drape a white sheet over one (sitting) parent, who also holds the baby's head and neck upright under the sheet. The other parent takes the photo. A second way is to place the child on a white blanket on the floor and take the photo while standing over him/her. You can also go to a professional photographer if you prefer.
Be careful with the size - "passport photos" you get at a local photographer's shop may be too small and may not be acceptable. The head-size in the picture should be at least half of the full photo. The photo in your current US passport may be a different size from what is needed for a new passport, as standards have changed from time-to-time.
The photo must be 2 inches by 2 inches with the face size between 1 inch and 1 3/8 inch as specified.
The best way to make sure your photos are the right size is to download and print out a passport application. The drawing of a properly-sized photo is right on the application form.
Social Security Number Application (SS-5)
Please download and complete form SS-5-FS (pdf 206kb). Don't send it to Social Security; instead, for everyone except U.S. military personnel, submit the completed form to the Embassy along with the other forms and documents needed for your child's report of birth and first U.S. passport.
U.S. military parents must apply separately for a Social Security Number, through designated military channels, not through the Embassy.
Your child, even a newborn, must appear in person at our offices at the time you make the application. Military children will appear before the designated passport agent on base. There are no exceptions or waivers possible for this requirement.
The fees are US$100 for the Consular Report of Birth, US$105 for the passport, for a total of US$205. We cannot accept checks. We accept cash, in U.S Dollars or RON, or credit cards. You may pay using your VISA, Mastercard, Discover, Diners Club or American Express card. Please also be prepared to pay with cash if the credit card verification system is temporarily unavailable. Credit card payments are billed in U.S. dollars.
In some situations, how long one or both American parents lived in the U.S. can affect your child's acquisition of citizenship (follow this link to find out more.) It is in your best interest to bring in work, social security, tax, school or other records to demonstrate the parent's period of physical presence in the U.S. and to prove that your child qualifies for citizenship, as required by the law.
In some situations, we may ask for evidence of the biological parents' physical presence at the time of conception. Such evidence might include passports, military travel orders, leases, etc. In some complex cases, we may suggest a blood or DNA test. This is not a requirement, but the burden of proof is on the parents to demonstrate that the child qualifies for U.S. Citizenship.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some common questions we are asked in connection with applications for Consular Reports of Birth Abroad.
Does my child really have to come in to see you?
Yes. Your child, even a newborn, must appear in person at our offices at the time you make the application. Military children will appear before the designated passport agent on base. There are no exceptions or waivers possible for this requirement.
Is my Child a Dual National? Which Passport Does She Use?
Does your child have at least one Romanian parent? If so, he or she may qualify for Romanian citizenship. Follow this link for information on Romania’s citizenship law. A U.S. Citizen must use his or her U.S. passport to enter and exit the United States, even if he or she has dual citizenship. The Romanian passport should be used when entering or exiting Romania. You may have to show both to demonstrate that your child can travel to the U.S. without a valid U.S. visa.
Does My Newborn Need a Romanian Visa?
The final decision on any matter involving Romanian visas and/or Romanian nationality rests with the Romanian Government. However, here is some general information to get you started.
If your child has one Romanian parent and one American parent, the child may qualify to be a dual national (U.S. and Romanian Citizen). As a Romanian citizen, s/he does not need a visa for Romania, but will need to apply for a passport at the local passport office. Follow this link for more information on the United States’ policy on dual nationality.
If one or more parents is in SOFA-status, check with your base legal advisor or personnel officer for details.
If your child does not have or qualify for Romanian citizenship and will stay in Romania for more than 90 days, he or she will need a Romanian visa.
For stays longer than 90 days, an extension of stay may be obtained in Romania from the Romanian Immigration Office in the area of residence. An exit visa must be obtained in cases of overstay. The Romanian Government is enforcing visa regulations more vigorously, and a record of visa overstay can result in an assessment of large fines and the denial of entry without visa for a specified time. Please contact the nearest Romanian immigration office for more information. You cannot obtain a Romanian visa at the American Embassy and we cannot assist you with the application requirements for a Romanian visa.
Can I Do This While in the U.S.?
If your child was born abroad you will need to complete the Report of Birth process abroad; it can't be done in the U.S.
If your child was born in Romania, the processing must be done in Romania. While you can file the documents at another U.S. Embassy or Consulate abroad, that office is required to send them to us in Romania for processing. This will take extra time, so it is best to complete the entire procedure while you are still in Romania.
How Do I Get Additional Copies of the Consular Report of Birth Abroad?
Additional copies of the Consular Report of Birth Abroad are available from the Department of State only; no records are kept at the Embassy in Bucharest.
You can get more information about obtaining copies of a Consular Report of Birth Abroad by clicking here.