Paperwork for a US birth abroad
So the saga continues. The baby is born. We have a Malaysian birth certificate in hand. We even got some passport pictures taken of our child. But before we make another trip to the US Embassy in KL to apply for a passport and a Consular Report of Birth Abroad, we need to gather the paperwork that we need to present to the American Embassy staff. Fortunately, I read the KL embassy web page about registering a birth. It says that we should call or email ahead and make an appointment. And, I am glad I did.
I wrote to them, letting them know that I am an American citizen and my wife had a baby, and we would like to make an appointment to apply for the passport and Consular Report of Birth Abroad. We’ve done this three times already, so I thought it would be pretty straight forward. I am sad to report that the process gets more complicated every time we go through it.
For my first child, if my recollection of that hazy sleep-deprived time of new parenthood can be trusted, they asked for the parents passports, birth certificates and marriage license. The application form was a single sheet that was carboned so that you could fill it out once for a passport, Consular Report of Birth Abroad and Social Security.
The second child, the carbon was not allowed, and each form was its own application. That was fine though, because by this time, we could go on the state department website and download the forms and fill them out before we went to the Embassy (or in that particular case, the Consulate).
The third child, the forms could be filled online. That is to say, we could type into a PDF and print it out, but you still had to submit it at the Embassy or Consulate. But they threw a new wrinkle into the application for the Consular Report of Birth Abroad. Both my wife and I had to list all the dates we were physically in the United States. We ended up needing to get her old passport from our storage box in the US to get all those dates. That particular form gave 3 lines to fill in those dates. We needed 12 each.
So I didn’t know what to expect when I made the appointment at the US Embassy in Kuala Lumpur. But here is the reply with the list of documents that they asked for me to scan and email before making the trek to KL, where I was to bring all the originals. And the baby.
Thank you for your inquiry concerning the registration of your child as a U.S. citizen
(Consular Report of Birth Abroad – CRBA).
We pre-screen all CRBA cases. Please fax or scan the completed forms (do not sign the
forms) and documents to us. Bring all the original documents and forms when you come
to the Embassy for the final process.
The following documents are required and in certain cases, additional documents may be
requested. Please note that personal appearance of father, mother and child is required.
REQUIRED FORMS (BUT DO NOT SIGN)
(1) Child’s Malaysian birth certificate – fax/scan
(2) Passports of both parents (including old passports) – fax/scan the photo page
(3) Official state or local government record showing parents’ marriage (church or
judge’s certificate is not acceptable) – fax/scan
(4) Evidence of termination of any previous marriage(s) of both parents (must be
certified copies of divorce decree or death certificate) – fax/scan first page
(5) Certificate of Naturalization, if applicable;
(6) Mother’s pre-natal documents (e.g., ultrasound, prescriptions, evidence of doctor’s
visits, etc). Documents from the hospital where the child was born (e.g., identification
bracelet, hospital bills, vaccination card, etc.). Bring as many documents as you can –
fax/scan the final hospital bill and bring as many pre-natal documents as you can
when you come in for the final process
(7) Proof of U.S. parents’ physical presence in United States – fax/scan evidence of
residence in the United States and bring original when you come in for the final
For your convenience, I made the links above so you can download the correct forms.
As I mentioned above, item number 7 gave us a minor headache for our third child. Item number 6 is the new one for us. We brought all the things we kept. I only scanned the final bill for the delivery.
It took a couple of tries to scan everything and email it to them. I finished to their satisfaction on Tuesday and our appointment was set for Friday. The drama will continue as we drive the whole family to KL for our appointment.