Obtaining a CRBA

Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA)!

A Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA) is a formal document certifying the acquisition of United States citizenship at birth for a person born abroad to a U.S. citizen parent or parents who meet the requirements for transmitting citizenship under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).  United States non-citizen nationals are also eligible for a Consular Report of Birth Abroad, using the non-citizen option.

CRBA applications must be made before the child’s 18th birthday. We recommend that parents apply for the CRBA as soon as possible after the child’s birth.

Eligibility Requirements

To apply, your child must have been born abroad (outside the U.S. or its outlying possessions) and your child must accompany you to U.S. Embassy Gaborone for the in-person interview.

To be eligible to apply for a CRBA online, you MUST answer all the following criteria with YES.

  1. Was the child born abroad (outside the U.S. or its outlying possessions)?
  2. Is the child under the age of 18?
  3. Was at least one parent a U.S. citizen or U.S. non-citizen national when the child was born?
  4. Can you use an internationally accepted credit/debit card or a direct payment method from a U.S. dollar denominated bank account (also known as “ACH”) to pay online for your Consular Report of Birth Abroad application?
  5. Are you a biological parent of a child born abroad who is applying for that child?

If any of the above statements do not apply to you, you MUST apply by completing a paper application (DS-2029).

How to Apply

Online Applications:

You can now apply for a CRBA electronically at U.S. Embassy Gaborone!  This new online feature allows U.S. citizen parents to complete a CRBA application online, upload all required documents, and submit payment prior to the in-person interview.

  • To apply for a CRBA online, you need to create a MyTravelGov account or sign-in to your existing account. MyTravelGov is a secured, encrypted portal that you can use to start an eCRBA application or access an existing eCRBA application.
  • Once you sign in or create a MyTravelGov account you can access eCRBA and submit your application online. The easy-to-use online process provides applicants with step-by-step instructions on how to complete the application. You may review the necessary documents for the CRBA application in advance by reviewing this checklist.
  • Once you complete the online application and submit payment, you will then be directed to schedule your appointment at the U.S. Embassy in Gaborone. Please schedule your appointment at least 72 hours after payment submission. This provides time for your payment to be processed prior to your CRBA interview. Please Note: Do NOT make another (or duplicate) payment for a CRBA ($100) at the Embassy.
  • Attend your scheduled in-person interview with your child, original documents, and their photocopies (single-sided). Original documents will be returned to you after reviewing your application. You must provide English translations for all foreign language documents. The child must be present at the time of application. Generally, both parents also attend the interview.

Need Help?

We are here to help!

  • You can access eCRBA Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) at the bottom of this page.
  • You can view the eCRBA Customer Application Instructions here.
  • For questions or concerns please contact ConsularGaborone@state.gov.

 Paper-based Applications:

If you prefer to submit a paper-based application, please consult the “Report of Birth Abroad Checklist” (below) for detailed instructions on completing a Consular Report of Birth Abroad application. Once you have completed the application, please make two copies of all your supporting documents, and bring them with you to the appointment.

Consular Report of Birth Abroad Checklist – U.S. Embassy Gaborone (PDF 603 KB)

If the transmission requirements have been met, please submit the following in person by the applicant (child) and at least one parent, preferably the U.S. citizen parent, at the U.S. Embassy in Gaborone.

  • Completed (but not signed) CRBA application Form DS-2029 (PDF 105KB)– all questions must be answered.
  • If the U.S. citizen parent is not able to attend the appointment, they must complete the Affidavit of Parentage, Physical Presence and Support, have it notarized by a Notary Public (in the U.S.) or a U.S. Embassy which must be submitted in their absence.
  • Child’s Birth Certificate.
  • Parents’ registered marriage certificate if applicable.
  • Evidence of termination of any previous marriages if applicable.
  • U.S. citizen parent(s)’ evidence of U.S. Citizenship (U.S. passport or naturalization certificate).
  • U.S. citizen parent’s documentary evidence of physical presence in the United States prior to the child’s birth.
  • Applicable Fee. All fees are subject to change without notice.

Once you have completed all appropriate application forms and gathered all required supporting documentation, make an appointment HERE. You must appear in person with your child at the U.S. Embassy.

If you need further guidance on registering the birth of a U.S. child in Botswana, please contact the Consular Section at the U.S. Embassy in Gaborone.

For more information about Reporting Your Child’s Birth Abroad and for the application form, please visit the State Department’s website.

A Consular Report of Birth can only be prepared at the U.S. Embassy. It cannot be prepared if the child has been taken back into the United States, or, if the person is 18 years of age or older at the time the application is made.

If the U.S. citizen parent does not meet the transmission requirements and the child is under 18 years of age, the child may be eligible for expeditious naturalization under the Child Citizenship Act 2000.

Other Important Information

Passport applications and Social Security Card applications must be completed and submitted separately.

Please note that an application for a Social Security Number can only be submitted after receiving the original Consular Report of Birth Abroad and Passport. To obtain a Social Security Number for your child, see further details.

 Electronic Consular Report of Birth Abroad (eCRBA) Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

eCRBA is the Department of State’s new online application for a Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA).  eCRBA does not require any new information or processes – applicants enter the same information in eCRBA as in the paper application. This new application method, however, will allow you to enter your data, upload required documents, pay the fees, and schedule your appointment all online. Additionally, you will be able to check the status of your application online.

Submitting your application electronically is more efficient than paper processing. It saves time by allowing you to upload your documents, pay your fees, and schedule your appointment all in one convenient online location. Further, it is more transparent as you will be able to check the status of your application at any time.

Yes. Security is an important priority for all services provided by the Department of State. Electronic processing is very secure and has been developed with stringent security considerations built into each design and development step. Only authorized users will be able to access the online CRBA application and supporting documents.

You can use eCRBA if you meet the following criteria:

  • The child was born abroad (outside of the U.S. and its outlying possessions).
  • The child born abroad must be under the age of 18.
  • At least one of the child’s parents must have been a U.S. citizen or U.S. non-citizen national at the time of the child’s birth.
  • The biological parents of the child, the child’s legal guardian, or the child him/herself, are/is completing the application.  No third-party applicants or facilitators can use eCRBA.
  • Applicant can pay online via the U.S. Government’s official payment site, pay.gov, using a credit card or a U.S. bank account.

Yes, you will still be able to complete a paper application (DS-2029).

You will start by creating a new MyTravelGov account or accessing your existing account. Once you have an account, you can create an eCRBA application, which will guide you step by step through the process of applying online, including uploading supporting documents to ensure that the application is complete.  Once the application is complete, you need to pay the eCRBA fee online.  Once the payment is complete, you will be prompted to schedule an in-person interview at U.S. Embassy Gaborone. You must bring the child and the originals of all supporting documents to the in-person interview, where a consular officer will interview you to verify the information provided, review the original documents, and decide whether to approve the application. Please see the Customer Application Instructions on U.S. Embassy Gaborone’s webpage for step-by-step instructions.

“MyTravelGov” is an online account that applicants can use to request consular services.  You must register for a MyTravelGov account to use the eCRBA application.  You can find the MyTravelGov portal here (MyTravelGov | Department of State).

MyTravelGov uses Login.gov to provide secure access your account. Login.gov passwords must be at least 12 characters and you cannot use common words or phrases.

Follow these steps to reset your password for Login.gov.

MyTravelGov allows for secure, individual access to online services offered by the Bureau of Consular Affairs. Through your MyTravelGov account, you can start an application, review an existing application, see status updates, and view messages from us about your application.

Recheck your inbox and look in your spam folder. Look for a confirmation email sent from Login.gov. If you did not receive a confirmation email, you can try to create the account again or submit a contact form here Contact us | Login.gov. They are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

If you get the message “We’re sorry. Something went wrong on our end,” take these steps:

  • An outdated browser might be the cause of your error. Try updating your browser to the latest version.
  • Clear your internet browser’s cookies and cache. Depending on your browser, you will find this information referred to as “Browsing Data,” “Browsing History,” or “Website Data.”
  • Make sure your cookies are enabled in your browser settings. Depending on the browser you’re using, you will usually find this information in the “Tools,” “Settings,” or “Preferences” menu.

If you’ve taken these steps and still cannot sign in, submit a contact form here Contact us | Login.gov. They are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week or visit the Login.gov Help Center. Login.gov can only resolve issues related to account sign in, they cannot help you with consular services.

Beginning October 2023 we have transitioned to a new log-in system (Login.gov). To access your previous application or continue an application already in progress, you will need to recreate a MyTravelGov account using the same email address you used for your previous MyTravelGov account. You must use the same email address in order to view the pre-existing application in the new system.

The eCRBA application will guide you through the process and will help you understand which documents to provide, as well as what type of documents are acceptable. You must provide supporting documents to show:

  • Record of child’s birth
  • Evidence of biological relationship between the child and parents
  • Proof of U.S. nationality for transmitting parents(s) (typically, a U.S. passport or birth certificate)
  • Parents’ identification
  • Evidence of parents’ marriages and/or termination of marriages by death or divorce
  • Evidence of legal relationship and financial support (only in certain cases)
  • Residence and physical presence in the United States, its outlying territories, or qualifying U.S. government service overseas prior to the child’s birth

You can scan, save, and upload documents in each section of the eCRBA application.  You must bring the originals to the in-person interview where a consular officer will verify all original documents.

Yes. Currently, the birth of a U.S. citizen overseas must be reported to a U.S embassy or U.S. consulate before the child turns age 18. Prior to November 1990, a Consular Report of Birth Abroad must have been issued by a U.S. embassy or U.S. consulate before the child turned age 5.

The Physical Presence section of the eCRBA form is the most complicated part of the form. You need to list all dates you have been physically present in the United States. The transmitting U.S. Citizens parent will have to write down all the dates that s/he has been physically present inside the United States. This means that if you left the U.S. for even one day, on vacation to Canada, Mexico, or any other place outside the U.S. or any of its outlying possessions, these dates should not be included on this list.

Tips and tricks for completing the Physical Presence Section of the form are below:

  • U.S. citizen parents should include ALL physical presence in the U.S., even if it occurred before they became a U.S. citizen. This can include physical presence in the U.S. as a Legal Permanent Resident (Green Card holder), B1/B2 tourist, F1 student, J1 intern, etc. This also includes time spent in the U.S. without status.
  • Use previous and current passports with passport stamps, previous airline tickets, itineraries, or reservations to confirm your dates.
  • It is important to remember you must only include only time you were physically present in the United States. If you spent five years abroad, then your timeline will have a 5-year gap between when you left the U.S. and resuming when you returned to the U.S.
    • For example, if you were born and raised in your home state, and you only did a study abroad during your 2010 spring semester, then you would list your physical presence as:
      • City, State    Birth date – Date you left the U.S.
      • City, State    Date you returned to the U.S. – Date you left the U.S. again

Additional tips for American parents born and raised in the U.S.:

  • Start from your date of birth and list the dates chronologically.
  • If you moved a lot in your life, then write down when you moved to a different city.  Moves within the same city should not be given their own line.
  • It’s fine if you don’t remember the exact dates of your trips abroad when you were a child.  Try to at least include the month/year that you left and returned to the U.S.  Look for the entry and exit stamps in your old passports for reference.
  • While in high school or college did you ever do a study abroad program or vacation abroad during summer/winter break?

Additional tips for American parents who were not born and raised in the U.S.:

  • Start from the first date that you entered the U.S. and list the dates chronologically.
  • If you moved a lot while in the U.S., write down when you moved to a different city.  Moves within the same city should not be given their own line.
  • If you spent time in the U.S. as a child and want the time to be counted towards your Physical Presence in the U.S., then you may be asked to provide documented evidence of the time: old passports with entry/exit stamps, plane tickets, school documents, etc.
  • If you studied in the U.S., did you go abroad during summer or winter breaks?  Did you visit relatives who lived abroad?

Throughout the eCRBA application, there are several places where you can provide required documents by uploading a file from your computer. The maximum allowable file size is 10MB.  You can click “attach a file” or “add” to bring up a document upload pop-up and then click the “select a file” button to choose the file you wish to upload. When choosing documents to upload, focus on uploading only required documents.

You won’t be able to access your application online after it is submitted, except to upload additional documents. If you upload additional documents after submitting your application, please notify the embassy. If you need to make additional changes, you must contact the embassy for help. You can also let consular staff know of changes during your interview.

No, you will need to request additional copies of your child’s CRBA through the Vital Records section at the State Department by filling out this form.

No. Applicants cannot apply for a passport or a Social Security number through the eCRBA application at this time. However, at the end of the eCRBA application, you will be directed to online resources detailing the process for completing the passport and Social Security number applications separately. Passport application can be submitted in person at the time of the interview. Please note that an application for a Social Security Number can only be submitted after receiving the original Consular Report of Birth Abroad and Passport. To obtain a Social Security Number for your child, see further details.

You can request to replace or amend a CRBA from the State Department’s Vital Records section. Only the individuals listed below can request to replace or amend a CRBA:

  • The individual listed on the birth record (if age 18 or older)
  • A parent (for minors under age 18)
  • An authorized government agency, or
  • A person with written authorization from the individual listed on the birth record

You can request to amend or replace a CRBA by filling out this form.

You will need access to the internet and the ability to scan, save, and upload documents in the eCRBA application. eCRBA also works through a mobile phone or a tablet, using your device’s camera to create images of documents to upload.

If you don’t have a computer or internet connection at home, a local library, university, or internet café may provide computers and internet for a small fee. You can also use the computers provided in any American Center. Local charities or religious organizations may also have computers to use for the application process.

eCRBA requires payment using the U.S. government’s official payment site “pay.gov”, which accepts payments in U.S. dollars from a credit card (MasterCard, Visa, American Express, Discover) or U.S. bank account.

The payment system is secure. The payment occurs through “pay.gov”, an online payment system used by many U.S. government agencies.

If you are not able to pay online, then you must complete a paper CRBA application and pay the fees at the embassy during your interview.

If you cannot complete the online payment, then you must complete a paper application and submit it along with your payment in person at a U.S. embassy or consulate.

After successfully submitting an eCRBA application and payment, you will see a confirmation screen. You will also receive a follow-up email, confirming receipt of your application.

You won’t be able to access your application online after it is submitted. If you need to make subsequent changes, you must contact the embassy for help. You can also let consular staff know of changes during your interview.

After completing the online application and making a payment online, you will be directed to the embassy website to schedule an appointment. Please allow 72 hours between payment submission and your CRBA interview appointment time. This provides time for your application and payment to be processed.

Yes, you can schedule one appointment for a passport and CRBA. Other services may require separate appointments.

If you schedule your appointment online, you will receive a confirmation that includes instructions on how to cancel or reschedule your appointment online. You may also contact the embassy to cancel or reschedule.

No. Applicants cannot apply for a passport or a Social Security number through the eCRBA application at this time. However, at the end of the eCRBA application, you will be directed to online resources detailing the process for completing the passport and Social Security number applications separately. Those applications can be submitted in person at the time of the interview.

Contact U.S. Embassy Gaborone for additional questions at +267 395 3982 or email ConsularGaborone@state.gov.