New Procedures for Consular Reports of Birth Abroad

The Department of State is pleased to announce the introduction of a redesigned Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA, or Form FS-240).  The redesigned CRBA, which is an official record confirming that a child born abroad to a U.S. citizen parent or parents acquired U.S. citizenship at birth and serves as proof of citizenship, has been updated with a variety of state-of-the-art security features to help prevent fraud and identity theft.

Overseas posts will still document the citizenship of children born overseas to U.S.-citizen parents, but effective February 7, 2011, the CRBAs will be printed at our passport agencies in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, and New Orleans, Louisiana, using the information provided by overseas posts.  By centralizing production and eliminating the distribution of controlled blank stock throughout the world, we will help ensure uniform quality and lessen the possibility of fraud. Additionally, the Department will no longer issue the DS-1350 Certification of Report of Birth Abroad.  Instead, the Department will simply provide new FS-240s in response to requests for additional, replacement, or amended CRBAs.

Parents of American children born abroad should obtain a Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA), which is evidence of the child’s U.S. citizenship, as soon as possible after the birth of the child.  Parents will have to submit proof of their citizenship and identity, the child’s local birth certificate, and other supporting documents.  Please view our hours and contact information to find out when you can apply for a CRBA.

Effective June 1, 2013, the U.S. Embassy Freetown is enforcing anappointment-only system for all non-emergency services. The appointment system allows American citizens in Sierra Leone to plan ahead and book a time to complete their required service. This reduces wait times for U.S. citizens who require non-emergency services. Due to a consistently-growing workload, the ACS section has moved to the appointment-only policy that is being followed at Embassies and Consulates worldwide.

To make an appointment, please click here. Please bring your passport or other form of photo identification to your appointment.

Report of Birth Abroad (PDF 50 KB)

How to Apply for a CRBA at the U.S. Embassy in Freetown

An American citizen child born outside the United States will be issued a Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA). This document establishes the child’s status as an American citizen and is recognized as the equivalent of a birth certificate issued in the United States. We recommend that parents apply as soon as possible after your child’s birth, as the CRBA must be issued before the child may apply for a United States passport.  A CRBA may not be issued to a child over 18 years old.
Both parents and child must personally appear at the U.S. Embassy.
The following documents are required to issue a Consular Report of Birth Abroad to a child born in Sierra Leone:

  • Birth certificate issued by the authorities of  Sierra Leone
  • Marriage certificate (with a certified translation if not in English).  If the parents are not married, please ask a consular officer about special requirements.
  • If either parent was previously married, evidence of the termination of previous marriages (with a certified translation if not in English).  Normally, such evidence consists of a divorce order, annulment decree, or death certificate.
  • Evidence of the American citizenship of both parents, such as a United States passport, naturalization certificate or a birth certificate from the United States.

If only one parent is an American citizen, that parent must show evidence of his or her physical presence in the United States. Such evidence often consists of previous passports, educational records (school or university transcripts), rent receipts, etc. The American citizen parent must show:

  • For children born after November 14,1986: at least five years of physical presence in the United States, including two years after the age of fourteen.
  • For children born before November 14,1986: at least ten years of physical presence in the United States, including five years after the age of fourteen.

NOTE: All documents must be submitted in original or certified copy.
Fees are collected in cash only, in United States dollars or the equivalent in Leones. “The application fee for a CRBA is $100.00.”

Completing the Form DS-2029

The form should be downloaded and printed on white A4 or letter-size paper.

Please complete sections 1 to 15 on the application form in block letters and black ink. This information is mandatory.

  • Item 6 – Full Name: Please complete this item with your names as they appear on the passports. For women who have adopted their spouse’s surname, please complete thus: “Jane Smith Doe, born Jane Mary Smith.”
  • Item 11 – Evidence of American Citizenship: Please complete this item with your United States passport number, date of issue, and place of issue as listed on your current passport. Foreign nationals should list the country of nationality in addition to the other information.
  • Item 12 – Physical Presence: This means the actual time when the parent was physically present in the United States. Any travel outside the United States, including vacation, does not count toward physical presence. Maintaining a residence in the United States does not constitute physical presence. Start with your birth, if you were born in the United States, or your first entry to the United States and list all periods of physical presence in the United States up to the present.  You may attach a separate sheet with this information.
  • Please do not sign the form until requested by a consular officer.

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.

More Information

For more information about applying for a CRBA, please visit the State Department Bureau of Consular Affairs website.