Consular Reports of Birth Abroad (CRBA), are available by APPOINTMENT ONLY.
Below you will find information on how to register a child born in Costa Rica as a U.S. citizen. If you have any questions after thoroughly reading this page, please email your inquiry to ACSSanJose@state.gov.
All appointments for a Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA) application at U.S. Embassy San Jose are made through an email appointment scheduling system. In order to obtain an appointment, you must scan and email the following PDF copies to ACSSanJose@state.gov:
- Photocopies of all required forms and supporting documents (see below).
- Photocopy of the bio page of each parent’s passport or other identification
- Your e-mail address and your local Costa Rican phone number.
The Consular Staff will review your application packet to ensure that all required documents have been completed and that you have provided the necessary documents. Please note this pre-review required to schedule an appointment is not a confirmation of whether or not the U.S. citizen parent meets the requirements for transmission of citizenship.
To determine if a U.S. citizen parent meets applicable citizenship transmission requirements, the parent(s) must pay the application fee and have an interview with a Consular Officer. Please review CRBA transmission requirements on the website prior to scheduling your appointment. When the application is complete, you will be provided an appointment. Please review the information below carefully to avoid multiple correspondence with the Embassy.
The American Citizen parent must appear in person to sign the CRBA application. If both parents live in Costa Rica, they must both attend the initial interview, and, regardless of citizenship, both must sign the passport application in person. (If only one parent is present in Costa Rica, the “Statement of Consent from Absent Parent,” form DS-3053 (PDF 52 KB), is required for the passport.) Both parents and child must be present at the interview.
After the forms have been accepted and the fees paid, a Consular Officer will interview you. Once approved, the Consular Report of Birth Abroad will generally be ready for pick-up in 2-3 weeks.
Consular Report of Birth Abroad Application: $100.00
Passport Application: $135.00
Payment is due at the time the application is submitted and is payable by credit or debit card, dollars, or colones. The fees above include any applicable passport processing, execution and security fees. By law these fees are NON-REFUNDABLE.
CRBA and First Passport Requirements
To process a child’s claim to U.S. citizenship, the American citizen parent must (1) establish that s/he is the biological parent, (2) present proof of sufficient physical presence in the United States, and (3) show evidence to confirm the child’s identity. The documents listed below are necessary to satisfy each of these three requirements. In certain cases, the Consular Officer may require supplemental documentation. (As noted above, the American Citizen parent must appear in person and both parents must sign the passport application).
In addition, if the child was born out of wedlock and the biological father is a U.S. citizen, the child must be legitimized by the father before the child’s 18th birthday. Official and legal recognition is required, including an affidavit of paternity and a written agreement to provide financial support until the child reaches the age of 18 (see page 3 of the DS-2029, link below).
Each of the following forms must be completed and submitted with the citizenship package. Do NOT sign the forms until you are instructed to do so before a Consular Officer. The forms can be found on the Department of State’s website at the addresses provided below.
- Application for a U.S. Passport: DS-11.(Pdf – 104kb)
- Application for Consular Report of Birth Abroad of a Citizen of the United States of America: DS-2029.(pdf – 55kb)
- Application for a Social Security number and card SS-5 (Pdf- 135 KB)Note: When completing the DS-11, you can leave the Social Security Number (SSN) blank. You will have the opportunity to apply for a SSN when the documents are approved and ready for pick up. When completing page two of the DS-2029 form please make sure that you account for all periods of time that you have been in the United States and abroad. Periods of time include residence, vacations, periods of study, employment, business trips, military services, etc. Periods of presence abroad include “day trips” to places like Canada and Mexico. Additional paper may be attached to the form.
Required Supporting Documents
- The child’s original Costa Rican birth certificate, issued on stamped paper (papel con timbres) from the Civil Registry (Registro Civil).
- A written statement from the physician who attended the birth, stating the name of the mother and pertinent facts of the birth. In the case of a child born in one of Costa Rica’s public hospitals, a statement from the hospital director that one of its physicians attended the birth is sufficient. (The declaración de nacimiento on yellow carbon paper showing the registration of the birth at the hospital is not sufficient.)
- A certified copy of the marriage certificate of the parents, if applicable. If the marriage took place in Costa Rica, this document must be obtained from the Civil Registry (Registro Civil).
- If either parent has been married previously, certified copies of the documents showing termination (through death or divorce) of all previous marriages.
- Evidence of parent’s (or parents’) U.S. citizenship (a U.S. passport and/or a naturalization certificate). Note: The American citizen parent must have obtained citizenship prior to the child’s birth in order to transmit citizenship through this process.
- Proof of identification of the non-U.S. citizen parent (national ID card or passport).
- Evidence of the U.S. citizen parent’s physical presence in the United States for the required period, as determined by law (specific time requirements are listed below). Note: Physical presence accrued after the child’s birth cannot be used to meet this requirement.Examples of documents that can be used to show physical presence include, but are not limited to, the following: school records; childhood immunization records; college transcripts; U.S. military service records; paystubs and tax records (must be able to show that the work was performed in the U.S.); employment certification letters.
- Evidence of a biological relationship between the U.S. citizen parent and the child. If the child was born in-wedlock or born to a U.S. citizen mother, the biological relationship generally can be demonstrated through medical records pertaining to the pregnancy, such as pre-natal care records, ultrasounds, and pregnancy photos.If the child was born out-of-wedlock to a U.S. citizen father, satisfactory evidence of an exclusive relationship with the mother must be presented (e.g., relationship photos, evidence of cohabitation, shared travel history, joint accounts, etc.). If this evidence is insufficient, DNA testing may be requested. If you decided to submit DNA testing, please do not initiate DNA testing without specific instructions from the Consular Officer. Results from DNA tests completed outside of specific Department of State regulations will not be accepted.
- One (1) recent photograph, in color, size 2” x 2”, with a white background and full front view. Photos that do not meet these requirements will not be accepted.
Legal Requirements For Physical Presence In The U.S.
Birth Abroad to U.S. Citizen Parent and Non-Citizen Parent
For a child born after November 14, 1986, the U.S. citizen parent must prove s/he was physically present in the U.S. for a total of at least five (5) years before the birth of the child. Two of those years must be after the U.S. citizen parent’s 14th birthday.
For a child born on or before November 14, 1986, the citizen parent must prove he/she was physically present in the U.S. for at least ten (10) years before the birth of the child. Five of those years must be after the U.S. citizen parent’s 14th birthday.
Birth Abroad Out-of-Wedlock
For a child born before June 11, 2017, to a U.S. citizen mother, who was not married at the time of the child’s birth, must prove that she was physically present in the U.S. for at least one (1) continuous year any time prior to the child’s birth. This applies even if the mother subsequently married, and regardless of whether the father is listed on the birth certificate.
For a child born on or after June 12, 2017, the U.S. citizen parent must prove s/he was physically present in the U.S. for a total of at least five (5) years before the birth of the child. Two of those years must be after the U.S. citizen parent’s 14th birthday.
Birth Abroad in Wedlock to Two U.S. Citizen Parents
If both parents, married to each other, are U.S. citizens on the day the child was born, at least one parent must have resided in the U.S. at some point prior to the child’s birth. No specific length of time is specified under U.S. law.
WARNING: False statements made knowingly and willfully in passport applications, affidavits or other supporting documents are punishable by fine and/or imprisonment under the provisions of 18 USC 1001 and/or 18 USC 1542.