One of the unavoidable delights of expat living is paperwork, paperwork, oh and more paperwork. Combine that with a mixed nationality marriage and you double that paperwork. This process, despite being troublesome, is absolutely necessary as it passes on your nationality to your child whilst you are not living in your home country.
In our family, we have added another little AmeriBrit into the fold. You would think that by the 3rd time I have it down to a science but no. Something about those official forms that make me nervous which causes mistakes, which causes me to redo the form. Need to make sure all the I’s dotted and T’s crossed.
Living in Abu Dhabi I must confess that the most difficult part of the process is the paperwork and getting the passport photo done. What is so difficult about getting a passport photo? Make sure you get the right dimensions for the photo. It seems that every country has different requirements. A good passport place will ask which country you need it for.
When it comes to the paperwork, in addition to filling out all the forms, you need to provide evidence that you lived for at least 5 years in the USA after the age of 14. Depending on how long you have been an expat will determine how laborous that can be. I say this because for me, the longer I have been an expat, the less documentation I have from 10 years ago (replaced by more recent documentation from being an expat). If you have just moved to Abu Dhabi in more recently, the more likely you will have the necessary documentation at your fingertips. Once you have the paperwork finished, the appointment part is easy.
You can book the appointment for Reporting a Birth Abroad by visiting the USA Embassy website. Whilst the paperwork can be tedious, the instructions are very clear on the website. There are 4 different forms to fill out:
- Passport Application DS – 11
- CRBA Application DS – 2029 (Consulart Report of Birth Abroad)
- Social Security Application SS-5
- Affidavit of Physical Presence
The forms are all available for download through the website and can be found in the U.S. Citizens Services section. There are instructions available which will give you guidance on what paperwork, what supporting documents (passports, marriage certificate, birth certificate, etc) and how many copies to bring. It also tells you the costs so that there are no surprises when you turn up.
When the day arrives for the appointment, be sure to have all the paperwork ready. You will need to turn up with baby and spouse (even if they are not U.S. Citizens). It is pretty easy from this part on. You will meet with a representative who will go through all the paperwork. Once they are happy with all the forms submitted, you will just need to wait for the paperwork to arrive. Some of the paperwork will need to be picked up from Embassy and part of it will be mailed to you (Social Security Card).
When all paperwork is processed you will have received back:
- Consular Report of Birth Abroad – Don’t ever lose this. This is proof that your child is a U.S. Citizen.
- U.S. Passport
- Social Security Card
Congratulations! You have finished reporting the birth abroad. Now time to submit the new passport for UAE visa. The paperwork continues. Oh the joys of expat living…..
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