Electronic CRBA Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is eCRBA?
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.
2. How will eCRBA affect me?
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.
3. Is eCRBA secure?
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.
4. Who is eligible to use eCRBA?
You can use eCRBA if you meet the following criteria:
- 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.
- Applicant is applying in the U.S. Consulate General Amsterdam’s consular district – where the child was born, i.e. the Netherlands.
5. Can I still apply for CRBA with a paper application if I prefer?
Yes, you will still be able to complete a paper application DS-2029.
6. How does eCRBA work?
You will start by opening a MyTravelGov 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 the U.S. Consulate General, Amsterdam. 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.
7. What is a “MyTravelGov” account?
A “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.
8. What documents do I need to apply for eCRBA?
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 of 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.
9. Is there a deadline to report my birth or my child’s birth overseas to obtain a Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA)?
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.
10. How do I complete the Physical Presence section in eCRBA?
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?
11. How do I upload photos and attach documents in eCRBA?
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.
12. Can I request duplicate copies of the CRBA through the eCRBA system?
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.
13. Can I apply for a Social Security number and passport through my eCRBA application?
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: https://nl.usembassy.gov/u-s-citizen-services/social-security/.
14. How do I replace or amend a CRBA?
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 following the guidance at: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/records-and-authentications/requesting-a-vital-record-as-a-u-s–citizen/replace-amend-CRBA.html.
15. What system requirements must my computer meet to use eCRBA?
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.
16. What if I don’t have a computer or internet connection at home?
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.
17. What are my payment options?
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.
18. How secure is the payment option?
The payment system is secure. The payment occurs through “pay.gov”, an online payment system used by many U.S. government agencies.
19. What if I do not have a U.S. bank account or credit card?
If you are not able to pay online, then you must complete a paper CRBA application and pay the fees at the U.S. Consulate General Amsterdam during your interview.
20. What if I have a problem making my online payment?
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.
21. How do I know if my eCRBA has been received?
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.
22. How do I make changes to my eCRBA information once it has been submitted?
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 U.S. Consulate General Amsterdam for help. You can also let consular staff know of changes during your interview.
23. How do I schedule an appointment online?
After completing the online application and making a payment online, you will be automatically directed to the U.S. Consulate General Amsterdam’s website to schedule an appointment. However, at this point you cannot schedule your own appointment for a CRBA/Passport in Amsterdam. Instead you are to send in your child’s DS-11 Passport Application with the request for an appointment cover sheet. Upon receipt you will be e-mailed with a suggested date and time for an appointment.
24. Do I get one appointment for my child’s passport and CRBA?
Yes, the appointment scheduled by the Consulate is for a passport and CRBA. Other services may require separate appointments.
25. How can I cancel or reschedule my appointment?
Reply to the original appointment invitation e-mail you received from the U.S. Consulate General in Amsterdam, without changing the subject line.
26. Can I apply for a Social Security number and passport through my eCRBA application?
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. A passport application can be submitted in person at the time of the interview. 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: https://nl.usembassy.gov/u-s-citizen-services/social-security/.