Claiming citizenship after age 18 – born outside the United States

Persons born abroad to a U.S. parent or parents may have acquired citizenship at birth.  This determination is based upon a variety of facts; the law in place at the time of birth, the amount of time the U.S. citizen parent(s) lived in the U.S. prior to the birth of the child, and, in some cases, the marital status of the biological parents.

U.S. citizens eligible to transmit citizenship are required to file for a Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA), before their child’s 18th birthday.

If you were born outside the United States, have not been previously documented as a U.S. citizen and are:

under the age of 18: please see our instructions for obtaining a Consular Report of Birth Abroad;

over the age of 18: Your U.S. citizen parent must be listed on your birth certificate. You should review the information concerning transmission requirements (PDF 162KB) to see if your parent(s) had the prerequisite physical presence in the United States required by U.S. citizenship law in effect at the time of your birth.  If, based on this information, you believe you have a claim to U.S. citizenship, please follow the instructions provided below.

For your first U.S. passport fill out Passport Application Form DS-11.  Print it on two sheets of paper leaving the reverse page blank.  Print only the actual form (pages 5 and 6), not the instructions.  Do NOT sign the form.

You must provide an answer to question no. 5 of the DS-11 Form, even if you do not have a Social Security Number or do not remember it.  Do NOT list your Dutch Burger Service Number (BSN). Click here to learn more about passports and the social security number requirement.

Obtain one U.S. size passport photo

A photo for a U.S. passport must be 2″ x 2″ (5×5 centimeters) in size. Background must be white and the applicant must look straight into the camera as per our passport photo guidance. No eye glasses should be worn.

From the appropriate Dutch city hall, obtain the International Version of your Dutch birth certificate.  See sample (PDF 575KB). If you were not born in the Netherlands, obtain the foreign birth certificate.  If an international version is not available, also obtain a sworn translation into English.

  • Your parent’s U.S. Passport, or
  • Your parent’s U.S. Certificate of Naturalization/Certificate of Citizenship

If your U.S. citizen parent has not previously been issued one of the above, obtain:

  • Your parent’s U.S. Birth certificate, or
  • Your parent’s Consular Report of Birth Abroad

Further evidence may be required to establish that your parent was a U.S. citizen at the time of your birth if his/her claim has not been previously established.

If your parents were married at the time of your birth, obtain a certified copy of your parents’ marriage certificate issued by the appropriate governmental authority. Religious records are not acceptable.

Obtain a certified copy of your parent’s divorce decree/former spouse’s death certificate, etc.

If you and/or your parent(s) have changed names through marriage, court order, etc, obtain an original or certified copy of the relevant document(s).

Prepare documentary evidence of periods of physical presence in the United States of your U.S. citizen parent(s) prior to your birth, including periods of physical presence outside the United States when the parent served in the U.S. armed forces or were employed by other U.S. government agencies (if applicable). Please consult the Table of Transmission Requirements for physical presence requirements applicable at the time of your birth.

For more information on how to document physical presence in the United States, click here.  Note that these requirements are the same as if you were under 18 and your parents were applying for you.

This pertains to your current and expired foreign passports, if any. It may also be necessary for your mother or father to accompany you to the Embassy to identify you. If your parents are unable to attend, you should submit a progression of identifying documents of yourself from childhood to the present (e.g. medical records, baptism certificate, school year books, student I.D. card, old passports, old driver’s license, etc.).

Credible and substantial evidence of blood relationship between yourself and your U.S. parent(s) must be submitted with your application. If you were born out-of-wedlock, please consult the  Table of Transmission Requirements for the legitimation laws and financial support requirements that may be applicable at the time of your birth.

Form DS-5507 Affidavit of Parentage is to be completed by your U.S. Citizen Parent(s)(PDF, 5 pages): Your U.S. citizen parent should accompany you to the Embassy to sign the affidavit under oath. If your parent is in the United States, the affidavit can be signed before a notary public and must be accompanied by a notarized copy of your parent’s U.S. passport or driver’s license as presented to the notary.

Make clearly legible black and white photo copies of ALL documents, including the biographical information pages of your passport(s). Do not send us original documents, other than the originally completed but unsigned form DS-11 and Social Security Statement.  We do not need copies of the instructions.

All copies will have to be scanned in due time to become part of your permanent citizenship file. When submitting photo copies or scans, make sure you provide flat scanned copies that are clearly legible. Prints of pictures made with phones or cameras are often of poor quality and are therefore not acceptable.

Assemble but do NOT staple your documents in the following order, top to bottom:

  • Original Form DS-11, filled out but unsigned, with passport photo attached
  • Original Social Security Statement
  • Photo copy of your birth certificate
  • Photo copy of your passport or other identity document, and name change documents if any
  • Photo copies of evidence of U.S. citizenship of the parent(s)
  • Photo copies of your parents’ marriage and/or divorce certificates
  • Photo copies of proof of your parents’ physical presence or residence, in chronological order, as per item 9
  • Original Form DS-5507, as per item 10 (Leave unsigned if parent is accompanying you.)

Download your request for an appointment (PDF 84 KB), sign and date it, then mail it with:

  • your completed but unsigned Form DS-11, photo attached, with social security declaration and photo copies of birth certificate and your passports, etc., to:

U.S. Consulate General
U.S. Citizen Services-First Passport
John Adams Park 1
2244 BZ  WASSENAAR

At this time you cannot make your own appointment but you can of course make your preference known.

We will send you an e-mail within five weeks of receipt of your ‘First Passport Package’.  If all appears in order, this e-mail will suggest an appointment date and time.  If there are shortcomings, we will address these first.

BRING ALL YOUR ORIGINAL DOCUMENTS WITH YOU TO YOUR APPLICATION INTERVIEW! 

Bring all the original documents of which you have sent copies with you to your appointment.  Failing to bring all original documents, will delay your application considerably.  All original documents will be returned to you by the consular officer after your interview.
Your parent(s) can of course come with you to your appointment.

Payment, delivery of documents and Social Security Number

COME PREPARED AND ARRIVE ON TIME!
Try to be at the Consulate in Amsterdam at least 15 minutes prior to your appointment time. If you miss your slot, or if you come unprepared we must ask you to reschedule.

Travel with your U.S. passport
Once you have received a U.S. passport, by law you must enter and exit the United States on a valid U.S. passport at all times.  This applies even if you also hold a passport of a country that would otherwise make you qualified for visa-free travel to the United States.

Please read our entry instructions.