Congratulations on your little bundle of joy! If you are an American citizen who would like to get an American passport for your baby born in Spain, this article is for you. Depending on your circumstances, you may be able to transfer your United States citizenship to your child. This post will detail those requirements, and explain the process for the two different applications you will need to fill out: The DS-2029 Application for a Consular Report of Birth Abroad and the DS-11 Passport Application.
Requirements for transferring American citizenship to your baby
There are 6 circumstances in which a child born in Spain can acquire American citizenship at birth. Keep in mind, these only apply to children under the age of 18 years old, and it is encouraged to start the citizenship process as soon as possible after the birth of your baby abroad. Find detailed information on the US Embassy in Spain’s website, or continue below:
1. Child born to two US citizens: The child will acquire citizenship if prior to the birth, at least one of the parents has been a resident in the United States.
2. Child born in wedlock to a US citizen parent AFTER Nov. 14, 1986 and a foreigner: The child will acquire citizenship if the US citizen parent had been physically present in the USA for 5 years (2 years after the age of 14).
3. Child born in wedlock to a US citizen parent BEFORE Nov. 14, 1986 and a foreigner: The child will acquire citizenship if the US citizen parents had been physically present in the USA for 10 years (5 years after the age of 14).
4. Child born abroad out-of-wedlock to a US citizen mother and foreign father BEFORE June 11, 2017: The child will acquire citizenship if the mother was a US citizen at the time of birth and she was physically present in the United States for a continuous period of 1 year prior to the birth.
5. Child born abroad out-of-wedlock to a US citizen mother and foreign father AFTER June 12, 2017: The child will acquire citizenship if the mother was a US citizen at the time of birth and she was physically present in the United States for a continuous period of 5 years prior to the birth (2 years after the age of 14).
6. Child born out-of-wedlock to a US citizen father: The child will acquire citizenship if the US citizen father had been physically present in the USA for 5 years (2 years after the age of 14). The father must also prove a blood relationship with the child, acknowledge paternity, and sign a sworn financial responsibility statement.
Process for the DS-2029 Application for a Consular Report of Birth Abroad
If your baby has a claim to US citizenship according to the transmission requirements above, as the parent, you will need to apply for the child’s Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA) and US passport at a US embassy or consular agency in Spain. The steps for filling out the CRBA application and the required documents include:
1. Make an online appointment for your child’s CRBA
2. Complete Form DS-2029 Application for a Consular Report of Birth Abroad:
- Name of the child on the local birth record
- Original Spanish birth certificate of the child, plus two copies. Provide an informal translation of the document into English.
- Marriage status of the parents
- Original marriage certificate or divorce degree, plus one copy. Provide an informal translation of the document into English.
- The US citizen parent must establish precise periods of physical presence in the United States prior to the child’s birth in exact detail. Submit original documents as evidence, such as school transcripts, medical records, employment records, or tax returns.
- Certain sections will be prepared by consular officers and signed in front of them.
- The child and US citizen parent are required at the time of application.
- Complete forms DS-2029 but do not sign and DS-11 if you want to apply for an American passport for your baby at the same appointment. Both parents and the child must be present at the appointment in this case.
Process for the DS-11 American Passport Application
As mentioned above, you can get the passport at the CRBA appointment. The steps for filling out the passport application and the required documents include:
1. Schedule a passport appointment at the embassy or consulate.
2. Complete the passport application form DS-11:
- Form completed online and printed out (one-sided, barcode visible).
- Both parents must sign the DS-11 form in front of the officer.
- The child must be present at the appointment.
- Child’s original birth certificate or CRBA, plus one copy. A “libro de familia” cannot be used.
- Both parents’ valid photo IDs (passport, Spanish DNI, or residence card), plus one copy.
- One 2x2-inch (5x5-cm) passport photo of the child taken within the last 6 months. The child must be looking forward, be against a white background, and not smiling. There is a photo booth inside the embassy/consulate if needed.
- If for a passport renewal, bring 4-5 images of the child taken over the past 5 years in order to show the child’s progression since their last passport.
- Payment of the applicable fees.
- For the requirements for single parents or those who cannot attend the appointment together, consult the embassy website.
Remember, US citizens must always use a valid US passport to enter and exit the United States.
Also keep in mind that gathering the documents may take some time, so if you want to travel with an American passport for your baby soon after their birth, you should start the process as soon as possible after they are born. These days, appointments fill up months and advance, so remember that when planning any travel home. Good luck! And if you need healthcare coverage in Spain for your growing, young family, discover the free guide below: