For Foreigners

How to register your child’s birth abroad – for Americans

When having a baby abroad a few thing are certain. Your baby will be bilingual. People will be screaming at you in a different language while giving birth and you’ll understand nothing. Your baby will be a dual citizen, so the bureaucracy in your life is never-effing-ending.

If you’re American, like me, and you’d like to give your baby your American citizenship, cool! You can absolutely do that. Happily, the process is quite simple. Firstly, you need to be able to prove one very important thing. You have to show the authorities proof that you lived in America for 5 years, two of which were after age 14. What types of documents constitute proof? School/university records, W-2 forms (proof of work), leases, etc. 

After you’ve got that covered, you’ll also need:

  • parents’ marriage certificate
  • baby’s birth certificate – (pełny akt urodzenia)
  • scans of both parents’ passports
  • applications for passport, registering the birth abroad, and social security card

Luckily, you can apply to register the baby’s birth abroad, for their passport, and social security card all at the same time. Once you’ve got it all together, send all the documents by email to the nearest embassy/consulate and wait for information.

Typically, they answer quite quickly, and you can set up an appointment with them. Both parents are required to be present, and you’ll need to take all the documents with you to present to the civil servant. Once there, you’ll sign the documents and swear that it’s all true – yes, holding up your right hand 🙂 Then you pay a mere $215 for everything ($5 discount for child passports – I know, right?!), and they’ll send you the docs by courier when they’re all ready – gotta pay for that too.

All in all, it’s pretty easy and it’s worth it so that your kid can be a dual citizen!

If you have any questions about what this process looks like, please feel free to leave a comment below.

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