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How to quickly get a US passport for a child born in Germany

The Local Germany
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How to quickly get a US passport for a child born in Germany
Getting your baby's US passport may seem daunting at first if they were born in Germany - but it's possible. (Photo by Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP)

What are the steps to apply for a baby's US passport from Germany? How long does it take? Here’s all the information and tips American parents in Germany should know before beginning the process.


You’ve left the United States and moved to Germany. Now, you’ve added a baby to this exciting new life, and you're itching to secure their US citizenship and passport straight away.

Luckily, it's not a difficult process - but you'll need to know the criteria and the steps to take to get one. 

Does your baby qualify for a US passport?

Your newborn qualifies for US citizenship and a US passport under the following conditions:

  • They were born within wedlock to two US citizen parents.
  • They were born within wedlock and one of the parents is a US citizen who lived for at least five years in the United States, two of which were after age 14.
  • They were born out of wedlock to a US citizen mother who lived for at least five years in the United States, two of which were after age 14, and a non-citizen father.
  • They were born out of wedlock to a US citizen father who lived for at least five years in the United States, two of which were after age 14, and non-citizen mother, provided certain additional requirements are met.

READ ALSO: How to apply for or renew your US passport from Germany

When the parent who is a US citizen is the father and the baby is born out of wedlock, there are a few extra steps required.

The father will need to write a sworn statement agreeing to give financial support until the child is 18 years old and also supply a written statement acknowledging paternity.

If your child does qualify for US citizenship, the next steps are pretty straightforward - although completing the required forms can be time-consuming.


What are the first steps when applying for a child’s US passport from Germany?

The first step is applying for a Consular Report of Birth abroad (CRBA), which documents that your child is a US citizen at birth. Any of the US Consular Agencies in Berlin, Hamburg, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Leipzig, and Munich can accept applications for Consular Reports of Birth Abroad (CRBA) and US passports.

To begin, you’ll apply online. But remember, you’ll need original copies of any documents you upload; you’ll bring these to your in-person appointment at the consulate.

Documents you’ll need include:

  • Your child’s original German birth certificate with both parents' names, along with two photocopies.
  • Your original marriage certificate, if married, plus one photocopy.
  • Your original divorce certificate, if divorced, plus one photocopy.
  • Valid original passport/identification document for each parent, along with two photocopies.
  • Proof of US citizenship, such as a passport, birth certificate, or Certificate of Naturalization, for the US parent(s), plus copies.
  • Proof of physical presence in the United States for the US parent(s), in the form of documents such as school records, university transcripts or employment records.

All foreign-language documents must be accompanied by a simple English translation that does not need to be certified.

In Germany, you can submit your CRBA application and pay the processing fee online, following the specific instructions for the consulate where you want to schedule your in-person appointment.

READ ALSO: Why are fewer American nationals renouncing their US citizenship?


You'll then be contacted within five business days with a date and time for your interview. You'll need to bring the originals and photocopies of all the documents listed above, as well as a completed DS-2029 form.

To apply for a US passport for your child at the same time as the CRBA appointment, you'll need to bring a completed DS-11 (passport application) form and possibly a completed SS-5 (social security card application) form.

 You’ll also need to bring original copies and photocopies of the following documents:

  • One 2”x2” (5x5cm) passport picture for your child.
  • Identification for both parents.
  • A physical copy of the completed passport application form (DS-11).
  • Anything else your consulate tells you to bring (such as a completed SS-5 form if advised to).

You'll need to pay the under-16s passport application fee via cash or card at the appointment.


Important considerations:

For the CRBA, the US parent(s) must report their physical presence in the United States, detailing each trip abroad. In other words, it’s crucial you don’t include time abroad in your list of days staying within the United States. If the dates are incorrect, the processing could be suspended until you correct the dates.

It’s very important for both listed parents to attend the appointment. If only one parent can attend, you’ll need to submit a notarised DS-3053 Statement of Consent from the absent parent. If you have sole legal custody of your child, you’ll need to bring proof, such as a court order.

Bring your child’s passport photo in a separate envelope (so you don't lose it) but don’t staple it to the passport application.

How long does it take?

Once your application and interview are complete, it takes around 15 working days for Germany's US consulates to process a CRBA and first passport.

If you have questions, don’t be shy about contacting your consulate for clarification.

Congratulations on your multinational family!



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