Give your Nica-born baby the gift of USA
Recently an American friend of mine registered his newly Nicaraguan-born son with the US embassy in Managua. If you are looking for how to register your baby abroad information then here it is, hot off the press.
Big thanks to my mate Chris for this.
Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA)
The process is fairly straight forward, however the US Consular warns that if supporting documentation is lacking, the applicant must wait 60 days to reschedule a CRBA appointment. This rule has been instituted because too many people were showing up without sufficient documentation! Make sure this doesn’t happen to you!
The mother, father and baby MUST be present at the time of the appointment. If the Nicaraguan national parent is NOT present for the appointment, they must sign a release for the baby to receive his passport. It is much less complicated is all parties show up in person.
Forms to be filled out by applicant. All forms should be filled out digitally using a pdf reader OR BLACK INK. The form links provided by the US Embassy are stale. Use these new links. Do not worry that the forms have an expiration date (2010). These are the latest forms to date and are accepted by the US Consular. Completely fill out forms but DO NOT sign them! The US Consular will have you sign them in person.
DS-2029 (CRBA APPLICATION) http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/156216.pdf
DS-11 (APPLICATION FOR PASSPORT) http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/212239.pdf
SSA-5 (APPLICATION FOR SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER) http://www.ssa.gov/online/ss-5.pdf
Here is a list of documents needed. All documents must be originals. The US Consular will not expect photocopies, notarized copies or any other type of non-original documentation. Original documents (if in Spanish) DO NOT have to be translated or notarized. All originals will be handed back to the applicant either at the time of application or at the time the applicant receives passport and official CRBA paper.
1) Medical record (epicrisis) of the birth of the child, documents issued by the hospital at the time of birth. This is the paper you handed into the Civil Registry in order to obtain the baby’s birth certificate. It has the name of the doctor how witnessed the birth, birth stats, etc.
2) Birth Certificate issued by the Municipality were the child was born
3) Marriage Certificate of Parents (if applicable). This does not have to be a US Embassy certified certificate. You are just proving that the child was born in wedlock.
4) Divorce decrees of any previous marriages.
5) Migratory Movement (register of entries and exits to and from Nicaragua) issued by Nicaraguan Immigration Office) for the US Citizen Father. If the father has dual nationality and uses both Passports he must present Migratory Movements under both passports. Just make a copy of your entire passport and be willing to provide verbal evidence that the father of the child WAS in fact in the country at time of baby’s conception.
6) In the case were only one of the parents is an US Citizen, the US Citizen parents must provide proof of physical presence in the US of at least 5 years prior to the child’s birth. Two of these years must be after the age of 14. You can submit income tax returns, letters of employment, school records, SSAN verification letters as proof of physical presence. I chose to show my University diploma and tax returns. Return stamps in passport are also a way of establishing presence.
1) In cases where the US Citizen is a single mother she must provide proof of only one year physical presence.
2) In cases where both parents are US Citizens only one of them needs to provide proof of physical presence of any amount.
7) Photo, size 2 x 2 inches taken on a white background. This can be fairly difficult when dealing with a baby. I have found that folding up a white towel to prop up the baby’s neck so that they are looking at the camera, eyes open, showing both ears, with no head tilt. The photo must have a white background (although you can use photoshop as long as you don’t alter your baby’s actual face).The baby’s face must be between 1 inch and 1 3/8” inch in the photo. They are kind of anal about this stuff. You DO NOT need to present a 2”x 2” photo of the baby’s parents.
8) Fee is $205.00 per child. You can pay this fee with the consular cashier at the embassy.
9) Both parents must provide identification (US Citizen parent must show US passport). US citizen must show passport but Nicaraguan nationals are allowed to present just their national cedula.
10) Photos of the relationship of the parents before the birth of the child must be provided. Photos must show the parents together. Wedding photos, vacations photos, etc. I provided 3 photos. They don’t put much emphasis on this particular step. The photos CAN BE printed (one of mine was a black and white print out).
11) A literal of the birth certificate in case the birth certificate of the child was modified or changed after the original was issued. Also if there was a late inscription (more than one year after the birth of the child). This did not apply to me.
Logistics about the Appointment
I found it VERY difficult to schedule an appointment online with the Embassy. Instead I called the US Consular directly to set up an appointment. The US Consular # in Managua is 22527161. Appointments (in February of 2014) seemed to be a bit backed up so you should plan on making an appointment a minimum of 2-3 weeks before you expect to attend the actual appointment. Make sure to arrive at least 30 minutes before the appointment. Disregard everything you have heard about NOT being allowed entry to the US Embassy if you bring cellphones, nail clippers, etc. You will just leave these items in a numbered box as you pass through security. They will issue you a card and you can pick up your personal items on your way out. You will pass through the US Embassy and sit in the US Consular waiting room. Your appointment will not take place at a window kiosk. When your # is called you will make your way to room # 7 (the door to the far right of the window kiosks). There you will sit down and start the application process.
The original person you will talk with IS NOT the US Consular. They are normally Nicaraguan nationals taking primary information and inputting it into the computer. They will ask you if you want to speak in English or Spanish with them. (I choose English because I find people are less snoopy about my personal life when English is not their first language). They will ask to you pass your documents. They may ask you basic information about the relationship timeline of the child’s parents, etc. They will take written notes of the testimony you provide.
After that process takes place, the attendant leaves the room and you wait for the US Consular. In our case, it took about 30 min for them to arrive. They sit down, verify information, and ask for verbal testimony of relationship and parentage of the child. They will ask you to sign the three documents you have brought. They will also ask to see the baby’s face to make sure that it matched the child in the passport photo. After that they will give you direction on how and when you can pick up your passport. They say passports take 3-6 weeks to process (they are processed in the US) and can only be picked up at the US Embassy IN PERSON.
The process of a Consular Report is actually straight forward, the problem is there are so many sources of information on the internet that say different things about the types of documentation you need, you can get a little overwhelmed and confused. Even the Nicaragua US Embassy website is out of date. If you follow the process I described it should be a painless experience. Just make sure you have all of your papers in order with supporting evidence (bring EXTRA) so that you don’t have to wait 2 months in order to reschedule a new appointment.