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U.S. Citizen Children

My child has a foreign passport. Can s/he use it to travel to the U.S.?

By law, even if your child holds foreign nationality, if s/he has a claim to U.S. citizenship, s/he is required to enter and depart the United States on a valid U.S. passport. S/he should not enter the United States on a foreign passport with a visa, or visa free under the Visa Waiver Program.


My child was born in the United Kingdom. How do I report his/her birth and get him/her a U.S. passport?

There are requirements to be met by the U.S. citizen parent(s) to transmit citizenship. If your child is eligible for citizenship, you may register his or her birth at the Embassy and obtain a passport and social security number for him or her. Read more…

Can I report the birth of my child at any time?

The birth of a child in the United Kingdom should be reported to this Embassy as soon as possible after the birth. Persons over the age of 18 are not eligible for a Consular Report of Birth Abroad, Form FS-240, therefore, the birth should be reported before your child is 18, or before his or her first trip to the United States, whichever is sooner. Please also note that an appointment is required to report the birth and this may need to be booked as much as 8-12 weeks in advance.

What is a Consular Report of Birth Abroad?

A Consular Report of Birth Abroad, Form FS-240, is official evidence of U.S. citizenship issued to a person under the age of 18 who was born abroad to U.S. citizen parent(s) and acquired citizenship at birth.

Can my child be included on my passport?

All children, including babies, must have their own passport.

Can my child be included on my non-U.S. passport?

This is a matter for the authorities of that country. However, if your child will be traveling to the United States, he/she must be in possession of a valid U.S. passport in order to enter the United States.

I wish to apply for a passport for my child; am I required to bring him/her to the Embassy?

Yes. As of March 26, 2004, all children under the age of 18 are required to appear in person for all passport services. Children under the age of 16 must be accompanied by both parents. An appointment will be required; please see the instructions for your specific passport service for more information.

My child is over 18 years old. Does that mean s/he can renew his/her passport by mail/courier?

Maybe. Any applicant aged 18 or older whose most recent passport was issued when s/he was 16 or older can renew his/her passport by mail or courier. If an applicant's most recent passport was issued before the age of 16, regardless of the current age of that applicant, s/he must apply in person.

Is it true that passport applications for children under the age of 16 require the consent of both parents?

Yes, the consent of both parents/legal guardians is required, even if one parent is not a U.S. citizen. Read more…

My child's father/mother is not American. Do you still require his/her consent?

Yes. Both parents' consent is required for children under age 16, regardless of their nationality. Read more…

What if only one parent can appear at the Embassy with the child?

The other parent may submit his/her consent by completing form DS-3053 before a notary and submitting acceptable ID. Read more…

I don't know where my child's other parent is and I don't know how to contact him/her to obtain his/her consent. Does that mean you can't issue my child a passport?

Maybe. Each case is different and will be assessed by one of our consular officers. We recommend that you provide as much documentation as possible showing that you have made a "good faith effort" to contact your child's parent through all available channels (family members, mutual friends, last known employer, divorce lawyer/solicitor, etc). It may be necessary for you to obtain a court order giving you sole custody or permission to apply for a U.S. passport for the child without the other parent's consent.

What is the cost for a child's passport?

The application fee for children under the age of 16 is U.S. $105.00 For children aged 16 and 17, the fee is U.S. $135.00.

Should my child sign his/her own passport? How do I sign on his/her behalf?

Children aged 14 and over may sign their own passports. For children under the age of 14, a parent should sign. In the space provided for the signature, the mother or father must print the child's name and sign his/her own name. Then, in parentheses, by the parent's name, write the word (mother) or (father) so we know who signed for the child.

How long are passports issued to children valid for?

In general, children under the age of 16 are issued passports valid for five years; those 16 and over are issued passports valid for ten years.

When only one parent is accompanying the child to the U.S. is it necessary to carry a letter of consent from the other parent? If my child is traveling with a friend or relative, do they need written consent?

There is no such requirement to enter the United States, but the country from which you are departing may have a requirement. Check with the immigration authorities in each country.

How can I prevent a U.S. passport from being issued to my child?

If you are a resident of the United Kingdom and fear that your U.S. citizen child might be taken abroad by the other parent without the mutual consent of both parents, the child's name can be entered into the U.S. Children's Passport Issuance Alert Program (CPIAP). The CPIAP is a service for the parents and legal guardians of minor children. It enables the Department of State's Office of Children's Issues to notify a parent or legal guardian, when requested, before a U.S. passport is issued to that parent or legal guardian's child. The parent, legal guardian, legal representative, or the court of competent jurisdiction must submit a written request for entry of a child's name into the program, as well as supporting documents.

To request the entry of a UK-resident child's name into the CPIAP, write to:

American Citizen Services
American Embassy
24 Grosvenor Square
London W1A 2LQ
Fax: 020-7495-5012