This past week was a busy week with visits to the Registro Civil here in Buenos Aires to pick up Caitlyn's Acta de Nacimiento, another trip to Mater Dei to get more of my hospital records for the U.S. Consulate appointment to register a foreign birth abroad, and then finally - the actual appointment at the consulate to apply for her American passport and the CROBA or "consular report of birth abroad."
Caitlyn will have dual citizenship once the consular record of a birth abroad is approved, but that means two passports and understanding how that affects her when traveling to the US or to Argentina.
So, if you plan to travel to the U.S. and will be registering their foreign
birth abroad you must have the baby's Argentine passport to leave the
country (this is my next post) and their American passport to enter the
States. So you need to also do the Argentine passport as soon as
By US laws, even if your children also hold foreign nationality, they are required to enter and depart the United States on a valid US passport at all times. They should not enter the United States on a foreign passport or on US visa waiver program.
One other thing to be aware of that is very important:
if your baby is born here in Argentina then they will forever have "born in Argentina" in their American passport. If they want to travel to Argentina later in life they should enter and exit Argentina on a current Argentine passport because they are still considered as being governed by Argentine laws once they set foot in the country and without the passport they will not be allowed to leave the country if someone sees the born in Argentina in their American passport.
NOW FOR THE PROCESS
You should really do this as soon as possible after your baby is born in Argentina. Here is what you need to know based on our experience (which was a positive one as her applications were all approved!)
1. Contact the U.S. Consulate in Buenos Aires for to request the information package "How to Register a Child Born Abroad" by email at BuenosAires-ACS@state.gov or by mail: Consular Section , United States Embassy, Av. Colombia 4300, C1425GMN Buenos Aires.
The package will contain all your instructions, the form for the consular birth record of birth abroad, a passport application, an affadavit detailing the time in and out of country, and a social security application (which you won't need to fill out because now you can't apply for one until you get your passport.) p.s. while you're waiting for the packet, visit the U.S. Department of State's page on "documentation of U.S. Citizens born abroad" for a lot of great information.
2. Once you have the packet, call or email to make an appointment - if you want to call them then best to do early in the day. They will give you an appointment with the time and the window number (in reality you'll be going to one of two windows that are set up for passports). You'll need to go with the baby's father and the baby.
3. Prepare all of your paperwork (read the backs of the forms carefully to make sure you fill in the information the way they like it). You'll need your major documentation in originals (ie. marriage certificate etc.) and preferably certified but you won't need to bring them any copies - I think they copy what they need.
*You need to provide them with proof that you lived in the U.S. for at least five years of your life as a US born citizen (if not born in US then read the packet to see the differences). In our case I provided them with my unofficial school transcripts as well as a file of bills from my pets over the years that I had dragged along in my records since I didn't have anything else that covered enough time.
4. The day of your appointment make sure you give yourself some
additional time as you have to go through a security check which takes
a bit of extra time.
Once at appointment, take a number and sit down to wait to be called by number or name whichever comes first. The person at the first window will go through your papers with you to make sure everything is in order.
Next you'll be sent to pay the fees for the CROBA which is 65.00 US and the passport which is 82.00 US (you can also pay by credit card or in pesos).
After you finish paying and have your receipt you head back to the person processing your paperwork, give them the receipt and wait to be called up again for the final processing.
When called up again, they confirm all your paperwork, ask some questions, ask to see the child, and have you sign and do a swearing in that everything is true. If everything is fine...all is approved. Passport should take around 10-14 days to get to your Argentine address by DHL.
5. Final step, take the receipt they give you and go to the DHL window on the way out, pay the DHL fee in pesos and give the address you want the passport sent to.
All in all, it wasn't too difficult, particularly as it was only one of us who is a U.S. citizen with the other one still considered a French citizen till naturalized.
One last thing, if you ever need to apply for a certified copy of a "consular record of foreign birth abroad" you need to contact the U.S. Department of State. They have all the information you'll need right on their website at that link.