A child born in Croatia to a U.S. citizen parent or parents may acquire U.S. citizenship at birth if certain statutory requirements are met. The child’s parents should contact the U.S. Embassy in Zagreb to apply for a Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA) to document that the child is a U.S. citizen. According to U.S. law, a CRBA is proof of U.S. citizenship and may be used to obtain a U.S. passport and register for school, among other purposes.
The child’s parents may choose to apply for a U.S. passport for the child at the same time that they apply for a CRBA. Parents may also choose to apply only for a U.S. passport for the child. Like a CRBA, a full validity, unexpired U.S. passport is proof of U.S. citizenship.
Parents of a child born abroad to a U.S. citizen or citizens should apply for a CRBA and/or a U.S. passport for the child as soon as possible. Failure to promptly document a child who meets the statutory requirements for acquiring U.S. citizenship at birth may cause problems for the parents and the child when attempting to establish the child’s U.S. citizenship and eligibility for the rights and benefits of U.S. citizenship, including entry into the United States. By law, U.S. citizens, including dual nationals, must use a U.S. passport to enter and leave the United States.
Please visit the Department of State’s website for additional information on the Birth of U.S. Citizens Abroad.
U.S. Citizenship Transfer to Children
Please visit the Department of State’s webpage on Acquisition of U.S. Citizenship at Birth by a Child Born Abroad for detailed information on the requirements.
Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA) Defined
A Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA) is a U.S. citizenship document issued to a child born abroad to a U.S. citizen parent or parents who meet the requirements for transmitting citizenship under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).
CRBA applications must be made before the child’s 18th birthday, and we recommend that the parents apply for the CRBA as soon as possible after the child’s birth. Applicants 18 years and older who have never been issued a CRBA may have a derivative claim to U.S. citizenship. Anyone who has a claim to U.S. citizenship must be in possession of a valid U.S passport to enter and exit the United States, even if they possess a passport from another country.
Obtaining Passports for Children
The U.S. Embassy in Zagreb offers passport services by appointment only. Instructions for applying for a first-time passport can be found here. If you are applying for a Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA), you can apply for a U.S. passport at the same time. If you are not applying for a CRBA and your child has not been issued a CRBA previously, please contact us at ZagrebACS@state.gov.
Obtaining a Social Security Number for a Child
You may no longer apply for a Social Security Number for your child at the U.S. Embassy in Zagreb. This service is offered at the U.S. Embassy in Athens, Greece.
Third Party Attendance during Passport and Consular Report of Birth Abroad Appointment Interviews
Generally, immediate family members may accompany passport or CRBA applicants to their appointment interviews at a U.S. embassy or consulate, and all minor children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Passport or CRBA applicants also have the option of being accompanied by an attorney at their appointment interview. Attendance by any third party, including an attorney, accompanying an applicant is subject to the following parameters designed to ensure an orderly appointment interview process and to maintain the integrity of the adjudication of the application(s):
- Given space limitations in the consular section, not more than one attendee at a time will be allowed to accompany an applicant (or the applicant’s parent or guardian if the applicant is a minor).
- Attendance by an attorney does not excuse the applicant and/or the minor applicant’s parent or guardian from attending the appointment interview in person.
- The manner in which a passport or CRBA appointment interview is conducted, and the scope and nature of the inquiry, shall at all times be at the discretion of the consular officer, following applicable Departmental guidance.
- It is expected that attorneys will provide their clients with relevant legal advice prior to, rather than at, the appointment interview, and will advise their clients prior to the appointment interview that the client will participate in the appointment interview with minimal assistance.
- Attorneys may not engage in any form of legal argumentation during the appointment interview and before the consular officer.
- Attendees other than a parent or guardian accompanying a minor child may not answer a consular officer’s question on behalf or in lieu of an applicant, nor may they summarize, correct, or attempt to clarify an applicant’s response, or interrupt or interfere with an applicant’s responses to a consular officer’s questions.
- To the extent that an applicant does not understand a question, s/he should seek clarification from the consular officer directly.
- The consular officer has sole discretion to determine the appropriate language(s) for communication with the applicant, based on the facility of both officer and applicant and the manner and form that best facilitate communication between the consular officer and the applicant. Attendees may not demand that communications take place in a particular language solely for the benefit of the attendee. Nor may attendees object to or insist on the participation of an interpreter in the appointment interview, to the qualifications of any interpreter, or to the manner or substance of any translation.
- No attendee may coach or instruct applicants as to how to answer a consular officer’s question.
- Attendees may not object to a consular officer’s question on any ground (including that the attendee regards the question to be inappropriate, irrelevant, or adversarial), or instruct the applicant not to answer a consular officer’s question. Attendees may not interfere in any manner with the consular officer’s ability to conduct all inquiries and fact-finding necessary to exercise his or her responsibilities to adjudicate the application.
- During a passport or CRBA appointment interview, attendees may not discuss or inquire about other applications.
- Attendees may take written notes, but may not otherwise record the appointment interviews.
- Attendees may not engage in any other conduct that materially disrupts the appointment interview. For example, they may not yell at or otherwise attempt to intimidate or abuse a consular officer or staff, and they may not engage in any conduct that threatens U.S. national security or the security of the embassy or its personnel. Attendees must follow all security policies of the Department of State and the U.S. embassy or consulate where the appointment interview takes place.
Attendees may not engage in any conduct that violates this policy and/or otherwise materially disrupts the appointment interview. Failure to observe these parameters will result in a warning to the attendee and, if ignored, the attendee may be asked to leave the appointment interview and/or the premises, as appropriate. It would then be the applicant’s choice whether to continue the appointment interview without the attendee present, subject to the consular officer’s discretion to terminate the appointment interview. The safety and privacy of all applicants awaiting consular services, as well as of consular and embassy personnel, is of paramount consideration.