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calling expat yanks: anyone applied for a consular report of birth abroad?

(34 Posts)
MissTea4Me Fri 29-Jun-07 14:50:18

I am filling out the application for a consular report of birth abroad and U.S. passport for my dd, born here (in the U.K.) 6 months ago. The consular report requires the dates of my physical presence in the States when I lived there, and seems to require details of every period out of the country, whether for vacations, study or whatever. I have not lived in the U.S. for 13 years and cannot possibly remember the exact dates when I travelled abroad-- and I do not have my old passport to check.

What I want to know is:

Do I really have to try and detail every trip I took out of the U.S. when I lived there?

If so, can I guestimate the dates?

If I get it wrong or forget a trip, is it going to come back and bite me in the ass?

Thanks in advance to anyone who can help; I tried emailing the consulate in Edinburgh but got a long-winded auto-reply that basically said, do not hold your breath for a reply.

SofiaAmes Fri 29-Jun-07 15:01:56

It's been awhile but I seem to remember being stymied by that one too. I had been in and out probably a hundred times over the years. But I seem to remember that they were more interested in when I was "living" in the usa, not when i had gone in and out for short stays elsewhere.
You can call the consulate and with some perserverance get a real person on the phone. I think I left that one blank and when I went to the consulate, got them to help me fill it in in person. I don't think it's going to be a problem if you get it wrong, but I suspect they won't tell yo that.

SofiaAmes Fri 29-Jun-07 15:03:21

By the way, make sure you keep the birth certificate when you get it...you will need it to apply for a new passport everytime you renew your child's passport and you will need it to get into public schools if you go back to the usa.

MissTea4Me Fri 29-Jun-07 15:12:25

Thanks Sofia, I've been tearing my hair out here trying to remember that far back. Even having my old passports wouldn't help, I don't think, because some places, like Italy, barely looked at it, let alone stamped it... though I imagine they're a little more rigorous these days.

SofiaAmes Fri 29-Jun-07 17:12:19

Yes, I traveled outside the usa several times a year pretty much since I was born. I was posed with a similar question when I applied for my National Insurance number in England. The lady wanted to know how many times I had visted England in my whole life....!!!! I would guess that was close to a hundred. So I just sort of flipped through my passport and put down all the dates that were stamped in there (not so many since I also hold an Italian passport and generally enter the UK on that).

USAUKMum Fri 29-Jun-07 17:45:32

I've got one with both my DC. And as SofiaAmes said it is more about when you lived. Though I had only travelled outside the US 2 times, so was easy to remember

You won't need the birth certificate for renewing a the DC's passport, the old passport will do -- as long as you have the old passport. When they are under 13 you have to have a special parental consent form. What this boiled down to is my DH having to take the day off work (even though he is the Brit) to come to the Embassy too.

It is better now with the appt system. Last time down, I got DS passport, birth certificate and SS card and we were there only 45 min.

Now DS & my passport are in sync. But DD is currently 2 yrs out. So will have to renew her early to get her on the same "schedule". Lucky their UK passports aren't as difficult

SofiaAmes Fri 29-Jun-07 17:56:27

I think it depends where you are. I renewed my ds' passport 2 years ago in the USA and they required his birth certificate even though I had the old passport.

USAUKMum Fri 29-Jun-07 18:13:29

I meant if you renew here in Britian.

MissTea4Me Fri 29-Jun-07 23:30:01

Well I'm going to the States this summer, would all this be easier to do there? Or would it throw up awkward questions as to how dd got into the U.S.? (She has a U.K. passport already, looks like she'll be travelling on it this summer as I don't rate my chances of getting this all sorted before then.)

SofiaAmes Sat 30-Jun-07 16:20:33

Misstea4me. You must absolutely get her passport done before you come to the USA. Americans are allowed to have dual passports, but they are very very strict about using your US passport when you come to the states. If you don't you will almost certainly have some trouble getting a US passport. Not to say that you won't get it, but I have seen them really give a lot of trouble to people who didn't use their US passport traveling in and out of the USA. And that applies to children as well.
In addition, they have just introduced some new passport requirements in the USA that mean a few million more people all applied at once for their passports and the system is totally backlogged and it's taking 3 to 4 months to get one, so don't leave it for here.

USAUKMum Sun 01-Jul-07 08:06:37

Second SofiaAmes they are very strict about entering the US on your US passport! Persevere!!

MissTea4Me Sun 01-Jul-07 22:52:47

Rats. There is no way I'm going to be able to get one for her before we go. Does this mean they're cracking down on us duals as well? I usually enter the States on my US passport and then come back into Britain on the UK one (shorter line both ways ). Is this going to start to be a problem?

SofiaAmes Mon 02-Jul-07 15:17:45

That's how you are supposed to do it. Enter usa with us passport, leave usa with us passport, enter uk with uk passport, leave uk with uk passport.

Why don't you try calling and finding out about a rushed passport for your dd. You really will have trouble if you don't follow the rules. Especially now since 9/11. You could try calling for info about an emergency passport [44] (0)131 556-8315. Good luck.

MissTea4Me Tue 03-Jul-07 00:37:13

Thanks Sofia, will do.

KerryMum Tue 03-Jul-07 00:53:42

Yes, I didn't count vacations when completing that section.

And once you get the report whatever you do DO NOT LOSE IT EVER as they will never issue you another. It is like gold dust, honestly!

KerryMum Tue 03-Jul-07 00:55:34

Good luck getting a new passport in a hurry. Or even renewing an expired one. They ALL have to go back to the States for processing with some new holographic technology or something. MONTHS!

USAUKMum Tue 03-Jul-07 15:02:14

Did I see you say you were in Scotland......I note in Edi that you can " appear in person to complete the application process on any Tuesday or Thursday afternoon between 9:00am to 1:00pm on a walk-in basis; appointments are not required."

that may be your way.....

http://www.usembassy.org.uk/scotland/cgbirth.htm

MissTea4Me Tue 03-Jul-07 15:20:28

Yes, I was planning to do that, but you've got to get all your stuff together and send it off to them at least a week in advance of showing up. I'm still waiting for some transcripts and things to come from the States to prove physical presence.

jj131 Tue 03-Jul-07 15:28:44

Haven't read all the other responses so sorry to be redundant.

I just did this a few weeks ago. The officer at the embassy told me to guesstimate the amount of time I was outside the US for holidays. He also let me guesstimate the length of time my UK husband lived in the US, give or take a year.

I think it might be quicker to do here in the UK. We were able to get an emergency appt in London bc we had a ticket to travel in the next 2 weeks. (Although another post says you don't need an appt in Edinb). We got our son's passport and report of birth abroad all in one visit -- very efficient!

MissTea4Me Tue 03-Jul-07 18:47:12

jj, did you need to take "proof of your physical presence" in the States? That's what's holding me up at the moment, waiting for school transcripts and the like.

SofiaAmes Tue 03-Jul-07 19:00:05

I think there is a rule that you can't automatically grant citizenship to your children if they are born abroad if you have spent less than a certain amount of your life in the usa. I was never asked for proof of my physical presence in the USA, but I had lived in the USA most of my life and had an American passport most of my life. If you grew up in the USA and came to the UK as an adult, I don't think it will be an issue. It's only if it's close and you don't have an American passport, I think. Call them and ask. I would guess that you don't need the proof.

jj131 Tue 03-Jul-07 19:34:34

i didn't show proof (or even consider whether or not i had to bring it) but i came to the UK age 32 if that makes a difference.

If you're crunched for time can't your daughter just travel on her UK passport?

USAUKMum Tue 03-Jul-07 19:55:48

I didn't have proof either. I do remember that I had to have lived in the US for a period after I was 14 (?) or something like that. They were interested as I had done my Masters degree in the UK but had lived in the US until then. Still didn't require proof. DH & I moved back when I was 28.

SofiaAmes Tue 03-Jul-07 23:20:58

I met an Israeli guy once who had one parent who had been born in the USA and he was trying to establish his citizenship by birthright and he was having to prove when he had lived in the USA, but that was because he was an adult and hadn't been born in the usa and hadn't really lived in the USA and was trying to stretch the time he had been at college in the usa so that he could say that he had lived the requisite amount of time and they were asking him for proof, I guess because it was borderline or suspicious. But before him, I had never met anyone who had to show proof. And I certainly didn't for either of my kids.

MissTea4Me Tue 03-Jul-07 23:52:19

Right, I think I'll just get this stuff sent off then. JJ, I was going to just let her travel there on her U.K. passport but Sofia and USAUK think this may predjudice her application for a U.S. passport. In the meantime dh has spilled wine all over dd's documents; not sure whether this will help or hinder application.

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