Citizenship Services

What Service Do You Require?

A child born abroad 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 may apply for a Consular Report of Birth Abroad of a Citizen of the United States (CRBA) here at Embassy Santiago for a child born in Chile to document that child as 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. If the U.S. embassy determines that the child acquired U.S. citizenship at birth, a consular officer will approve the CRBA application and the Department of State will issue a CRBA, also called a Form FS-240, in the child’s name.

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.

 

“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):

o   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).

o   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.

o   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.

o   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.

o   Attorneys may not engage in any form of legal argumentation during the appointment interview and before the consular officer.

o   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.

o   To the extent that an applicant does not understand a question, s/he should seek clarification from the consular officer directly.

o   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.

o   No attendee may coach or instruct applicants as to how to answer a consular officer’s question.

o   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.

o   During a passport or CRBA appointment interview, attendees may not discuss or inquire about other applications.

o   Attendees may take written notes, but may not otherwise record the appointment interviews.

o   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.”

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.

To determine if your child acquired U.S. Citizenship at birth and for information on how to apply for a CRBA at U.S. Embassy Santiago, see the following link. https://cl.usembassy.gov/u-s-citizen-services/birth/

I am over 18 and one of my parents is a U.S. Citizen. Can I apply for U.S. Citizenship?

Persons over 18 years of age who were born in Chile to a biological U.S. citizen parent/s may have acquired U.S. citizenship at birth.

The final decision is made upon several factors such as: marital status of the biological parents, the laws in effect at the time of birth, and the number of years that the U.S. citizen parent lived in the U.S. prior to the birth.

In general (several exceptions may apply), a child may have acquired U.S. citizenship at birth if:

1-    The child was born out of wedlock on or after December 24, 1952 to a U.S. citizen mother, if the mother was physically present continuously for 1 year in the United States at any time prior to the birth of the child.

2-    The child was born on after November 14, 1986 and one of the parents was a U.S. citizen at the time of the birth and the parent was physically present in the U.S. for at least 5 years prior to the birth of the child, at least 2 of which were after the parent/s 14th birthday.

3-    The child was born before November 14, 1986 and one of the parents was a U.S. citizen at the time of the birth and the parent was physically present in the U.S. for at least 10 years prior to the birth of the child, at least 5 years of which were after the parent/s 14th birthday.

4-    The child was born after May 24, 1934 and both parents were U.S. citizens, the child may have acquired citizenship at birth if one parent resided in the United States prior to the birth.

To start a claim for citizenship you will need to schedule an appointment (for passport services) and gather and bring the following information:

1-    Complete passport application  DS-11 Form (97 KB) and DS-2029 form (104 KB) (Report of Birth Abroad)

2-    Applicant’s valid Chilean I.D card or passport (plus a photocopy).

3-    Applicant’s Chilean birth certificate that includes the names of your parents (plus a photocopy). The free certificates provided by the Civil Registry are not acceptable.

4-    A valid or certified copy of your parent’s marriage certificate (plus a photocopy).

5-    A valid or certified copy of your parent’s divorce, annulment or death certificate (plus a photocopy).

6-    Original or certified copy of your parent’s birth certificate, passport and or naturalization certificate (plus a photocopy).

7-    A valid or certified copy of your parent’s passport or identification card (plus a photocopy).

Proof of parent/s physical presence in the U.S. prior to your birth. Please keep in mind that the consular officer may  ask for additional information and/or documents. It will facilitate your case if you present the evidence of physical presence in a chronological and orderly fashion. The burden of proof to present the required evidence is on the applicant.

On the day of your appointment, a US$145 dollar non-refundable processing fee will be charged

Please keep in mind that these types of cases may require additional review which can take several weeks.

You have 90 days to present the required documents and complete the process from the date in which you filed the passport application.

If it is determined that you acquired U.S. citizenship you will receive a U.S. passport in approximately three weeks and will have all the rights and obligations of a U.S. citizen.

THIRD PARTY ATTENDANCE AT PASSPORT AND CRBA 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):

o   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).

o   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.

o   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.

o   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.

o   Attorneys may not engage in any form of legal argumentation during the appointment interview and before the consular officer.

o   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.

o   To the extent that an applicant does not understand a question, s/he should seek clarification from the consular officer directly.

o   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.

o   No attendee may coach or instruct applicants as to how to answer a consular officer’s question.

o   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.

o   During a passport or CRBA appointment interview, attendees may not discuss or inquire about other applications.

o   Attendees may take written notes, but may not otherwise record the appointment interviews.

o   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.”

If you would like to renounce or relinquish your U.S. citizenship, please send an email to Santiagousa@state.gov in order to schedule an appointment with our American Citizen Services Unit. Renouncing U.S. citizenship is a two-step process and may require more than one visit to the U.S. Embassy. During the first step, you will receive information on renouncing/relinquishing your U.S. citizenship.  You will later be given the required paperwork to fill out. On your second visit to the Embassy, your paperwork will be reviewed and you will speak to a U.S. Consular Officer to finalize the renunciation/relinquishment process.

There will be a a US$2,350 fee to document formal renunciation of U.S. citizenship.

Effective November 9, 2015, the same fee will be charged for relinquishment cases.

More information relating to the loss of citizenship is on this Travel.State.Gov information sheet.

Can I obtain a legalized U.S. Birth/Marriage/Death Certificate in the U.S. Embassy?

No.  If you need to obtain any Vital Records Certificate, you must contact the issuing Vital Records office of the respective state.

You can find a full list of Vital Records Offices in the following link: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/w2w.htm

Futhermore, if you need to submit this document before Chilean Authorities, the document must be apostillized.

The Embassy does not apostillize or authenticate any official document issued in the U.S. for legal use in Chile.  You must follow the process of apostillizing in the U.S. You can learn about this process on the following link on our website.

If you are unable transmit citizenship to your child born abroad because your child is adopted or you do not meet the transmission requirements, the Child Citizenship Act of 2000 allows certain foreign-born, biological and adopted children of U.S. citizens to acquire U.S. citizenship automatically. These children did not acquire U.S. citizenship at birth, but they are granted citizenship when they enter the United States as lawful permanent residents (LPRs).

The child must meet the following requirements:

  • Have at least one U.S. citizen parent by birth or naturalization;
  • Be under 18 years of age;
  • The child is residing in or has resided in the United States in the legal and physical custody of the U.S. Citizen

In addition, if the child is adopted, the adoption must be full and final.

Another section of the Child Citizenship Act provides that children (biological or adopted) of American citizens who are born and reside abroad, and who do not become American citizens at birth can apply to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) in the Department of Homeland Security for a certificate of citizenship if the following conditions are met:

  • At least one parent of the child is a U.S. citizen by birth or naturalization.
  • The U.S. citizen parent has been physically present in the United States for a total of at least five years, at least two of which are after the age of 14. If the child’s U.S. citizen parent cannot meet the physical presence requirement, it is enough if one of the child’s U.S. citizen grandparents can meet it.
  • The child is under the age of eighteen.
  • The child lives abroad in the legal and physical custody of the U.S. citizen parent and has been lawfully admitted into the United States as a nonimmigrant.

Children who acquire citizenship under this new provision do not acquire citizenship automatically. They must apply to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service in the Department of Homeland Security and go through the naturalization process.

You can find the application in this site (PDF 1.22 MB).  The instructions on filling out the application (PDF 62 KB) can be found in this site.