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.

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 (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$135 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.

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.