One can become a U.S. Citizen through a variety of means—birth in the United States, birth abroad to a U.S. citizen parent, or through the naturalization process. For all of these, a specific series of legal requirements must be met. At the U.S. Embassy in Lisbon, Portugal we can provide certification of U.S. citizenship for eligible individuals born abroad to U.S. citizen parents. Our US Embassy in Lisbon, Portugal also processes Certificates of Loss of Nationality for those U.S. citizens who would like to give up their U.S. citizenship or believe that they have expatriated themselves.
For more information, please click on the appropriate service below:
Consular Report of Birth Abroad (under age 18)
As a U.S. citizen parent(s), you should report your child’s birth abroad as soon as possible to the nearest U.S. Embassy to establish an official record of the child’s claim to or acquisition of U.S. citizenship at birth. The official record will be the Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA), Form FS-240. This form is evidence of U.S. citizenship, 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.
Applying for a Consular Report of Birth Abroad
All appointments for Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA) applications at U.S. Embassy Lisbon will be made through a mail-in appointment scheduling system in order to provide better service to our applicants.
The option for a CRBA appointment on the Consular scheduling system has been discontinued. Drop-off requests at the Embassy will not be accepted.
This new system will reduce the wait time and help families prepare for the citizenship appointment at the Embassy. For your convenience, you may also apply for your child’s first passport when you report your child’s birth.
Please read carefully and follow the instructions below:
- Print the U.S. Embassy Lisbon CRBA Mail-In Checklist (PDF 440KB);
- Gather all required documents, including the application forms (DS-2029 (PDF 62 KB) & DS-11(PDF 98 KB), if applicable);
- Send the following, in the same order as indicated on the checklist, to the U.S. Embassy address provided below:
- Completed and signed checklist;
- Completed but NOT SIGNED application forms;
- Picture of the child 5x5cm with a white background & face-forward;
- Photocopies of ALL the required documentation (DO NOT SEND ORIGINALS).
Embaixada dos Estados Unidos da América
Avenida das Forças Armadas
Secção Consular / CRBAs
- Embassy Lisbon will schedule an appointment for you within 10 business days of receiving your application. American Citizen Services staff will inform you of the date and time of your appointment either by phone or email. Personal appearance of the child and both parents is required. If you cannot attend an appointment within the timeframe provided, please attach a letter indicating your specific days of availability. Your request will be subject to review by a Consular Officer;
- Please come prepared for your interview! Bring ALL originals of the required documentation, including passports, IDs, Birth Certificate. Please refer to the Checklist for details on required items. If your application is incomplete on the day of your appointment, you may be asked to submit additional evidence and/or come-in for a second appointment. The service fees can be paid in cash (dollars or euros) or major credit cards. Debit and Multibanco card payment is not accepted;
- If you need to cancel your appointment do it in advance of your appointment date, contacting the American Citizen Service section either by phone or email. If you fail to attend your appointment with no notice, all documents mailed to us will be destroyed and you will need to restart the application process.
Claims to US Citizenship (over 18)
Applicants 18 years old and over, born outside of the United States, may claim derivative U.S. citizenship from a parent who was a U.S. citizen at the time of the applicant’s birth. Once the citizenship claim is established, the applicant qualifies for a first-time U.S. passport. Applicants 18 years old and over are not eligible for the issuance of a Consular Report of Birth Abroad. For additional information regarding citizenship derived through parent/s, please visit U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services by clicking here. Please read the information below and carefully follow the instructions.
Applying for a first-time U.S. passport at the US Embassy in Lisbon:
- Print the U.S. Embassy Lisbon Derivative Citizenship Mail-In Checklist. (PDF 431 KB)
- Gather all required documents, including the original application forms DS-2029 (PDF 61 KB) & DS-11 (PDF 97 KB)
- Using regular mail, send the following documents in the same order as indicated on the checklist, to the U.S. Embassy address provided below:- Completed and signed checklist;
– Completed but NOT SIGNED application forms DS-2029 and DS-11;
– Picture 5 cm x 5 cm with a white background & face-forward;
– Photocopies of ALL the required documentation (DO NOT SEND ORIGINALS).
Embaixada dos Estados Unidos da América
Secção Consular / CRBAs & Passports
Avenida das Forças Armadas
- Once we receive your documents, we will schedule an appointment for determination of citizenship and eligibility for a U.S. passport within 10 business days. American Citizen Services staff will inform you of the date and time of your appointment either by phone or email. Personal appearance is required. If you cannot attend the appointment, please attach a letter indicating your specific days of availability. Your request will be subject to review by a Consular Officer.
- On the appointment day, please bring the originals of ALL the required documentation, including passports, IDs, birth certificate, etc. Please read the Checklist for details on required documentation.
If your application is incomplete on the day of your appointment, you may be asked to submit additional evidence and/or return for a second appointment. Service fees can be paid in cash (dollars or euros) or major credit cards. Debit and Multibanco cards are not accepted.
If you need to cancel your appointment please do so before your appointment date by contacting the American Citizen Services by email. If you fail to attend your appointment without notice, all documents mailed to us will be destroyed and you will need to start the application process again from the beginning.
Child Citizenship Act of 2000
The Child Citizenship Act of 2000 allows certain foreign-born, biological and adopted children of American citizens to acquire American citizenship automatically. These children did not acquire American citizenship at birth, but they are granted citizenship when they enter the United States as lawful permanent residents (LPRs).
WHAT IS THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE CHILD CITIZENSHIP ACT ?
The effective date of the Child Citizenship Act is February 27, 2001. Children who met these requirements on that date automatically became American citizens. Children who were 18 years of age or older on that date did not acquire American citizenship from the Child Citizenship Act of 2000.
WHAT ARE THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE CHILD CITIZENSHIP ACT OF 2000?
The child must meet the following requirements:
- Have at least one American citizen parent by birth or naturalization;
- Be under 18 years of age;
- Live in the legal and physical custody of the American citizen parent; and
- Be admitted as an immigrant for lawful permanent residence.
In addition, if the child is adopted, the adoption must be full and final.
WHAT ARE THE OTHER PROVISIONS OF THE CHILD CITIZENSHIP ACT?
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 Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services in the Department of Homeland Security (USCIS) for a certificate of citizenship if the following conditions are met.
- At least one parent of the child is an American citizen by birth or naturalization.
- The American 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 American citizen parent cannot meet the physical presence requirement, it is enough if one of the child’s American 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 American 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 Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services in the Department of Homeland Security (USCIS) and go through the naturalization process.
IF THE U.S. CITIZEN PARENT IS LIVING ABROAD AND DID NOT LIVE IN THE UNITED STATES FOR THE REQUIRED PERIOD OF TIME, HOW CAN A FOREIGN-BORN CHILD BECOME A U.S. CITIZEN?
If the parent and child are residing abroad and the U.S. parent did not live in the USA for the required period of time, the child may be eligible for “expeditious naturalization” if the child’s U.S. citizen grandparent was physically present in the United States for a period totaling five years, and at least two years after the age of 14. The grandparent can be living or deceased at the time of the application. If deceased, the grandparent must have been a citizen prior to the child’s birth and at the time of the grandparent’s death. You must file an application with a USCIS field office in the United States. The USCIS will determine whether your child is eligible. If the child is eligible, the USCIS will approve the application and forward you a letter and naturalization appointment date. You can present the USCIS approval and appointment letter to the U.S. embassy or consulate where you are living. The U.S. embassy or consulate will issue the child a B‑2 visitor visa. This process allows parents to visit the United States to naturalize their child as a U.S. citizen.
HOW DOES THE CHILD GET A PASSPORT UNDER THE CHILD CITIZENSHP ACT?
You will need the following when the child applies for a passport:
- Proof of the child’s relationship to the American citizen parent. For the biological child of the American citizen this will be a certified copy of the foreign birth certificate (and translation if not in English). For an adopted child, it is a certified copy of the final adoption decree (and translation if not in English);
- The child’s foreign passport showing the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services in the Department of Homeland Security (USCIS) I-551 stamp in the passport, or the child’s permanent resident card (green card);
- Proof of identity of the American citizen parent(s)
- Passport application, passport photographs and fees.
Renunciations & Relinquishments
To renounce U.S. citizenship, you must perform a series of actions voluntarily and with intent to relinquish U.S. citizenship. The basic nature and elements of a renunciation are outlined here at travel.state.gov/.
U.S. citizens cannot effectively renounce their citizenship by mail, through an agent, or while in the United States because of the provisions of section 349(a)(5) of the Immigration and Nationality Act. All renunciations and other recognitions of loss of nationality for U.S. citizens in Portugal are processed at the U.S. Embassy in Lisbon, Portugal.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange for an appointment, and for more information on the required documentation.