Your Baby’s Passport, Report of Birth and Social Security Number
Congratulations on your child’s birth!
Your new baby needs a first passport, a Consular Report of Birth Abroad (similar to a birth certificate) and a Social Security number. On this page we’ll tell you what you need to do to get all three items.
When Do I Need to Start?
It is important to start this process as soon as possible after your child is born. In the case of urgent, unexpected travel, your child will need a passport. In addition, you may need to secure a visa for your child, which also requires a passport. Hong Kong local law requires that your child be registered locally within 42 days of birth (see Births and Deaths Registration – Immigration Services, the Government of the Hong Kong SAR). Once this is done, the only U.S. deadline for completing this process is before your child’s 18th birthday.
How Long Does it Take?
Once we have everything we need, processing time is normally about 20 days. However, because computers break and typhoons happen, please don’t make any unchangeable travel plans until you have the new passport in hand. We’ll mail the completed passport and Report of Birth to you. Your child’s Social Security card will be sent to you directly by the Social Security Administration. Please allow three to six months for the card to arrive.
Let's Get Started...
All birth, adoption, marriage, death or divorce certificates must bear the original seal, stamp or signature of the Official Custodian of the document. Notarized copies, church records and uncertified photocopies are not official documents and may be invalid as primary evidence. All documents must be originals please. We will return the original documents to you the same day. All documents not in English must be translated; you may do the translation yourself.
Here is What You Will Need
Personal Appearance by Your Child
Your child, even a newborn, must appear in person at our office at the time you make the application. There are no exceptions possible for this requirement, sorry.
Proof of Child's Birth
Please present your child’s Hong Kong birth registration or Macau birth registration.
You obtain the Hong Kong birth registration from the Government of Hong Kong. Please see Births and Deaths Registration for details and the office nearest you.
You obtain the Macau birth registration from the Civil Registry (Conservatória do Registo Civil) in Macau. Please see Legal Affairs Bureau (Direccao dos Servicos de Assuntos de Justica) for contact information.
Hospital birth certificates or other documents are not acceptable; please obtain the Hong Kong birth registration or Macau birth registration.
The American Citizen parent must present his/her original U.S. passport. Copies, or Hong Kong ID cards are not acceptable.
Proof of Parents' Marriage
You’ll need to bring along your official marriage certificate; again, originals only please. We will return the original document to you the same day. All documents not in English must be translated; you may do the translation yourself.
If your child was born out-of-wedlock, or within six months of your marriage, please see Acquisition of American Citizenship for some additional requirements.
Proof of Termination of All Prior Marriages of Parents
Please bring along official divorce or death certificates, originals only please. We will return the original document to you the same day. All documents not in English must be translated; you may do the translation yourself.
Evidence of U.S. Citizen Parent's Physical Presence in the U.S.
In some situations, how long one or both American parents lived in the U.S. can affect your child’s acquisition of citizenship (see Acquisition of American Citizenship to learn why). Please be prepared to submit evidence such as military records, school transcripts, or tax records (including W-2s) to demonstrate the parent’s period of physical presence in the U.S. (see What Do We Mean by Physical Presence?)
Evidence of U.S. Citizen Parent's Physical Presence Together at Conception
In some situations, such as if your child was conceived out-of-wedlock, we may ask for evidence of the biological parents’ physical presence at the time of conception. Such evidence might include passports, military travel orders, leases, etc. In some complex cases, we may need to request a blood or DNA test.
Application for a Consular Report of Birth (DS-2029) and Social Security Number (SSN) (SS-5-FS)
You can download form DS-2029 (PDF 103 KB) to print out and complete by hand.
The law on acquisition of American Citizenship varies if one or both biological parents are also Americans, and if the child is born in or out of wedlock. See Acquisition of American Citizenship to learn more information.
To apply for a Social Security Card on behalf of your child, please submit the completed social security number application form to the Consulate along with your child’s Consular Report of Birth application.
You can download form SS-5-FS (PDF 121 KB) to print out and complete by hand.
The fees are U.S. $100.00 or HK $800 for the Consular Report of Birth and U.S. $115.00 or HK $920 for the passport, for a total of U.S. $215.00 or HK $1,720.
Payment options are as follows:
- U.S. or local currency in cash;
- Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express or Diners Club;
- Please note that the Consulate cannot accept Hong Kong currency in denominations larger than 500 HKD bills (i.e., we do not accept 1000 HKD bills or greater).
- Please also note that we regret that US $100 banknote series 1990 and also series 1914-1990 are no longer accepted.
Your child’s Consular Report of Birth Abroad and first passport will be printed in the United States. You should allow 3-4 weeks for your applications to be processed and for the printed documents to be received. If you will be traveling sooner than that, you should request an emergency one-year passport for immediate travel, which you can replace with a full-validity passport when you return from your trip.
Receiving My Child’s Documents
The Social Security Administration has recently changed their requirements such that a child’s passport must be signed by a parent before American Citizen Services makes the necessary certified copy to accompany the SS-5 application for the child’s Social Security number. This means we may no longer mail documents in CRBA cases. We will notify parents by email when the Consular Report of Birth Abroad certificate and the child’s first passport are both ready. We will ask one parent to come to the Consulate to collect these documents, sign the child’s new passport on the spot, and then wait a few moments while we prepared the necessary certified copies for the Social Security application. Please don’t forget that you will need the original receipt to show the guards to enter the Consulate for this pick-up.
Some Additional Things
Changing and Nursing Facilities
The Consulate has both a nursing room and changing facilities for babies.
How Do I Get Additional Copies of the Report of Birth?
Additional copies of the Report of Birth are available from the Department of State only; no records are kept at the Consulate in Hong Kong
As of December 31, 2010 the Department of State no longer issues Certificates of Report of Birth (DS-1350). All previously issued DS-1350s are still valid as proof of identity, citizenship and for other legal purposes. You may now request multiple copies of a Consular Report of Birth (FS-240).
Can I Do This in the U.S.?
If your child was born abroad you will need to complete the Report of Birth process abroad; it can’t be done in the U.S.
If your child was born in Hong Kong then the processing must be done in Hong Kong. While you can file the documents at another U.S. Embassy or Consulate abroad, that office is required to send them to us in Hong Kong for processing. This will delay things, so it is best to complete this whole procedure while you are still in Hong Kong.
Can a third party accompany a passport or CRBA applicant to their interview?
Last modified: December 2, 2020