Obtaining a US passport or Consular Report of Birth Abroad

Are you or your family members in need of a US passport or a Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA)? Don't worry, we are here to give you some helpful tips to make setting up an appointment easy!

US Passports:

"I live in Jamaica with my family and our US passports have expired. Are there any special procedures for renewing our passports?"

Answer: The American Citizen Services unit of the US Embassy in Kingston issues citizenship and travel documents to US citizens including passport books, passport cards, and Consular Reports of Birth Abroad. All applicants must make an appointment and appear in person for their interview at the Embassy in Kingston or the US consular agencies in the Cayman Islands or Montego Bay.

Which form should we use?

There are two forms used by US citizens to apply for a US passport: form DS-11 and form DS-82.

Form DS-11: All US citizens must apply using the DS-11 if they are applying for a passport for the first time, if they are under age 18 or if they plan to replace a lost or stolen passport. In addition, all applicants who use form DS-11 must submit:

Evidence of US citizenship (such as a US birth certificate, Certificate of Citizenship, Certificate of Naturalization, or Consular Report of Birth Abroad)

Proof of identity (We accept government-issued identification such as a passport, driver's licence, or voter registration card)

Recent colour photograph (which shows a full frontal view of the face, is 2x2 inches in size, has a white background, and is taken without glasses)

Fees (Please visit our website at travel.state.gov for current fees)

Form DS-64 (for applicants whose passports are damaged, lost or stolen)

Form DS-82: This form is used only for passport renewal. All US citizens must apply using the DS-82 if they are an adult whose most current passport is valid for 10 years and is still in their possession. If the passport has expired, the last passport must have been issued within the past 15 years and the applicant must have been 16 years of age or older when the previous passport was issued. In addition, the passport must have been issued in the current name or otherwise legal proof of a name change must be provided. All applicants who use form DS-82 must submit:

Current passport (submit both passport book/card if valid and you are applying for both)

A certified copy of a marriage certificate or a court order if the applicant's name has changed

Recent colour photograph (which shows a full frontal view of the face, is 2x2 inches in size, has a white background, and is taken without glasses)

Fees (Please visit our website at travel.state.gov for current fees

How do I set up an appointment for a US passport?

If you live in the:

Montego Bay area, please send an e-mail to: MobayACS@state.gov or call +876-953-0620.

Cayman Islands, please visit https://consularagency.simplybook.me/v2/, and click on "book now" at the top of the screen.

Kingston area, please visit Passports - US Embassy in Jamaica (usembassy.gov), click on the US Citizen Services tab, and under Passports & Citizenship, choose "make an appointment".

Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA):

"When a US citizen has a child overseas, is the child automatically a US citizen, too? How is that documented?"

The US Embassy in Kingston issues a document called a Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA) to any child born in Jamaica (or the Cayman Islands) whose US citizen parent transmitted his or her citizenship to the child at birth. The US citizen parent must provide: (1) sufficient proof of a biological relationship to the child; and (2) evidence that the US citizen parent was physically present in the United States for a certain period of time before the child was born.

All applicants should come prepared with the child's local birth certificate, plus other evidence which could include hospital records from before and after the child was born, photographs, and other evidence. The consular officer will determine at the time of the interview whether additional information is required. In some cases, the consular officer may suggest a DNA test to substantiate the biological relationship, but you should NOT seek a DNA test before your interview! To be accepted for a citizenship application, DNA testing must be performed through the embassy and meet specific technical requirements.

Second, US immigration law requires that a US citizen parent must have been physically present in the United States prior to the child's birth to be able to transmit citizenship to the child. The amount of physical presence varies depending on when the child was born, whether the parents were married at the time of the child's birth, and whether it is the mother or the father who is transmitting citizenship. The parents record their physical presence in the space provided in the CRBA application. Documents that may support the parent's claimed physical presence most commonly include school records, pay slips, lease agreements, car payments, and passport stamps, to name just a few. The consular officer will review and consider all documentation an applicant submits about their physical presence in the United States.

If you believe you and your child meet the requirements for a CRBA, you should contact the Embassy at Kingston CRBA@state.gov to submit an application, which costs US$100. The application for the child's first passport may be submitted at the same time and costs US$135 for children under 16. More information on the US Embassy's website here: https://jm.usembassy.gov/u-s-citizen-services/child-family-matters/birth/, and the complete information on physical presence requirements is at https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/legal/travel-legal-considerations/us-citizenship/Acquisition-US-Citizenship-Child-Born-Abroad.html. The more prepared you are before your interview, the faster the process will be.

For more information about visas and American Citizen Services, please visit our website, https://jm.usembassy.gov/ and the website of our authorized service provider at www.usvisa-info.com. Keep on top of Embassy news on our Facebook page, www.facebook.com/pages/US-Embassy-Jamaica and by following @USEmbassyJA on Twitter. We also answer general visa questions on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

For safety and security reasons, the U.S. Embassy asks that all individuals arrive at the Embassy no more than 15 minutes before their designated appointment time.

Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at https://bit.ly/epaper-login

HOUSE RULES

  1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper; email addresses will not be published.
  2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.
  3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.
  4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.
  5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed: advertising@jamaicaobserver.com.
  6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email: community@jamaicaobserver.com.
  7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy