How to File Report of Birth Abroad at the Philippine Embassy USA
A child born in the USA is an American. But at the same time, a child born to one or two Filipino parents is a Filipino. They can retain both citizenships, but if you want your child to have a Filipino passport and acknowledged officially as a Filipino, you need to report his or her birth to the Philippine consulate that covers your state.
Apply by (Snail) Mail One Year After Birth
Before the pandemic, you can appear at the embassy or consulate in person and report the birth of your child. With the pandemic, the consulates are only accepting Report of Birth by mail. And make sure to apply for the report of birth one year after the child’s birth. Otherwise, you’ll need to prepare an affidavit explaining what that happened.
Watch this video for step-by-step instructions:
Which Consulate Covers Your Residence?
Once on a business trip in 2019, I went to the Philippine Consulate in Chicago with the documents of our second son. I was hoping to report his birth there. But when it was time to be served at the window, the consul graciously explained that I can only submit the report of birth to the Philippine Consulate General at Washington, D.C. because we live in Tennessee.
I was kind frustrated about it, but the consul explained that they strictly observe the jurisdictions for the report of birth. I didn’t really understand why, but I guess it is similar to civil registry in the Philippines—the town in which you were born is the one that will process your birth registration certificate.
If you’re not sure which consulate covers your area, do check out the Consulate Finder at the website of the Philippine Embassy in Washington, D.C. (https://philippineembassy-usa.org/consulate-finder/).
Requirements for Reporting the Birth of Your Child
Here’s the list of documents you need to prepare.
Report of Birth Form.
Four (4) original copies of the Report of Birth form, which can be downloaded here: http://phembassywdc.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/REPORT-OF-BIRTH-2.pdf. They want you to use BLACK ink and BLACK ink only! Although you can fill out that form in your computer and just print it out.
A cover letter addressed to the Consular Section that tells them what kind of service or transaction you are requesting. You’re just telling them that you want to register the birth of your child. So include the full name of your child, information about the parents, your email address and phone number just in case they need to contact you.
The letter should be addressed to:
Civil Registration Unit
1617 Massachusetts Avenue NW
Washington DC 20036
If you don’t know what to writer, you can download this template for free http://amightylife.com/report-of-birth-cover-letter
Original or Certified True Copy of the Birth Certificate issued by your state.
Birth certificates are usually processed by the hospital that delivers the baby. In our case, a hospital staff completed this task and a couple of weeks later, we received our son’s original birth certificate from the Tennessee Office of Vital Records. We sent a certified true copy of the birth certificate. We just didn’t want to lose the original document.
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Parents Marriage Certificate or Approved Report of Marriage.
If you got married in the Philippines, you need to send in a copy of the marriage certificate that came from the Philippine Statistics Authority, you know the yellow paper that you order from https://www.psaserbilis.com.ph/.
We were lucky because when we moved to the US in 2015, we made sure that we had a Certificate of Marriage that was stamped by the Department of Foreign Affairs. We sent that in, together with four (4) photocopies.
If you got married in the USA, you need to send in your approved Report of Marriage. If you have not done that, you need to send in a Report of Marriage as well.
Notarized Copy of Parents Passport Data Page and 3 Photocopies
Prepare four (4) copies of the parent’s passport data page – the one with your photo and information about when the passport was issued.
Proof that Parents are Filipinos at the time of birth
The Embassy probably just wants to know that you are still bonafide Filipinos. Acceptable proofs include Green card, US Visa, Notice of Action, and work permit among others.
Return, Self-Addressed USPS Priority Mail Envelope
You can get one of these from your local post office. Write the address of the Consulate and pay for postage. I think it would cost about $8.
The Report of Birth costs $25. If you want to receive it more quickly, add another $10. I think this amount is totally worth it. Please don’t put any cash or check in your packet. Rather, ask your post office to give you a Postal Money Order for the amount of $35.
Some Helpful Tips
Print and Copy documents at your local library.
If you don’t have a printer or copier at home, visit your local library. They should have a computer with printer capability. When I went to our local library, they copied all the documents that I needed to copy.
How to Notarize your documents
The easiest and cheapest option is to go to your bank. They should be able to sign and notarize your document for free! On the other hand, if you don’t want to go to the bank, search for the closest UPS Store, they should have one person able to notarize documents.
How Long Does the Process Take?
We received the approved Report of Birth three (3) weeks after we sent it by mail. That was not too bad! This will be useful when we apply for our sons’ Philippine passport.