Birth/New Baby Registration
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 Registering a Birth - 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
Make an appointment. All services are provided by appointment only. Appointments are made online. Make Appointment!
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, Deaths & Marriage 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.
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 53 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 158 KB) to print out and complete by hand.
Passport Application (DS-11)
Please submit one copy of Form DS-11, available online. Though the instructions for world-wide use say only 8.5" x 11" paper is acceptable, we can accept A4 sized copies if you print it out at home.
Two-Parent Consent for Passport Issuance
All applicants under the age of 16 must meet the requirements listed in the Law on Passport Applications for Minors. In most instances this means that both parents must sign your child's passport application, even if one parent is not an American.
Parents can consent in one of two ways:
Both parents, even if one is not an American, can come to the Consulate with their passports and sign together, in person, or...
One parent may sign in person and the other parent give his/her consent through a written affidavit (One parent signs and submits second parent's signed consent; download the affidavit form. The form must be notarized). Note the parent who signs in person will need to still have a copy of the non-present parent's passport with him/her. We need to see the original passport of at least one American Citizen parent in these first-time, Report of Birth cases.
Hong Kong-done notarials are acceptable. All notarized statements must be in English and in original form.
Two Identical Photos
Unacceptable photos are the number one cause for delays in our processing Reports of Birth.
The photos must be 2" X 2" (5 cm X 5 cm) with a white background.
Please make sure your child's eyes are open in the photo. One way to do this is to drape a white sheet over one (sitting) parent, who also holds the baby's head and neck upright under the sheet. The other partner takes the photo. A second way is to place the child on a white blanket on the floor and take the photo while standing over him/her. You can also go to a professional photographer if you prefer.
Be careful with the size -- "passport photos" you get at a local photographer's shop are likely too small and are intended for Hong Kong people to use to obtain a Hong Kong passport. The photo in your current US passport may be a different size from what is needed for a new passport, as standards have changed from time-to-time.
Please see the sample photo for reference. The photo must be 2 inches by 2 inches with the face size as specified. Your browser may not display the graphic of the sample photo as the right size.
The fees are U.S. $100.00 or HK $800 for the Consular Report of Birth and U.S. $105.00 or HK $840 for the passport, for a total of U.S. $205.00 or HK $1,640.
Payment options are as follows:
- U.S. or local currency;
- Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express or Diners Club
- Check (certified or cashier's) made payable to American Consulate General Hong Kong. Personal checks are not acceptable;
- Bank draft made payable to American Consulate General Hong Kong;
- Money order (U.S. Postal, commercial; international, currency exchange) made payable to American Consulate General Hong Kong;
- Checks, bank drafts and money orders should be drawn in U.S. dollars on a bank in the United States, and must have been issued within the last five months.
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.
Last modified: August 21, 2012
PDF files require Adobe Reader. You may download a free version by visiting the Adobe website.