Our section on American Citizenship contains information on CRBAs and first-time child passports, child renewals, adult renewals, emergency passports, and Social Security. For further information on all services discussed here, visit the website of the U.S. Embassy.
To register a child born in Israel as an American citizen, you must apply for a Consular Report of Birth Abroad. If you plan on obtaining a first-time passport for your child, it can be arranged at the same time. Registration with Social Security can be taken care of together with a CRBA/passport application in Jerusalem or at its own appointment in Jerusalem only (see below for details).
Passports of children are valid for 5 years.
Step One: Schedule an Appointment
Your child’s CRBA appointment will include the option to apply for a first-time passport at the same time, if you wish.
To schedule any passport-related appointment, including a CRBA and first-time passport appointment, either at the Jerusalem Embassy or at the Tel Aviv Branch Office, visit their online calendar page. Be sure to print out the appointment confirmation page you receive and bring it along with you when you appear for your appointment. If for some reason you cannot print the page, save a screenshot of the page. If you will not be using your appointment, cancel it so that someone else can use it.
At the moment, the embassy opens up blocs of appointments every Wednesday afternoon between 3 pm – 4 pm. Check the online calendar throughout the hour, refreshing the page every so often.
Note: if you cannot find an appointment at all, or if you require one urgently, please see our section on Emergency passports.
A Note on Social Security:
You cannot register your child for Social Security under the following circumstances:
- You apply for a limited-validity passport
The Tel Aviv Branch office will accept Social Security applications only during a CRBA appointment.
If you do not register your child with Social Security at your initial CRBA appointment, you will need to either schedule a separate appointment with the FBU at a different time or take care of Social Security application in the States.
More on Social Security can be found here.
Step Two: At Your Appointment
As of November 2019, parking is no longer permitted in the Jerusalem Embassy’s parking lot. If you are coming by car, you must find a parking space on an adjacent street.
Be sure to arrive on time; if you are late, you will be asked to reschedule. In Jerusalem, they allow you up to 30 minutes, in Tel Aviv up to 20 minutes. Given security screening and waiting and processing times, prepare for your appointment to take approximately two hours.
Note that baby carriages are not allowed into the Jerusalem office. There is an area where they can be left outside. (In Tel Aviv, strollers are permitted.) Large backpacks are also not permitted into the building. You will need to hand in your cell phones and all other electronics to security officials before entering the building, and they will hold it for you until you leave.
Who Must Come
When applying only for a Consular Report of Birth Abroad, only one parent and the child need to be present on the day of the appointment. To apply for a passport, though, both parents – American or not – must be present, or provide notarized consent of the passport’s issuance together with a copy of the same ID document used to notarize the form.
What to bring
On the day of your appointment, bring the required legal documents with you. Forms do not need to be copied.
If Both Parents Are American Citizens
- Child’s original teudat leidah (Israeli birth certificate) from Misrad Hapnim, preferably in English but acceptable in Hebrew, plus three photocopies
- Passport photo of the baby on a white background. When taking the picture, specify that it is for an American passport. Photo must be 2×2 inches and the height of the head must be between 1-1 3/8 inch. A newborn baby (up to a few weeks) does not need to have his eyes open, but ears should be visible.
- Marriage certificate (or certified copy), in Hebrew or English, plus one copy. If parents are not legally married, this is not required.
- Original divorce or death certificates from any of the parents’ previous marriages, if applicable
- U.S. passports of both parents, plus three copies (an expired passport may be used as ID for up to three years past expiration)
- Child’s Israeli or other foreign passport, if they have been issued one, plus one copy
- Original signed and dated statement that your child has not been issued a Social Security number by the Social Security Administration. If your child has already been issued a Social Security number, skip this form and include his or her Social Security number on the passport application form.
- Proof of residency in the United States: the U.S. citizen parent(s) may present W-2 forms, immunization records, employment records or other acceptable proofs of the fact that they physically resided in the U.S. (School transcripts may be accepted as proof when combined with others.)
In a case where both parents were born and raised in the U.S., a passport and driver’s license are usually sufficient.
- Form DS-2029: Application for Consular Report of Birth Abroad, completed but not signed
- Form DS-11: Application for U.S. Passport, completed online or by hand but not signed
- Fees – paid via U.S. credit card or in cash, exact change only in dollars or shekels (according to the day’s exchange rate). Payment is non-refundable, even if the consular officer later determines that your child is not eligible for citizenship.
– For a CRBA: $100
– For a passport: $115; as of December 27, 2021, the fee will be $135, an increase of $20.
– Total when applying for both: $215 (after December 27, 2021: $235)
If Only One Parent is a U.S. Citizen, or if Both Are U.S. Citizens but Only One or Neither was Born in the U.S.
In addition to bringing the above:
- The U.S. citizen parent(s) must fill out an affidavit of physical presence.
- The U.S. citizen parent(s) must bring proof of time spent in the U.S., and prove that s/he was a U.S. citizen prior to the child’s birth. Acceptable proof of physical presence includes W-2 forms, immunization records, and employment records. School transcripts may be accepted as proof when combined with others.
Note: If only one parent is a U.S. citizen, he must bring proof of at least five years of physical presence, two of which are over the age of 14.
- The non-U.S. citizen must bring a form of valid foreign ID (e.g. passport, teudat zehut), plus three photocopies of the biographical page of the document.
If you are unable to pass on U. S. citizenship to your foreign-born child, he can apply for citizenship through an American grandparent. This requires a trip to the U.S. For further details, please contact Chaim V’Chessed.
Delivery or Pickup
An American passport usually takes about three weeks to be processed and delivered, but it can be longer or shorter depending on the season.
For delivery of a Consular Report of Birth Abroad and/or passport, you may submit a self-addressed stamped envelope (at least NIS 16.70 per passport). For a more secure alternative, you may use the Israel Post’s courier service. Fill out your details on a Doar Shlichim envelope. When your documents are ready, Doar Shlichim will call you for your credit card information. They will bill you approximately 50 NIS, then deliver your documents directly to your address or call you for pickup at one of their centers.
You can track your passport status, here. You will need to enter the last 4 digits of your Social Security number. In the case of someone who does not yet have one (eg a baby), enter 1234 or 0000.
Once it has been mailed from the US you can contact the embassy at email@example.com (or the consulate at firstname.lastname@example.org) to arrange to pick it up or to receive a tracking number for the doar/ Israel post.
Once you have a tracking number for Israel Post and it has been given over by the embassy or consulate, you can track it here.
The doar will generally contact you via SMS after they receive your passport from the embassy so that you can pay for the delivery and coordinate a time for delivery. If you do not have SMS, call 171 to arrange and pay for delivery. If you are not able to reach them you can try going down to one of their branch offices (preferably the main branch, which in Jerusalem is in Mercaz Shatner- off of Kanfei Nesharim) to arrange for delivery or pick up.
If you are in a rush or prefer not to rely on the courier service, opt to pick up your documents yourself. The U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem allows pickups on Thursdays from 14:00 pm-15:00 pm. The Branch Office in Tel Aviv allows pickups only in emergency situations.