I'm a US Citizen, currently in Romania, and I'd like to register my child's birth abroad and get her SSN and US Passport.

The US Embassy in Romania says that you can apply for the CRBA and US Passport at the same time. However, it seems like passport applications require a SSN, or a SSN application in progress. An application for SSN requires proof of US Citizenship, which in this case is the CRBA. However, Romania does not have a Social Security office where I can apply for a SSN for my child.

How do I get out of this loop? Does the CRBA include a SSN application automatically? Why would the embassy recommend doing the CRBA and Passport together if it's not possible without a SSN? Am I missing something?

  • 2
    You do not need a social security number to apply for a passport.
    – ouflak
    Feb 12 '20 at 9:47
  • When I did this in the Netherlands, I recall being able to apply for a SSN at the consulate.
    – Eric
    Feb 17 '20 at 14:01
  • @Eric I believe that's because the SSA has a Federal Benefits Unit at the US Embassy in the Netherlands. Romania does not have this. Feb 17 '20 at 14:09
  • @VirtualValentin As a regular citizen, you can't enter the US Embassy in the Netherlands. The link you provided in fact says the benefits unit for the Netherlands is in Ireland. It lists the benefits unit for Romania as being in Italy. It looks like you can use this web form: it.usembassy.gov/u-s-citizen-services/fbu/… to start the process of applying for the SSN.
    – Eric
    Feb 17 '20 at 15:56

TL;DR: A Social Security number is not necessary if you are applying for the CRBA and US Passport at the same time

Original Answer

It looks like I need to provide a signed statement. I found this on the US Department of State website:

Do I have to provide by Social Security number on my passport application?

Yes. 22 U.S.C. 2714a and 22 C.F.R 51.60(f) requires you to provide your Social Security number, if you have one, when you apply for a U.S. passport or renewal of a U.S. passport.


What if I am applying for my child who does not have a social security number yet?

You will need to submit a statement, signed and dated, which includes the phrase, “I declare under penalty of perjury under the laws of the United States of America that the following is true and correct: (Child's full name) has never been issued a Social Security number by the Social Security Administration.”

I believe submitting the CRBA, Passport application, and this document, would get me out of the loop.

Update 2/21/2020 - After my visit to the US Embassy in Romania

The CRBA and Passport application were both approved! The declaration about the SSN was not necessary. I asked about the SSN situation and they said something along these lines:

Since you are applying for the US Passport at the same time as the CRBA, a Social Security number is not necessary. If you were to get just the CRBA now and then apply for a US Passport later, then a declaration would be necessary.

It seemed like they had these forms with the declarations on-hand at the embassy. In order to apply for a SSN, I either have to go (or mail original documents) to Naples, Italy, which would take about six months to get the SSN, or I can travel to the states and apply for the SSN there.

  • Very good. Check back and let us know if you were successful. Feb 15 '20 at 19:31
  • @DavidSupportsMonica Updated with what actually happened. It seems like it might take a while before I can claim my daughter as a dependent on taxes. That's expat life :) Feb 21 '20 at 8:33
  • Thanks for updating. What prevents or delays claiming your daughter as a dependent? Feb 21 '20 at 15:19
  • @DavidSupportsMonica I believe I need to have a SSN for her or a SSN application in progress Feb 24 '20 at 7:23

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