Saturday, December 12, 2009

Giving Birth in Spain: Applying for US Citzenship


Two important items in the process

This may come as a surprise to some, but because Sammy was born on Spanish soil, that doesn't automatically mean he is a Spanish citizen. And it also may interest you to know that just because he was born abroad to parents with US citizenship, the US government doesn't just miraculously give him his birth certificate and passport. And yes, he does need a passport. Many people are shocked that a baby would need a passport but anytime a US citizen leaves the country, they need a valid passport. Therefore to get back IN to our country we'll need passports for all 4 members of our family. I'd really hate to leave Sammy at the airport . . .

So here is what we had to do in Spain to get all the necessary documents for Sammy to become a bona fide American.

1st, we had to head to the Registro Civil. Here is where we registered Sammy as being born in Madrid. We needed to bring with us a document filled out at the hospital containing all of Sammy's info (birth date, weight, etc), his parents info, (names, our parents names, marriage date) and information from the hospital (doctor info etc). We also filled out some other forms there. By the time we left, we had a simple version of a Spanish birth certificate, and his Libro de Familia. The Libro de Familia is something all Spanish families have here. It contains information on each member of the family and it's needed for the next step in the process.



Where one can speak with an American . . . ahhh

2nd, we secured an appointment at the US embassy. For our appointment there, we had to bring our passports, the Libro de Familia, a translation of the Spanish birth certificate, our marriage certificate, proof that we've lived in the US recently (old tax forms), Sammy's passport application, social security number application, and form for obtaining a US birth certificate.



5 weeks old . . .

We also had to bring passport size photos of Sammy. All I have to say is taking a picture of a 5 week old with eyes open in one of those photo booth thingies is no easy thing . . . This was the best one we could get. Luckily, the guy we had was really friendly, easy to work with and had children, therefore he said the picture we submitted was just fine. Whew!



Sammy's first passport . . . it's good until he turns 5!

A few weeks later we received Sammy's passport in the mail. Along with that came his birth certificate which looks completely different than Renae's and even ours! His is actually called a Consular Report of Birth Abroad. Both the certificate and the passport state that Sammy was indeed born in Spain. I love that his American passport will always say Spain in the Place of Birth slot!


Sammy the luchador . . .

So no, Sammy is not a Spanish citizen, but is now officially an American citizen! And most importantly, he can come back with us when we return to the states . . .

10 comments:

J. et K. said...

Yay!! So proud to have such an exotic little family member.

Elizabeth said...

yep getting a passport is quite an ordeal! We never could get Jesse to open his eyes but they accepted it anyway! Thank goodness! Sammy is a cutie!

kpjordan said...

Whew! Because we want to meet our newest grandchild!

Beatriz said...

That passport last 5 years???. Sammy won´t look the same in a month!!.
I don´t care what Spanish law says, Sammy is born here, so he is Spanish too.

P_31Girl said...

HA! His photo made me laugh and laugh!!

Wendi Reger said...

Yeah for Sammy not being left at the airport!

Chad & Amy said...

It was basically the same process here. One thing we didn't know was that we also have to have a French identity card for Lauren...cuz everyone needs an identity card (even babies), so we will be applying for that soon :)

It is a good thing that the passports expire, I'm thinking Sammy may not be excited about that picture when he gets a little older. It didn't capture the sweetness!

Ray said...

As usual, an informative and entertaining post! The next time Vicki and I are in Madrid, we'll miss you (boy, that sounds strange).

J and J Masson said...

hey ray,
we were bummed that we didn't get to connect with vicki this october...but we understand the circumstances. we miss you guys!
jesse/julie

Anonymous said...

Hello Masson Family,

I'm starting the process of getting my daughter her American Passport, citizenship, etc. (We live in Spain, too) and I was hoping you guys could tell me if the translation of the Spanish birth certificate that you handed over was "official", or not. I just don't want to get all the way to Madrid and have them tell me my translation isn't valid.

Any advice you guys have will be well received--my email is church.jessica@gmail.com.
Thanks!
Jessica