A Guide for US Born Kids

If you are pregnant and are going to give birth while staying in the United States, you must be busy with various activities, such as health checkups and even shopping. But there is another important thing that requires your careful attention. After the delivery of your child, there are a number of legal steps that you need to take.

Every child born in USA becomes a citizen of that country by birth. However, for this, you need to take some steps to apply for citizenship. Here’s a look at the key steps you must ensure after childbirth.

Apply for Your Baby’s Birth Certificate

This document is a proof of US citizenship for any person naturally born in the United States. It is an extremely important document and is needed when applying for other documents, such as US passport, travel visa etc.

When you go to a hospital for your delivery, a number of forms will be provided to you. Among them, one will be for the hospital records and another to be sent to the relevant state or county authorities. It would be better if you decide the name of your baby in advance. This is because the name needs to be filled on the form before sending it to the Vital Records Department of the state.

On the basis of the state in which the child is born, the application form may be automatically sent to the Vital Records Office or you might be asked to send it yourself. In case you have to do it on your own, you have three to four weeks’ time to complete the application.

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Apply for the Social Security Number

The social security number is a type of identification provided by the US government to its citizens. It is synonymous with the ration card system or Aadhar card in India. The SSN is required for any official paperwork, such as opening a bank account, buying savings bonds, applying for a US passport, getting insurance, filing taxes, applying for library membership, etc.

So, it is important to apply for the SSN as soon as the child is born. Along with the birth certificate form, you will also get the application form for the SSN. Fill it up and give it to the concerned person to initiate the process.

You will receive the Social Security Card in your mail a few days later.

Apply for Your Child’s US Passport

The various documents needed to apply for a US passport for your child are:

  • DS-11 Application Form
  • Proof of American citizenship by either Birth Certificate or Naturalization Certificate
  • Identity proof document. This includes the Naturalization Certificate, Certificate of Citizenship, driver’s license (if above legal driving age).
  • Two passport-size photographs.

Application fee for individuals aged 16 years and above is of 97, while the fee for younger applicants is $82.

For minors under the age of 14, there are a few additional requirements for getting a US passport:

  • Evidence of child’s relationship to the parents or guardians
  • Parents’ identification documents
  • Document stating parental consent for application.

Also, if you have an H1B visa, don’t forget to add your baby’s name to your employer or personal health insurance. Otherwise, your child will not be able to reap the benefits of your health insurance policy. This can be done up to 30 days after birth, although the timeframe varies from state to state.

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Mani Karthik

About the Author

Mani Karthik

Ex “NRI” and Founder of the “Back to India” movement. I share my experience about immigrating to USA here.