Legal documents issued in the United States such as court orders, contracts, vital records and educational diplomas can be presented in other countries.

A specific document has a specific process of authentication depending on the country where you are in. Check with your state’s Document Authentication Agency (DAA) and the Authentications and Apostilles page from the Department of State (DOS).

For more information, call the DOS Office of Authentications at 1-202-485-8000, 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM and 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM ET, Monday through Friday.


When an application for a U.S. Passport is submitted in behalf of a child, the U.S. Department of State’s Children’s Passport Issuance Alert Program (CPIAP) immediately notifies and verifies the request to the parents. To enroll in the program, you must be a legal parent or guardian of a child under 18 years.

This program does not aim to restrict, limit or track the use of passports.

For more information, contact the Department of State’s Office of Children’s Issues.


During an unfortunate event of death of a family member who is in another a country, help is extended by the U.S. Embassies and Consulates through:

  • Respecting and following the law, treaties, international practice and family’s request and instructions.
  • Working with local authorities for the necessary arrangements
  • Assisting with the return of remains (repatriation) to the country
  • Completing and processing required documents including theConsular Report of Death of an American Citizen Abroad as required both by U.S. and foreign law

In replacement for the foreign death certificate, the Consular Report of Death is required instead. Up to 20 copies may be requested for free from the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where the death happened. For additional copies, contact the Passport Services Vital Records Office at 1-202-485-8300.


Foreign marriages are usually recognized by United States government. However, different states and territories have their own marriage laws and specifications to meet. The Department of State also provides information on marriage abroad.

  • A spouse must be naturalize to become a citizen and will not be a U.S. citizen automatically by marrying you.
  • Dual citizenship acquired through marriage does not make a person lose his or her U.S. citizenship.
  • For a non-American spouse to enter the U.S., he or she must have an immigrant or nonimmigrant visa

Different procedures are followed by different countries, to check on the procedures in another country; start with the embassy or consulate for that specific country.


You are a U.S. citizen if:

  • Your birth certificate is issued by a U.S. state or territory. If you do not have a birth certificate issued in the state or territory where you were born, your citizenship status can be verified using other valid documents.
  • You were born outside the United States but you have at least one U.S. citizen parent (or your parents are both U.S. citizens) and your birth was recorded and registered with the S. Embassy or Consulatein that country:
  • Consular Report of Birth Abroad(Form FS-240) will be your proof of U.S. citizenship. This will be given to your parents the embassy or consulate if your birth was recorded and registered before your 18th You can request copies, amendments, or corrections to a Consular Report of Birth Abroad (Form FS-240) from the U.S. Department of State (DOS).
  • If your parents do not have this document and you are already 18 years of age or older, you can learn how to get aCertificate of Citizenship from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) instead; this will be your proof of U.S. citizenship.

Learn more about births of U.S. citizens abroad.