US Citizenship for Baby born to U.S. Citizen+Chinese Wife in China

Hi, all -

First time posting, but a big question here.  Just married a wonderful Chinese woman.  Made the terrible mistake of looking at the USCIS website when deciding if to get married in China or the US and read about the K3 visa for a spouse where the spouse can come to the U.S., apply for immigration status, and then live with the citizen spouse until the application is processed (10-18 months).  The waiting time for a K3 visa was listed as about 3-4 months.  Since we were in love and in a hurry, we got married in China on the faith that the USCIS website was accurate about the K3 visa.  It was not.  The USCIS does not offer K3 visas anymore and makes all spouses go through the full process of immigration.  So now we must wait a year or longer for my wife to come to America.  She cannot even visit because the USCIS will not issue her a travel visa (terrible and cruel).

So, I don't want to repeat my mistake of trusting the USCIS website and not researching my question by going to the message boards.  Here's the deal ... we want to start a family.  But she cannot come to America for at least a year.  If we choose to get pregnant and are quickly blessed, she will have the baby in China.  I am looking for anyone who has been through the process of a Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA) and was trying to immigrate to America.

There seems to be a lot of documentation needed in order to prove physical presence of the U.S. citizen (me) in the U.S. for at least 5 years after the age of 14.  Plus the following: 

1.  The child’s original Chinese birth certificate and a clear, high-resolution photocopy of it;
2.  Passports or other proof of their citizenship and identity (required for both parents) of the child’s
     parents. Please also bring clear and high-resolution photocopies of the documents;
3.  Original or certified copy of parents’ marriage certificate and a clear, high-resolution photocopy of it;
4.  Evidence of the U.S. citizen parent’s physical presence in the U.S. This applies if only one parent is
     U.S. citizen, see details below;
5.  One recent 2 inches by 2 inches (5×5 cm) photo (see photo  requirements);
6.  The following unsigned application forms: Consular Report of Birth Abroad application DS-2029 (PDF
     104 KB), U.S. Passport application DS-11,
        Note: For DS-11 – enter zeroes in the SS# box. After you fill out the application online, print it, and
        bring it with you the day of your appointment.

7.  Prenatal and hospital birth records, pictures of the child’s growth and mother’s pregnancy;
8.  Both parents’ proof of termination of all previous marriage(s), if relevant; and
     Fees- USD 100 for a Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA) and USD 115 for a passport.

My questions are:

1.  Has anyone done this?
2.  How difficult was it to prove physical presence? What were the requirements?
3.  Did the birth abroad (CRBA) affect the I-130 immigration application process?  i.e. did a successful
     CRBA speed up the process or allow a visa to be issued to bring the spouse to America and stay with
     the husband?
4.  Has anyone experienced or heard of a CRBA being denied and it delaying the I-130 application?  The
     baby must have a valid passport and Chinese visa to leave China and enter the U.S.
5.  Is there advice from someone with experience.  Pitfalls to avoid, things to make the process go
     smoothly?  Any suggestions for a better forum?

Appreciate the help!


Yes, I did it last summer.  I am an American man with a Chinese wife.  We had our baby in Guangzhou last July as we were waiting on the I-130 to process.  My wife had a tourist visa and we were married in the US, but did not plan to get married on that visa.

After she went back to China I went there as well and we got pregnant on purpose as China has great pressure to make a baby after marriage.  I came back to the US to file Taxes and apply for the I-130 then back to China to have the Kid. 

The hospital in my wifes hometown is not to be trusted, so we wanted to have our baby in GZ.  The plan was to go to GZ and find a hospital to give birth in (I had checked out one previously and it seemed good, so I was comfortable having the baby in China instead of the US).  But this turned out to be quite difficult.  The hospitals want you to use their services for checkups and things before you can have your baby there.  So they want you to use them for like 6 or 7 months before they let you have the baby in that hospital. 

First we checked out one hospital my wife liked, but even though they wanted us to get all the tests done again (Ultrasounds and all the rest) that we had already done, they still would not let us have a baby there.  Another hospital mainly for having kids had no concept of putting an American name on a birth Certificate.  The third hospital also wanted us to use their services for many months in advance before they would let us have a kid there, but their birth certificate system was good and English friendly.  It was the best hospital.  When time came for the baby to come out we went there and they told my wife No, even though she was in labor.  Then they saw me, the white American and asked if I were her husband.  After she said yes, they let us have our baby there. 

Getting a private room to have a baby in was also an option but requires more than 1 year in advance reservation, which is ridiculous since pregnancies are only 9 months long.

For the visa, my paperwork was all in order and the CRBA was simple and easy and pleasant.  It likely helped get her visa since having a kid together is good proof, but it did not speed up the process. 

Good Luck.

To prove my residency I took 10 years worth of bills and rental agreements and renters insurance bills and bank statements.  Since I had all the documents needed the process to get the CRBA and US Passport was very smooth and she was a US citizen at 10 days old. 

My wifes Visa interview was only 5 questions she says.  This may be due to our having a kid together, not sure. 

I have not heard of the CRBA being refused.  If you are a US citizen and have the documentation it should be fine. 

To get the Exit Visa for the kid they claimed it was difficult and lots of other problems, but in the end they gave it out.  Chinese like to make it seem like something is incredibly hard in order to get a red packet bribe from you I believe. 

Currently my wife is through the process and we are all together in Oregon.  Life is good. 

My advice is to find the hospital you want to have the baby in, then get all your checkups done there to avoid the problem of 2 days until the kid comes out and you dont have a hospital lined up (like happened to us).

Hi Dolphynn-  thanks for your reply and good advice.  I’ve owned a home for more than the last 10 years, so there is no rental agreements.  I may have utility bills, but who keeps that when they have no idea that they will need it in 10 years?  I will have to ask the utility company, but can guess that their answer will be either ‘negative’ or expensive.  I guess I will have to hope for expensive. 

Luckily I will have enough time to gather it all together, but I think that I had best start now.

I am also in Oregon, BTW.  Near Salem.

Nice, we are in Eugene.  Everything is going awesome so far.  You can likely get your back bills online and print them out I would guess.  Go to your power companies website, your banks website, your internet providers website and create accounts and see if you can access previous bills online. 
Your Mortgage documents may show 10 years history as well.  Perhaps home insurance docs? 
Figure out where you want to have your kid.  My wifes city of 1.3 million had a quite barbaric hospital so we opted to have it in GZ instead.  Check out the hospital in advance to see if it is what you are looking for. 

Having a baby in China is quite different from the west.  You wont be there to cut the cord.  After the kid arrives, expect your wife to be prisoner in the hospital for 4 or so days.  You shall need to go out and get her food and the rest.  Your hospital recovery room shall be packed with other moms (ours had 4 new moms, 4 babies, 4 husbands or Mom-in-laws in a room the size of a hotel room).  We were lucky.  Other new moms were  in overflow in the hallways.  And this is at the good hospital. 

We had ours at the 2nd Affiliated Hospital of Guanzhou Medical University.  Seemed lots better than the other options. 

Dont stress the CRBA I would say if you are able to get enough documents together.  It went very smooth for us.

Well good luck to you. I think that you should know enough to get started.

However, I would advise caution in burdening your children with American tax liabilities. You have 18 years to decide what to do. Why make a rash judgement?

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