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Old 13.06.2014, 17:05
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description of how to get US baby passport and B permit Basel

I am getting ready to have my second child in Basel, and compliled this list of what steps to take to get an American passport and B-permit for the baby. Maybe it will help someone else, I could not find this all in one place and in the order it had to be done.

1. Email the Bern embassy and ask for the paperwork for the American passport: bernacs@state.gov http://bern.usembassy.gov/birth_abroad.html.


2. Get a passport picture of the baby. I took my own pictures of our son lying on a white sheet. You need the picture well lit, with both ears (face straight ahead) showing, eyes open. I then emailed a few to : info@photobasilisk.ch (Foto Basilisk on Clarastrasse, in Kleinbasel). http://www.photobasilisk.ch/ . They picked one that was acceptable, cropped it correctly, and printed it for me. I picked it up. I cant remember the exact cost. I think around 30CHF?


3. Order the international version of the birth certificate.


4. Passport: Fill out the forms from the U.S. Embassy. Send a copy of the embassy forms, passport photos, and the international birth certificate to Bern. They email you (or call you) and say that it all the paperwork looks okay. Then you make an appointment online and go to Bern (with the baby!), bring all original docs and apply for the passport in person. When I did this in 2012, they only let you take yourself, the baby, and your documents inside (i.e.: no stroller, no water, no phone, etc.) The best thing is lock all of this in a locker at the train station.

5. B-permit: Sometime after the birth, the Basel Stadt immigration office sends you a form asking you to register the baby. Bring this form, along with the baby's passport (!), local and international birth certificate. They take a picture there of the baby. They then send you the permit.
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Old 15.06.2014, 15:01
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Re: description of how to get US baby passport and B permit Basel

Thanks for the info. I have decided to not get my children a US pass until they drop those draconian tax burdens. I believe you can postpone this until they are 18 at which point it's now or never. (please correct me if I am wrong)
I don't plan on going back anytime soon and for me the only advantage of having a US pass is a (not much) shorter wait at a US airport. I bring my family with me through imigration without any problems. Funny thing, one TSA agent at JFK told me to NOT get my children a pass for the reason I mentioned above.
Not all TSA agents are goons.
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Old 15.06.2014, 15:09
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Re: description of how to get US baby passport and B permit Basel

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Thanks for the info. I have decided to not get my children a US pass until they drop those draconian tax burdens. I believe you can postpone this until they are 18 at which point it's now or never. (please correct me if I am wrong)
I don't plan on going back anytime soon and for me the only advantage of having a US pass is a (not much) shorter wait at a US airport. I bring my family with me through imigration without any problems. Funny thing, one TSA agent at JFK told me to NOT get my children a pass for the reason I mentioned above.
Not all TSA agents are goons.
Are your children entitled to a different nationality?
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Old 15.06.2014, 16:53
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Re: description of how to get US baby passport and B permit Basel

I felt I had to get a US passport for our child, since we have no other options (my husband and I are both American). Without a passport, we were not allowed to get a B-permit for our son, and without the B-permit, we can't get the child allowance here from work, I'm not sure how we could travel with him, etc, etc, etc. Its a mixed blessing too- we don't make enough CHF that the US tax laws are draconian. Maybe one day
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Old 15.06.2014, 17:11
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Re: description of how to get US baby passport and B permit Basel

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Are your children entitled to a different nationality?
My wife is Swiss, and I officially am a Swiss as well however I have not picked up my Swiss pass since its become official almost 9 months ago. For me it's not a big issue what pass I have. I'm a citizen of Planet Earth and do not belong to any government.

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I felt I had to get a US passport for our child, since we have no other options (my husband and I are both American). Without a passport, we were not allowed to get a B-permit for our son, and without the B-permit, we can't get the child allowance here from work, I'm not sure how we could travel with him, etc, etc, etc. Its a mixed blessing too- we don't make enough CHF that the US tax laws are draconian. Maybe one day
I know how you feel. I would like to give my kids a US pass but it's not an advantage anymore. I'll let them decide for themselves once they are old enough. Since they have a Swiss pass now there is no reason to get a US pass at the moment.
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Old 16.06.2014, 16:39
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Re: description of how to get US baby passport and B permit Basel

Thanks for this super clear description of the process. I'm having a baby next month and will have to go through this to get our babe a passport. One question: how long did it take to get the passport and B-permit? We are planning to travel later in the fall and I want to make sure we have enough time.
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Old 16.06.2014, 17:07
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Re: description of how to get US baby passport and B permit Basel

@maurerjones:
We got our son's passport 2 months after he was born.
How quickly you can complete the some of the stuff (passport pic, ordering intern'l birth certificate, filling out the forms, etc) is up to you.

From the day of the appointment at the embassy in Bern to getting the passport = 3 weeks.

I see you are in Zurich, so, the process might be slightly different?
The B-permit took awhile, but I don't think its really necessary for travel?
-Nikki
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Old 15.10.2014, 14:15
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Re: description of how to get US baby passport and B permit Basel

Update: You can even contact the embassy in Bern early (before the birth) and they will send you all of the forms by post, so that you can pre-fill most stuff in before hand. This might save someone a few days, if you need a passport for the little one ASAP.
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Old 02.06.2015, 05:31
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Re: description of how to get US baby passport and B permit Basel

An update: It actually only took a few working days from the appointment in Bern to getting the passport in the mail. If you are in a hurry (like we were) the consulate will keep you updated and usually give you a clear idea of how long it will take.
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Old 02.06.2015, 10:30
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Re: description of how to get US baby passport and B permit Basel

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Thanks for the info. I have decided to not get my children a US pass until they drop those draconian tax burdens. I believe you can postpone this until they are 18 at which point it's now or never. (please correct me if I am wrong)
I don't plan on going back anytime soon and for me the only advantage of having a US pass is a (not much) shorter wait at a US airport. I bring my family with me through imigration without any problems. Funny thing, one TSA agent at JFK told me to NOT get my children a pass for the reason I mentioned above.
Not all TSA agents are goons.
I originally thought the same, but according to the US, if one or both parents are US citizens and/or fulfill the criteria of living in the US for a particular part of their lives (x years, with y years before age 14), then the child is automatically a US citizen.

This is sort of like the "if a tree falls in the woods does it make a sound" predicament. If for example the US at some point finds your child, and can prove that you fulfill the criteria thereby making the child a bonafide US citzen, will they come knocking?

Would it be better to get the pass, wait til the child is 16-18 and then let them decide to keep it or not? Then if so, officially renounce the pass? I have "heard" that before 18 this is easier to do?

one possible advantage of being a US citizen, apart from airport lines, might be if your child wishes to study at an American university.
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Old 02.06.2015, 12:28
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Re: description of how to get US baby passport and B permit Basel

For those who want to do their own photos, you might consider http://www.epassportphoto.com/ -- it's free (after you select the country and size, they put the free link in text at the bottom while the paid options are much more prominent).

You just upload your photo to the service, crop it appropriately, and it generates an image file that you can take to any photo printer.

I use the omnipresent photo-printing kiosks (not the Prontophot ones that actually take the photo and develop it, but just the small standalone photo printers). It costs CHF 0.50 for a 4x6" photo that includes several appropriately-sized copies of your photo which you can then cut out.

It's super easy, and I've never had any problem with the quality or acceptance of the photos by the US or Swiss governments.
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Old 14.06.2015, 12:38
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Re: description of how to get US baby passport and B permit Basel

Agree with California Dreamer. Why saddle your child with tax debt if you don't plan on living in the states. They can decide themselves before they turn 18...
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Old 14.06.2015, 14:00
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Re: description of how to get US baby passport and B permit Basel

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Agree with California Dreamer. Why saddle your child with tax debt if you don't plan on living in the states. They can decide themselves before they turn 18...
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I originally thought the same, but according to the US, if one or both parents are US citizens and/or fulfill the criteria of living in the US for a particular part of their lives (x years, with y years before age 14), then the child is automatically a US citizen.

This is sort of like the "if a tree falls in the woods does it make a sound" predicament. If for example the US at some point finds your child, and can prove that you fulfill the criteria thereby making the child a bonafide US citzen, will they come knocking?

Would it be better to get the pass, wait til the child is 16-18 and then let them decide to keep it or not? Then if so, officially renounce the pass? I have "heard" that before 18 this is easier to do?

one possible advantage of being a US citizen, apart from airport lines, might be if your child wishes to study at an American university.
That's why.

Border control may well query why children of US parents aren't travelling to the US on US passports - a requirement if you are a citizen.

And you cannot give up your US citizenship/passport before the age of 18 as the US considers you to be a minor and therefore any decisions you make below that age don't count.
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Old 15.06.2015, 11:16
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Re: description of how to get US baby passport and B permit Basel

We went through this process this year when our son was born. Couple of points to what Nikstick wrote:


1) Photo - if it costs CHF 30 to just print the photo, you are better off going to a studio. We paid CHF 40 in Zug (across from Coop City downtown) and had the photo taken and printed within 30 min.


2) Get the paperwork from the embassy for a social security number as well. This way you get everything done at once.


3) Make sure when you go for the appointment to take your spouse and kid with you! It is not stated explicitly as a requirement, so I went there just myself ... needless to say we had to make another trip. Oh, and plan that it will take time. Time slots are approximate; you'll be there all morning.


4) When you get to pay at the register, ring the bell as if the place was on fire. Myself ... I pressed it a single time. I was first in line for about 20 minutes. On the 6th try, the guy behind me kept it pressed for a longer time and someone showed up pretty quickly.


5) Just bring the documents with you. No phone or computer or any bag larger than a wallet. If you do, there is a store on the street parallel to the street the embassy is on. They charge CHF 3 per bag to keep your belongings while you are at the embassy.
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Old 15.06.2015, 11:54
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Re: description of how to get US baby passport and B permit Basel

You can just go on your own, but your spouse will need to fill in and sign one of these

http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/212243.pdf

and get it notarized.

Probably best to get any photo done at a studio offering passport photos service as the US needs 2" x 2" size which isn't the norm and on good quality photo paper.

Details of applying for a minor's passport is given here

http://bern.usembassy.gov/passport/p...or-minors.html

including a link for how to take an acceptable baby photo.

Be warned - there are delays in issuing US passports at the moment so leave plenty of time for your application. See link below:

http://bern.usembassy.gov/passport.html
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