Certificate of Citizenship

Certificate of Citizenship

If you are a person living in the United States, then the Certificate of Citizenship must have been a part of your life. Any person born in the United States becomes a citizen, and they do not qualify to apply for a certificate of citizenship at the USCIS. Their birth certificate itself is proof of citizenship. A Certificate of Citizenship is a document that is valid proof that marks the citizenship of a person. Americans who were born abroad may need to file for the Certification Of Citizenship through the USCIS using Form N-600.

This certificate is very different from a Certificate of Naturalization. In this article, we will take a look at both these documents in detail so that you know which one works in your favor. With this complete guide, you can find out all the details are necessary to apply for the Certificate of Naturalization or Citizenship.

Contents

Certificate of Citizenship

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What Is Certificate of Citizenship

This certification, in simple terms, is proof of Citizenship. With this certificate, you can identify yourself or your child as a United States citizen, even if the birth took place outside the USA. By applying for this certificate, you can prove that you are a rightful citizen of the USA. You can use this certificate to your advantage on any legal documents such as State IDs, while you apply for a passport or for acquiring any major benefits that are assigned to a U.S. citizen.

This certificate is offered to both citizens of derivative and citizens of acquisition by the passport issuing authority. A derivative citizen refers to those children who can apply for citizenship if any of their parents becomes a U.S. citizen before the child turns 18. The Citizenship by Derivative also applies to those children who were adopted by their citizen parents.

A Citizenship by Acquisition refers to those children(born outside the USA) who become eligible to apply for Citizenship if any one of their parents were American citizens during the child’s birth. The citizen parent must meet the residential criteria or any other forms of physical criteria for the child to be eligible to apply.

This certificate has your complete details such as the Name, Marital Status, Residence, Photograph, Registration Number, Certificate Number, etc.

A Certificate of Naturalization

This certificate signifies that a person has obtained United States citizenship through Naturalization. Naturalization refers to the process in which a non-U.S. citizen, i.e., a foreign citizen is granted U.S. citizenship after they follow a certain set of requirements:

  • You were a United States resident for about 5 years
  • You were a permanent residence for 3 years and more and have satisfied all the requirements to file for as a spouse of the U.S. citizen
  • The person has a qualifying service in the U.S. armed forces
  • You are the child of a U.S. citizen, and you were born outside the country(the child must be under 18 to apply for Naturalization)

This certificate has your Naturalization Certificate Number, Date of Issues, USCIS Registration Number, Name, Residence, Marital Status, Former Nationality Country, Signature, Photograph.

Application Process for Certificate of Citizenship

Documents Needed:

To apply for the certificate of citizenship, you need to have the following documents with you.

  • Passport-sized photographs
  • Birth certificate of both you and your parent(U.S. citizen parent)
  • The marriage certificate of your U.S. parent. If appliable, marriage termination documents
  • Proof of residence or any physical presence in the U.S.
  • Form N-600 which is a form that is used to apply for this certificate
Certificate of Citizenship

How to Fill Up Form N-600 Certificate of Citizenship?

Below is a brief overview of all the different parts of the form and how can you fill it. For detailed information on how you can fill up the form, you can check out this PDF by USCIS for filing Form N-600.

Part 1: Information About Your Eligibility

In this part, check the box if you are a biological or an adopted child to a U.S. citizen. You can check “Other” if your parents do not have any forms of citizenship, and you want to prove your grandparent’s information.

Part 2: Information About You

If you are under 18, this application can be filled by your parent. If not, then you can fill the application on your own. Fill out all the basic detail such as Name, DOB, Mailing address, etc. This part is then followed by your immigration status and the date on which you entered the USA. Further down this part, the form asks if you have ever lost your permanent residence. Then answer the questions about your parent’s marital status.

Part 3: Biographic Information

This part contains information such as Race, Height, Ethnicity, etc

Part 4: Information About your U.S. Citizen Biological Father

If the child has either acquired or derived citizenship from both their parents, then they need to fill out both Part 4 and 5. If the citizenship is based on solely the father, then fill in Part 4 and skip Part 5.

Part 5: Information About your U.S. Citizen Biological Mother

Fill this section if the child has acquired or derived citizenship from both the mother and father.

Part 6: Physical Presence in the United States From Birth Until Filing of Form N-600

For a child was has acquired citizenship at birth from their citizen parent, then you need to mention all the dates and details along with the residential information.

Part 7: Information about the military service of the parent

Use the dates of the citizen parent’s military service if the child has acquired citizenship at birth.

Part 8: Applicant’s Signature, Contact Information

If the child is under 14, then its parent or legal guardian may sign for the child. For a child who is above 14, they may sign the document themselves.

Part 9: Interpreters Contact Information

If you have taken any assistance to understand this form, then you need to mention the details of that person

Part 10: Contact Information, Declaration, and Signature of the Person Who Has Prepared This Form, if Other Than the Applicant

If you have taken any assistance of an attorney who has filled this form on your behalf, then mention their details.

Part 11: Additional Information

If any of the above information does not fit into the spaces given, then use the space given in this section

Part 12 and 13:

Both these sections are not supposed to be filled as these are for the USCIS only.

What is the Fee for the Certificate of Citizenship?

The standard fee for the Certificate of Citizenship is 1,175 USD. If the form is filled as a veteran or by the members of the armed forces, then you will be eligible for a reduction in the fee. To pay for your certificate, you can either pay using a personal check, money order, or cashier’s check. You can also visit the USCIS Lockbox and pay by credit.

Replacement of the Certificate of Citizenship

A replacement certificate of citizenship is offered to those who have lost or damaged their original certificates. You can also use this certificate if you want to change any personal details on the original certificate. Based on the situation, one can carry the documents required to file for this application by taking a look at the USCIS website. Once all the information is present, you need to:

  • Fill the Form N-565 and submit it through mail or online
  • Pay the fee for Form N-565
  • USCIS might ask you to submit any additional documents based on the requirements

Certificate of Naturalization Form N-400

You can fill the Naturalization form in either of the following two ways:

Ways to Fill Form

Online

To fill the N-400 form online, you must create an account on the official page of USCIS. Through this account, you can pay your fee, check status, receive notifications, respond to any requests asking for evidence, manage and update your contact information.

Mail

If the form is submitted through mail, then USCIS will send you a notice on how you can create an account to manage and track your case. USCIS recommends that you create an account to track your case, which is a rather easier process when compared to mail.

What Is the Fee for This Certificate?

The fee for filing the form is $640. If the applicant is asked to take any biometric fee, then there is an additional fee for that which costs $85. If the form is filed online, then the applicant can money online. In case the form is filed through the mail, then the applicant can pay the fee as money order, credit card, personal check, etc. If the amount is paid through a check, it should be payable to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

List of Certificates Required for Naturalization

The documents mentioned below are basic documents that you might need to fill-up the form. You do not necessarily have to submit any of the following documents unless it is deemed necessary by USCIS. You might also need a few additional documents besides the ones mentioned below to fill-up the form.

  • Copies of the Permanent Resident Card
  • Marriage certificate copy
  • Certificate of military and Naval Service if applicable
  • Official Military orders if applicable
  • Passport sized photographs

How to Fill the Form

Part 1: Information About Your Ability

In the first part, you need to check the box for your eligibility. There are 5 options in this section, and you need to select the box which applies to you.

Part 2: Information About You

Fill up all your details such as the Name, Name change (if any), SSN, USCIS online account number, Gender, DOB, Country of Birth, country of Citizenship, etc.

Part 3: Accommodations for Individuals With Disabilities or Impairments

Fill up this form if necessary and select the check box that applies to you.

Part 4: Information to Contact You

Fill up your contact information with your phone number and email address details.

Part 5: Information About Your Residence

Write down the list of addresses that you have lived in the past 5 years. You can start by writing the address of the current residence followed by the addresses that you have lived in the past month, year, etc.

Part 6: Information About Your Parents

Write down the information of your citizen parents such as Name, DOB, Citizenship, etc. You can skip this part and jump to part 7 if neither of your parent(s) is U.S. citizens.

Part 7: Biographic Information

This part includes information such as Race, Ethnicity, Height, etc.

Part 8: Information About Employment and Schools

All the places that you have worked or the schools that you have attended in the past 5 years(either full-time or part-time) must be filled in this section. You can begin with the most recent employment/studies, followed by the previous ones.

Part 9: Time Outside the United States

The amount of time you spent outside the United States, be it, trips or the number of days must be mentioned.

Part 10: Information About Your Marital History

Your marital details and the details of your citizen spouse must be mentioned accordingly.

Part 11: Information About Your children

The total number of children(alive, deceased, missing, etc.) born within the United States or abroad, within 18 years of age or beyond must be written.

Part 12: Additional Information About You

This section has a few Yes/No questions that you to check if it applies to you.

The rest of the form, i.e., from Part 13 to Part 15 is about the applicant’s signatures and declarations followed by the signatures of the Interpreter or the Attorney(if they assisted in filing the form). The last three parts 16,17 and 18 must only be filled by the applicant if it is instructed by the USCIS officer. For further instructions on how to fill the form, you can check out this PDF by USCIS for filing Form N-400.

Certificate of Neutralization

What to Do if You Lost Your Naturalization Certificate?

If you seem to have lost or damaged the original Naturalization certificate, then request a replacement. To replace a certificate, they are required to file Form N-565. The Naturalization certificate can also be replaced if you want to correct any information on the certificate, such as your Name or Gender.

What Is the Difference Between Naturalization and Citizenship?

Naturalization and Citizenship might sound the same but are very different from one another. Most people get these two terms confused as both these certificates are used to identify a person belonging to the United States. Applying for Citizenship or Naturalization has different forms, processes, and eligibility requirements.

Let us address the similarities first and get into the difference. The similarity in both these certificates is that you become a United States citizen if your application for either of these two certificates is approved. Another similarity is that Naturalization citizens and the ones with Acquired Citizenship both have the same rights if they are living within the U.S.

As far as differences are concerned, Naturalization refers to a process in which people who are non-U.S. citizens gain the benefit of becoming a U.S. citizen if they have followed a certain set of requirements such as living in the U.S. for the past 5 years, having a U.S. citizen spouse, and other eligibility criteria. You can take a closer look at all the eligibility requirements on the USCIS website for Naturalization.

A certificate of Citizenship on the other hand refers to the process in which a person gains citizenship if they were born in any of the United States territories, or if they were adopted by citizen parents. A person who is born abroad to a citizen parent is also eligible to apply for a Certificate of Citizenship.

Certificate of Citizenship

Conclusion

This article covers the basic differences between the certificate of Naturalization and the certificate of Citizenship. Based on certain requirements, you can apply for either of these two certificates if the eligibility criteria are met by the individual. Through these certificates, a person can become a citizen of the U.S. through acquired citizenship or Naturalization. This article only covers the basic structure and other necessary details required to fill and submit the forms. For more details, you can check out the official USCIS website.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ’s)

Can you replace the certificates if you lost them?

You can request a replacement if you have lost or damaged these certificates. You can also file for a replacement if the certificate is stolen.

How can you pay the fee for the application process?

If the application is submitted online, then the fee can be paid online. If the application is submitted through mail, then the fee can be paid through money order, credit or check.

Is the USCIS fee refundable?

The USCIS fee is non-refundable. Both the fee for applying and the biometric(if needed) is for government purpose and is non-refundable.

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