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How To Get Proof of U.S. citizenship

November 24th, 2009 by Eric J. Ramos

Proof of citizenship can be documented in a variety of ways. The most common documents that establish U.S. citizenship are:

  • U.S. Birth Certificate
  • U.S. Passport
  • Certificate of Citizenship
  • Naturalization Certificate
  • Consular Report of Birth Abroad

If you need to replace your Certificate of Citizenship or your Naturalization Certificate, file Form N-565, Application for Replacement Naturalization Citizenship Document.

There are three ways to be a U.S. citizen:

  • You were born in the U.S.
  • You were born abroad to U.S. citizens.
  • You moved to the U.S. and went through the naturalization process.

Born in the U.S.

If you are a citizen who was born in the U.S., your birth certificate is your proof of citizenship. You can get a copy of your birth certificate by contacting the Bureau of Vital Statistics in the state in which you were born.

Born Outside the U.S. to U.S. Citizen Parents

If your parents registered your birth at a U.S. consulate when you were born, you will have a Consular Report of Birth Abroad. This is proof of citizenship. If they didn’t do this or they lost the form, you will need to apply for a passport or Certificate of Citizenship using Form N-565.

If you would like a U.S. passport, you can apply for it in the same manner as someone born in the United States. However, you will have the added requirement of establishing your citizenship claim. Passport applications can be made at:

  • Passport offices in the U.S.
  • Post offices in the U.S.
  • U.S. consulates abroad

Citizenship through Naturalization

If you were born outside of the U.S. and filed an application for citizenship using Form N-400, the citizenship certificate that you were issued at your naturalization oath ceremony is your proof of citizenship.

If you have lost your Naturalization Certificate or Certificate of Citizenship, file Form N-565 to replace the lost certificate.


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