What is a certificate of citizenship? A citizenship certificate is proof of citizenship for someone born outside the United States to a parent who holds legal U.S. citizenship.
This certificate does not grant actual citizenship to the child, but it recognizes and confirms citizenship status, which the parent already obtained.
Your citizenship certificate acts as a birth certificate and grants you the same rights as a U.S. citizen. This certificate is only obtainable by someone who passes all necessary criteria.
Who Is Eligible to Obtain U.S. Citizenship Certificate?
There are a few criteria that must be met in order to obtain a U.S. citizenship certificate. Some of these criteria include:
- Living in the U.S.: If you are going to apply for a citizenship certificate, you must be living in the U.S. and under the legal custody of your parents.
- A biological offspring of at least one U.S. citizen: To gain citizenship by birth, one parental guardian must be a U.S. citizen.
- A lawful permanent resident: The final criteria must be met to possess permanent residence in the country.
As long as you meet this criterion and can hand over the supporting documents for the application process, you may be eligible to apply. Some required documents that you should include in your application include:
- Your birth certificate
- The parent’s birth certificate who is a legal U.S. citizen
- Two passport-style photos
- The proof of one parent’s U.S. citizenship
How to Obtain a U.S. Citizenship Certificate?
Once the above steps are looked at and completed, you will have determined that you are eligible to obtain a citizenship certificate. You will first start out with filing Form N-600, which will be explained more in detail below.
Filing Form N-600
Form N-600, also known as the application for a Certificate of Citizenship, will be given to you by USCIS. You will need to first prove that you are eligible to apply and then fill out the form with all the correct information.
A USCIS offer will then decide whether you are approved or not. If approved, you must pay the required fees and get your certificate. It’s that easy.
Is a Citizenship Certificate the Same as a Naturalization Certificate?
From the outside looking in, these two documents are very similar in a few ways. For starters, these documents both prove U.S. citizenship and give those who hold them the same rights as U.S. citizens.
However, these two documents have many differences. A naturalization certificate is obtained solely through the naturalization process. This process is defined as becoming a U.S. citizen by determining eligibility through close family ties, filing the necessary forms, paying the mandatory fees, passing an English and Civics exam, and then being sworn in as a citizen.
A naturalization certificate also requires you to renounce your citizenship in your country of origin, whereas a citizenship certificate does not. And a naturalization certificate has its own individual criteria that must be met.
Can the Citizenship Certificate Be Replaced?
Yes, you can apply to replace your citizenship certificate with a valid reason. Some of the most common reasons that a citizenship certificate might need to be replaced due to any damage done to the certificate or losing the certificate. Additionally, a replacement can be requested if there is a name change, marriage, divorce, or gender change.
First, you should fill out Form N-565, which is commonly known as the application for replacement citizenship documents. Next, you must submit the following documents:
- Two passport-style photographs
- Your original document with your previously listed name and gender
Sometimes, USCIS will ask for additional information or evidence. If this is the case, simply submit any documentation they ask for. After this is finished, you will need to pay the necessary filing fees.
Don’t Worry—ImmigrationDirect Is Always Here to Help
If you are just starting the process to obtain your citizenship certificate and would like some assistance or support throughout the process, Immigration Direct should be first on your list to check.
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