A Complete Guide to the US Citizenship Certificate Replacement Process

After obtaining citizenship, the USCIS will give you a certificate of citizenship as proof that you fulfill the requirement Congress established in the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952. If you’ve lost your certificate, you will need to file Form N-565.

What do you do if you’ve lost your Certificate of Citizenship?

If you lose your certificate of citizenship, you will not have physical proof of your citizenship unless you have a U.S. passport. The good news is that if you’ve lost your certificate of citizenship, you can get a replacement.

There are two types of these documents: the certificate of naturalization and the certificate of citizenship. The main difference between them is that one is for people who became citizens through the naturalization process and the other is for people born outside of the U.S. who are citizens by birth because their parents are U.S. citizens.

Who Can File Form N-565

Form N-565 must be filed if you need to replace one of the following because it’s been lost or ruined:

  1. Certificate of Naturalization
  2. Certificate of Citizenship
  3. Declaration of Intention
  4. Repatriation Certificate

This form can also be used if you have changed your name through marriage or a court-ordered name change or if you need to apply for a special certificate of naturalization as a U.S. citizen for recognition in a foreign country.

How to Fill out Form N-565

  • Answer all question honestly
  • Type or print in black ink
  • Attach a continuation sheet if more space is necessary

Documents required for Form N-565

No matter what reason you’re applying for, two identical color photographs will have to be submitted. The photographs must have been taken within 30 days if the filing of this application.  The photograph will have to have a white or off-white background.

These are the specific requirements depending on what your situation is:

  1. If your certificate has been ruined, you have to attach the mutilated document;
  2. If your name has changed, you have to attach the marriage certificate or court order with the name change;
  3. If you are seeking a special certificate of naturalization, you have to attach a copy of your naturalization certificate.

Process of Citizenship Certificate Replacement

You must be aware that a filing fee is required. If your application is missing a signature and you haven’t attached the correct fee, it will be rejected. Once the application is accepted, the USCIS will check the required documents. The USCIS will also check how complete your application is. Your application might be denied if you do not submit the documents and/or you submit an incomplete application. If you are denied, you will get a notification that states the reason for the denial.

When you file Form N-565, you will get a receipt number. You will use this number to check your status.

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