Becoming a U.S. citizen is an exciting process. There are many benefits to undergoing the naturalization process when it’s finally finished. Immediately following your Oath of Allegiance ceremony, you will receive your certificate.
If you are looking for more information revolving around your certificate of naturalization, keep reading this informative guide.
What Is a Naturalization Certificate?
For starters, naturalization is the process of becoming a U.S. citizen through proving eligibility, interviewing with the USCIS, proving your case, and passing a naturalization exam. Once the naturalization process is finalized, you will receive a naturalization certification in the mail.
So, what is a certificate of naturalization? A certificate of naturalization is a legal document that can prove you have rightfully earned your citizenship through naturalization. However, this document is different from the certificate of citizenship.
Read Also: The difference between “Certificate of Naturalization & Certificate of Citizenship“.
Each U.S. naturalization certificate should contain a label stating if it’s “Form N-550” or “Form N-570” in the bottom margins. Additionally, there are other ways to tell the difference between these certificates. We will go over more in detail below what a naturalization certificate should look like.
How Does the Naturalization Certificate Look Like?
Each naturalization certificate contains important information identifying the person that it’s referring to. Included on this certificate is:
- A personalized U.S. naturalization certificate number
- Your full name, place of residence, and marital status
- The date the certificate was issued and the holder became a legal citizen
- Your USCIS registration number, which is commonly known as the A-number
- The country you were formerly a resident of
- An identifying photograph
The most important thing that your naturalization certificate will include will be the seal from the Department of Homeland Security and the USCIS officer’s signature. This signature will inform all who view your document that you have complied with the required eligibility requirements and obtained all needed naturalization documents to become a legal U.S. citizen.
It has security features that are aimed at preventing fraud. Earlier, the certificates contained hard-copy photos of the individual. The redesigned certificate has the individual’s digitized photo and signature enclosed into the certificate. The background also has an enhanced ink pattern that makes it very difficult to reproduce it. The USCIS has a more secure printing process that makes the certificate more tamper-proof.
How to Find the Naturalization Certificate Number?
This naturalization number is the eight-digit document number located on the top right corners of your naturalization certificate. The naturalization number on your certificate is known as a C-file number, which stands for a certificate number. This number is printed in all red.
What Are the Uses of a Naturalization Certificate?
Becoming a U.S. citizen is highly beneficial for many reasons. After being approved for citizenship upon following the naturalization process and submitting the n-400 application for naturalization, you will receive your naturalization certificate.
Below, we will list the three most important uses for your naturalization certificate.
Proving Your Citizenship
Arguably, the most important use for your certificate is to prove your legal citizenship.
Obtaining a U.S. Passport
When applying for your U.S. passport, you will need to use this document to certify your evidence of obtaining citizenship by naturalization. Here you will need to provide a copy of your naturalization certificate. Other documents that are required when applying for your U.S. passport include:
- All original evidence you have of your citizenship includes birth certificates, naturalization documents, etc.
- Any approved secondary evidence of your citizenship, such as letters of no criminal records, a delayed birth certificate, etc.
To Sponsor a Green Card for Relatives and Others Who Are Out of the U.S.
Because you are legally a U.S. citizen, you are able to help a relative who is still living abroad come to the U.S. Now, you can petition for family and friends immigrant visas, permanent residency, green cards, or even naturalization.
You need to fill out Form I-130 and prove a strong relationship with who you are sponsoring. Similar to what was done for you during the naturalization process.
How to Store a Naturalization Certificate?
Unless you are using your naturalization certificate to legally prove your citizenship either at the border or while applying for legal work, you should safely store your certificate. In many cases, individuals store their certificates in safety deposit boxes or any secure location.
Can You Replace a Naturalization Certificate?
Yes, you can get a certificate of naturalization replacement. In order to apply for a naturalization certificate replacement, you must fill out Form N-565. This form is typically filed with the USCIS and used for those who need to replace their naturalization certificate.
Here are some instances where you can file for a replacement naturalization certificate.
- If your original certificate was somehow damaged
- If you have lost your naturalization certificate
- If any of your legal information changes, such as your date of birth or even gender
When filing your application for a replacement naturalization certificate, you will need to provide documents such as:
- Copies of the police report if your certificate was stolen or lost
- Evidence of errors on your original document
- A copy of the original document if it was damaged
What Is a Certified True Copy of Naturalization Certificate?
The U.S. State Department simply authenticates a true certified copy of your naturalization certificate. This copy is used by foreign governments or embassies and can only be copied by the USCIS.
For example, when you need true copies of your naturalization certificate, you must contact USCIS to do so. From here, they will make a copy and authenticate it, making each copy a certified true copy.
Certificate of Naturalization FAQs
Can I Get a U.S. Passport Without My Naturalization Certificate?
Unfortunately, the answer to this question is no. You will need your naturalization certificate to obtain a U.S. passport.
Is a Certificate of Naturalization the Same as a Birth Certificate?
Essentially, yes. Your certificate of naturalization is the same as a birth certificate.
Is a Certificate of Naturalization Important?
As stated previously, yes, your naturalization certificate is essential. Your certificate of naturalization is of utmost importance. This certificate is arguably one of the top three most important documents for a naturalized U.S. citizen.
Can I Enter the U.S. With a Certificate of Naturalization?
Because you have obtained citizenship through naturalization, you can use this to re-enter the U.S. Typically, some countries will require that U.S. citizens have visas to enter their country. You can use this document to verify citizenship.
Does Certificate of Naturalization Expire?
No, a certificate of naturalization does not expire. Unlike permanent resident cards or certificates of citizenship, your naturalization certificate will not expire.
Does the Certificate of Naturalization Need to Be Signed?
Yes, your certificate of naturalization will need to be signed. But, how to sign certificate of naturalization? When you receive your certificate after your naturalization oath ceremony, you will be asked to sign your document with the same name listed on your certificate.
Remember not to use an abbreviated signature or misspell your name. You must write the signature the same as your printed name.
If you are filing for your naturalization certificate, have questions about the required documents, eligibility, or support in preparing the application, look no further than ImmigrationDirect. We can answer all questions you have and walk you through this process.
The quicker you submit your application with our help, the faster you will obtain your citizenship certificate. Contact us today!