Proof of U.S. Citizenship FAQ

Updated on September 20, 2020

Question: I am a U. S. citizen because I was born in the United States. How do I get proof of my U.S. citizenship?

If you were born in the United States, you do not need to apply to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for any evidence of citizenship. You are a citizen by birth and your birth certificate issued by the state in which you were born is proof of your citizenship. If you lost your birth certificate, you may contact the office of vital records to get a certified copy in the state where you were born. You may locate each office through the website of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Question: I am a U.S. citizen. My child will be born abroad or recently was born abroad. How do I register his or her birth and U.S. citizenship?

You may contact the U.S. Department of State or the U.S. Embassy or consulate in the country where your child will be born for more information about eligibility requirements. Generally, a Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA) will be issued to your child if you report the birth to the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate in a timely manner. It is an official record of the child’s claim to U.S. citizenship or nationality.

Question: Why do I need proof of my citizenship?

You need proof for various reasons. If you’re a citizen and want to work legally in the U.S., the law requires your employer to obtain evidence of citizenship or other employment authorization documents. You also need proof in order to get a U.S. passport for international travel purpose. If you plan to apply for a green card for your alien spouse, fiancé(e), child, parent, sibling, you must submit a proof of U.S. citizenship.

At DYgreencard, we may help you handle many types of applications, like I-130 immigrant petition for spouse, parent, child, or sibling, I-129F petition/K-1 visa for fiancé(e), I-485 adjustment of status to apply for green card, and more. All you need to do is just answer a few simple questions online and upload supporting documents to our platform. Then we take care of the rest. The entire application package will be carefully reviewed by a professional immigration attorney to ensure its final approval by USCIS. Learn more about what we can do for you.

Question: What document is ordinarily acceptable evidence of U.S. citizenship?

Question: What is the difference between Certificate of Naturalization and Certificate of Citizenship?

While both Certificate of Citizenship and Certificate of Naturalization prove you’re a United States citizen, they are not the same document. See their samples below.

Certificate of Citizenship Sample
Certificate of Citizenship Sample
Certificate of Naturalization Sample
Certificate of Naturalization Sample

A Certificate of Citizenship is given to someone born outside the United States who derived or acquired U.S. citizenship through a U.S. citizen parent (this is called “citizenship through derivation”).  The purpose of citizenship certificate is to recognize someone’s U.S. citizenship. Some additional requirements need to be met. You may free check eligibility through DYgreencard without providing any personal information to figure out whether you are eligible to acquire U.S. citizenship through a U.S. citizen parent.

In contrast, a Certificate of Naturalization is given to someone at least 18 years of age who becomes a U.S. citizen through the naturalization process.  Learn more about naturalization process through our article Apply for U.S. Citizenship FAQ.  We at DYgreencard may also help people prepare their naturalization applications. Learn more, or get started today.

Question: Someone told me that I may apply for a U.S. passport after my father or mother became a U.S. citizen before I reached 18 years old. Is that true?

Basically, true, but you must meet some requirements. Generally, you automatically become a U.S. citizen if either of your parents becomes a U.S. citizen before you reach 18 years old. Thus, you may apply for a U.S. passport directly without obtaining a Certificate of Citizenship. However, it is recommended to obtain a Certificate of Citizenship. By doing so, assume you lost your U.S. passport, you may apply for a new one with your Certificate of Citizenship rather than bothering your parents again.

Question: How do I obtain a Certificate of Citizenship?

If you meet the application requirements, you can apply to USCIS using Form N-600. USCIS now charges $1170- very expensive! That’s why you’d better have an immigration attorney fully review your entire application package to ensure your application gets approved and don’t waste your money.

Question: What if I lost my Certificate of Citizenship or Certificate of Naturalization?

As always, there is a USCIS form to be completed and a fee of $555 required. This time the form is an N-565. You may submit the form with supporting documents to obtain a new Certificate of Citizenship or Certificate of Naturalization if the previous one is lost, destroyed, mutilated, or you changed biographic information like name, gender, etc. that you want a new certificate with updated information.

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