What is a Certificate of Citizenship? - Landmark

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What is a Certificate of Citizenship?

What is a Certificate of Citizenship?

30 May 2022
What is a Certificate of Citizenship?
30 May 2022

The Certificate of Citizenship is essentially a document that proves that a person who was born to U.S. citizen parents in a country other than the United States is a citizen. The Certificate of Citizenship does not actually grant citizenship. It just confirms and recognizes the status of the citizenship after it is already obtained. Here is an overview of the Certificate of Citizenship.

Obtaining a Certificate of Citizenship

You could apply for this certificate if you have been granted citizenship after you were born but before you turned 18 or if you were born in countries other than the U.S. to parents who are citizens.

If you turn into a citizen after you were, but before you turn to legal age, you need to satisfy the below requirements:

  • Your parents are U.S. citizens.
  • You are a permanent resident recognized by the law.
  • You are the biological child of your parents. If you are adopted, you can get your citizenship via your U.S. citizen parent that adopted you. Although, as per the USCIS, or the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, this law is applicable from your date of birth to check if the law is applicable.
  • You must be currently residing in the U.S. and have the legal custody of the parent, who is a citizen.

The documents required to apply for a Certificate of Citizenship

To obtain a Certificate of Citizenship, there are a few documents that you need to submit along with your application. The application for a Certificate of Citizenship is also known as the Form N-600. You also need to supplement your application with the following documents:

  • The birth certificate issued by the petitioner
  • The certificate of birth of your U.S. parent or parents
  • Two photos that are passport styled
  • Proof of citizenship for your parents

You will most probably need to get some other documents in addition to your application. For example, your parents may need to offer proof of your legal custody, a marriage certificate, and in the case of an adoption, the final decree of the adoption.

Using the Certificate of Citizenship

Once you have obtained a Certificate of Citizenship, you can easily apply for a U.S. passport and even sponsor a non-U.S. citizen family member to help with their green card application. The Certificate of Citizenship helps you in proving that you are actually a citizen. Your certificate will normally be accepted when you have to prove your citizenship formally.

Replacing your Certificate of Citizenship

If your Certificate of Citizenship gets irreparably damaged, destroyed, lost, or stolen, you could file the Application for Replacement Naturalization/Citizenship Document or Form N-565. You could even apply to acquire a replacement Certificate in case you have some typographical errors or misprinted information in your Certificate of Citizenship. Similarly, in case you changed your name, for instance, once you got married or changed your gender, you can also use the N-565 to update your Certificate of Citizenship and reflect the newly updated information.

To get a replaced Certificate of Citizenship, you also need to furnish the following documents:

  • In case of a replacement due to damage, damaged or original document
  • Two photographs that are in passport-style
  • In case of an error, a typographically flawed or original document
  • In case of a name change, the actual document that contains your old name and a document that states that you’ve changed your name legally.


The Certificate of Citizenship is an extremely useful document that can come in handy in a lot of different situations. Some examples can be if the applicant wants to attain a U.S. passport or obtain sponsorship of a relative who is not a U.S. citizen.

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