To begin, it's important to distinguish the Certificate of Naturalization from the Certificate of Citizenship, which is granted to persons who are qualified to become US citizens but were born outside of the country. Instead, if you finish the process of becoming a naturalized US citizen, you will obtain a Naturalization Certificate.
This article will teach you all you need to know about the Certificate of Naturalization, including how to apply for one and how to receive a replacement, as well as how to get an apostille on one for use in another country.
What is the Certificate of Naturalization?
The Certificate of Naturalization verifies your US citizenship and can be used to prove your nationality when applying for a passport, for example.
Your Naturalization Certificate is a vital document you'll get once you've completed the process of becoming a US citizen through naturalization.
Do you need to apply for a Naturalization Certificate?
Anyone who has become a US citizen through naturalization receives a Certificate of Naturalization. In most cases, you will not need to apply for this certificate separately. Instead, when your application has been granted and you've taken the Oath of Allegiance, you'll get your certificate.
Replacement of the Naturalization Certificate
You can apply for a replacement of your Certificate of Naturalization under specific circumstances set out by USCIS. These include:
If your original certificate has been damaged, destroyed, lost or stolen
If your original certificate contains errors made by USCIS when issuing it
If your legal name, date of birth or gender has changed
The procedure for replacing a Naturalization Certificate will be the same regardless of the cause for your application. You'll need to fill out Form N-565 and send it to USCIS, along with other information and documents to demonstrate why you need a new certificate.
The exact paperwork you have to submit will depend on the situation — you may be asked to provide documents like:
A copy of the original document if it was damaged, lost or stolen
A police report if the certificate was reported missing
Your original certificate and proof of legal change of personal details if you need a replacement to reflect a name, birthdate or gender change
Evidence that there is an error on the original certificate as a result of USCIS processing
You’ll also usually need to send in passport style photographs: the full details of the documents required according to your application reason is available online when you file your Form N-565.
Replacement of Certificate of Naturalization (Application Process)
Need a new Naturalization Certificate? The easiest way to get one is to apply online — here’s how.
Create or log into your USCIS online account
Select the option to file Form N-565 online
Complete the information required to get your new Naturalization Certificate
Mail in any documents or photos required as part of your application
Pay your fees and track your application online through your USCIS account
It’s also possible to send your application in hard copy instead of completing the process online. In this case you can still create an account to track the progress of your application.
Fees to replace the Naturalization Certificate
The cost of replacing a Naturalization Certificate is now $555 USD. At the time of filing your application, you can pay this fee online using your USCIS account. If you're sending your application by mail, you can send a check or money order, or fill out Form G-1450 to approve credit card payment.
If you can show that you need to replace the certificate owing to an error made by USCIS when the original was granted, there is no charge to pay.
Apostille Certificate of Naturalization
You'll need a genuine copy with an original, readable signature and the name of the official who signed the document or certified copy to authenticate or apostille a certificate of naturalization or citizenship. Apostille is not applied to original papers. Even if your document was issued in one of the states, you'll need to get an apostille from the US Department of State because documents issued by the federal government or signed by a federal officer, an American Consular Officer, a military notary, or a Judge Advocate must go through the federal apostille process.
There is no margin for error with the Authentication or Apostille process. If mistakes are made, both your time and money will be wasted and you'll have to start all over again. If you want to look into outsourcing this part of preparing to studying abroad to someone with experience, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 848-467-7740 to request my services or learn more.