Updated: Feb 10
Becoming a U.S. citizen is one of the most important milestones for an immigrant residing in the U.S. Many immigrants go through a process known as “Naturalization” to gain their citizenship. This process can be completed by the individual who’s filing for citizenship or by a hired immigration attorney. If you’re not familiar with the naturalization process, it’s always wise to hire an experienced immigration attorney.
Whether you decide to complete the process on your own or with the assistance of an immigration attorney, it’s also wise to have at least a basic understanding of the process. This article discusses the naturalization process and the importance of a Certificate of Naturalization Apostille once you’ve gained citizenship.
U.S. Citizenship Naturalization Process
Becoming a U.S. citizen through naturalization is a 10-step process that includes: Determining eligibility for U.S. citizenship. Completing the required application for naturalization (Form N-400) and creating your free account on the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website in order to submit your form online. Lastly, take the U.S. Naturalization Test and have your personal interview.
What is a Certificate of Naturalization?
In order to enjoy the rights available to you as a U.S. citizen, you would need a legal document to prove your newly acquired citizenship through naturalization. This document is called a “Certificate of Naturalization” and it confirms your status in the U.S. This document is very important and should be obtained immediately after being naturalized.
A Certificate of Naturalization is a legal document used to confirm that the individual named on the certificate has obtained U.S. citizenship through naturalization. Naturalization refers to the process in which a person not born in the U.S. willingly chooses to become a citizen of the U.S. For individuals born in another country, naturalization is the best way of becoming a U.S. citizen.
A Certificate of Naturalization should not be confused with a Certificate of Citizenship which is a completely different document. A Certificate of Naturalization is provided to an individual who becomes a U.S. citizen through the process of naturalization. In contrast, a Certificate of Citizenship is provided to an individual who gains U.S. citizenship from their birth to U.S. parents.
Certificate of Naturalization Apostille
Like many other official documents there are times when a Certificate of Naturalization must be certified or Apostilled. The purpose of an Apostille is to validate the seals and signatures of officials on public documents such as birth certificates, court orders, or any other document issued by a federal agency or certified by an American or foreign consul.
A Certificate of Naturalization Apostille can only be done through the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C. The document cannot be notarized, copy certified, or processed by any State office. All U.S. Federal documents must be processed through the Secretary of D.C. or the U.S. Department of State.
The U.S. Department of State (USDOS) requires that your Certificate of Naturalization have the original signature and name of the officer who signed the original document or Certified True Copy. Your document will not be Apostilled or Authenticated if the name of the signing officer cannot be determined. If this happens you will have to visit a USCIS office to receive a new certified copy with the required information.
Acquiring a Certificate of Naturalization Apostille can be a difficult process and should only be done by someone familiar with the Apostille process. The improper preparation of your Certificate of Naturalization Apostille can be quite costly and result in lengthy delays. Our staff has the knowledge and expertise to assist you with the proper acquisition of your Certificate of Naturalization Apostille.