If you had recently become a naturalized U.S. citizen, you would have received the latest version of the naturalization certificate with enhanced security features. On 4th June, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) began issuing redesigned Naturalization Certificates and Certificates of Citizenship. USCIS wants to make these documents more difficult to counterfeit and this is the primary goal of redesigning these documents.
The old naturalization and citizenship certificates have hard-copy photos of the individuals whereas the new certificates have the digitized photos of the individuals and their signatures. The background of these certificates have an enhanced ink pattern that make these certificates almost impossible to reproduce.
Naturalization certificates are issued to individuals who successfully go through the naturalization process and take the Oath of Allegiance. Certificates of citizenship are are issued to individuals who were neither born in the U.S. nor were granted citizenship through naturalization but acquired or derived citizenship from their parents.
Following are the certificates of naturalization and citizenship that have been redesigned.
- N-550, issued to individuals who obtain U.S. citizenship through naturalization
- N-578, issued to naturalized U.S. citizens to be recognized by a foreign states as a U.S. citizen
- N-570, issued as replacement when an individual’s original Certificate of Naturalization is lost, mutilated, or contains errors
- N-560A, issued to applicants who derived citizenship after birth
- N-560AB, issued to applicants who acquired citizenship at birth
- N-645 and N-645A, issued to family members of individuals who served in the U.S. armed forces and died as a result of injury incurred in that service. Form N-645 is issued if the decedent was a male and N-645A if the decedent was a female
- Form N-561, issued to replace a citizenship certificate when the original document is lost, mutilated or contains errors
The redesigned certificates feature a complex background and a large image in the center. This will make it impossible for fraudsters to alter personal data and prevent identity theft. Images these certificates possess will be visible only under ultraviolet light. All these new features will help USCIS to prevent fraud and protect the immigration system.
USCIS has only made changes to the look and feel of these certificates. There is no change in the process of applying for naturalization or for a citizenship certificate. Old certificates will still be accepted as proof of U.S. citizenship and individuals need not renew their certificates.