Your US Naturalization Certificate helps prove that you are a naturalized citizen of the US. There are many reasons why you may need your US Naturalization Certificate. For example, if you are sponsoring a family member for a green card or if you are running for office or applying for a passport, you may need your Naturalization Certificate to prove your status as a US citizen. If you have lost your Naturalization Certificate or if it has become damaged, you will not lose your status; you will still be a US citizen. However, proving your status will be more challenging until you get your Naturalization Certificate replaced. If your Naturalization Certificate has been stolen, you will want to not only inform authorities of the crime to prevent identity theft, but you will also want to replace your document so that you have proof of your citizenship status. You can do this by filing US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) form N-565. Luckily, the form only requires a bit of work and is only two pages long. To fill out Form N-565, you will need to
1) Get a copy of the form and instructions. You can do this by visiting the USCIS website. Review the form carefully and read the instructions through before you start filling out the form.
2) Fill out the personal biographical information required on the form, including information about where you received your Naturalization Certificate originally. If you have a copy of your Naturalization Certificate, include this with your form. If you do not have a copy handy, you can still file Form N-565 without the copy.
3) Get two photos taken and include them with your application. You will need two passport-style photos. Visit a local photo store or an establishment that regularly takes passport photos. Before including the photos with your application, write your name and your Alien Number on the back of each picture. However, be careful not to press so hard that you damage the front of the photo.
4) Write a check for the filing fee. Currently, the fee is $345 and you must make your check to the “Department of Homeland Security”. Confirm with the USCIS website what the current fees are before writing your check.
5) Check the instructions for the correct processing center for your application. Make sure that you send your application to the correct center. Before mailing your form, make sure that it contains your photos, application, check, and a copy of your pervious certificate (if you have a copy). Before mailing your form, also make sure that you re-read your completed form for any errors or omissions. An incorrectly filled out form can delay your certificate.
6) Wait. The processing times for Naturalization Certificate replacements can vary, but you will generally receive your new certificate within 4 weeks to 6 months. Once you get Naturalization Certificate, check to make sure that all the information on it is correct and then make a copy for your records. If you do lose your Naturalization Certificate again, you will have a copy to mail to the USCIS when applying for a replacement.