If you are a US citizen by birth or naturalization, you still may need proof of your citizenship in order to ensure that you qualify for all the benefits of US citizenship. The certificate of US citizenship is a document that proves your status. It can be used to apply for a passport, job, or for many other necessary tasks. If you don’t have a certificate of citizenship, you will need to apply for one.
The first step is to contact the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). You can do this online through the official USCIS website. The USCIS has a useful guide, entitled the “Certificate of United States Citizenship Guide,” which details the exact steps you need to take in order to get your certificate of United States citizenship. If you have never had a certificate of US citizenship before, you will use USCIS form N-560 or N-561 to order your certificate of citizenship. Once you have correctly filled out the form, you will submit it the USCIS, along with proof of your status. Once the USCIS has reviewed and accepted your application, they will mail you a copy of your certificate of United States citizenship. If there is a problem with your application, there may be a delay and you may be asked to submit additional information. As well, your application may be rejected. If this happens but you are a US citizen, you will need to contact the USCIS or even reapply.
If you have had a certificate of US citizenship but it has been lost, stolen, or damages, you will need apply for a new one. You will also need to apply for a new certificate of citizenship if your old one is no longer accurate – because you have changed your name, for example. For a replacement certificate, you will need to use Form N-565 to which you can file by mail or in person through a USCIS office.
One thing you will want to keep in mind is that the certificate of United States citizenship is for persons who are citizens through birth. This certificate is right for you if you were born to US citizens abroad, if your parents became naturalized while you were a minor (less than 18 years old), or if you became a US citizen by action of law. If you have become a US citizen through naturalization and want proof of your status, you will need to apply to the USCIS for a Certificate of U.S. Naturalization.