Error, theft, loss: how to restore or replace a certificate of naturalization
A U.S. citizenship certificate is proof of your status and can serve as vital evidence of certain benefits that are only available to American citizens. If you lost your certificate or circumstances of life led to a change in your biographical data, the certificate can be restored or replaced, writes Citizenpath.
The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issues a citizenship certificate to a person who is born outside the United States and has obtained US citizenship either through naturalized parents or through parents (parents) who are US citizens. If you have never been issued this document, you will need to request confirmation of your citizenship by filling out form N-600. The replacement process focuses only on individuals who have previously been issued a certificate. If your testimony has been lost, stolen, or otherwise destroyed, you may need to restore it. In addition, if you have had a legal change in your name, date of birth, you may need to start the process of replacing your citizenship certificate.
While replacing your citizenship certificate is a fairly straightforward process, minor mistakes can easily ruin everything.
Citizenship Certificate Application
To request a replacement citizenship certificate, fill out the form N-565 “Application for the replacement of a document on naturalization / citizenship” for US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
Form N-565 is intended solely for re-issuing citizenship documents when it is already provided. Do not submit Form N-565 for the following reasons:
- Permanent residents applying for US citizenship must not file Form N-565. Use instead Form N-400, "Application for Naturalization";
- US citizens who require an original Citizenship Certificate must not file Form N-565. Use instead Form N-600, "Application for a Certificate of Citizenship".
Reasons to replace citizenship certificate
There are several good reasons to require a replacement citizenship certificate:
The document has been lost, stolen or destroyed.
You will need to provide some supporting evidence. When filling out form N-565 on the basis of a lost certificate, you must provide proof of loss. USCIS wants to know what happened and get supporting evidence. Typically, the applicant must submit a police report or make a sworn statement.
The process of replacing a certificate of citizenship usually requires that you provide details such as certificate number, date and place of issue.
Document change not related to USCIS error
If there is a mistake in your citizenship certificate or a change is required, you can ask to do so. If the US government is to blame for this error, it will fix it for free (you will need to prove that the problem is not on your side). But replacing the certificate due to an error or change in the applicant will entail a USCIS registration fee for Form N-565.
Each time you change the information in a document, you need to provide evidence.
A name change request requires you to provide:
- marriage or divorce certificate or
- certified copy of a court order
To change the date of birth:
- certified copy of a court order
- a certified copy of the amended birth certificate or
- similar government document
USCIS typographical error
If the error in the certificate is due to a typo or clerical error on the part of the government, you will need to provide the original certificate and confirmation of the correct information. For example, application N-565 related to an incorrect date of birth should include a photocopy of the birth certificate as evidence of the correct date. When choosing this reason, a board is not required. You can request a free replacement certificate in cases where:
- USCIS issued a certificate that does not match the supporting facts specified in the applicant’s citizenship application or
- USCIS made a technical mistake in preparing the certificate.
Certificate Replacement Dates
The processing time for a replacement application is usually less than a year. In some cases, USCIS may issue a new document faster. But according to USCIS, mold processing time N-565usually long. To speed up the process, it is important to prepare an accurate and complete package of documents and fill out the form correctly.
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