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How to Replace Your Certificate of US Citizenship

3.75 minute read
"Once you become a citizen of the United States, you are issued a Certificate of Citizenship which serves as proof of your status. This certificate can be acquired through several pathways. However, losing your certificate or any change in your biographic information due to certain life circumstances will require you to replace the certificate."
Written by My Visa Source Team
Published on:  Sep 9, 2021
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Once you become a citizen of the United States, you are issued a Certificate of Citizenship which serves as proof of your status. This certificate can be acquired through several pathways. However, losing your certificate or any change in your biographic information due to certain life circumstances will require you to replace the certificate. 

The Certificate of Citizenship by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is for a person who has acquired or derived US citizenship through a US citizen parent. You can request this document by filing Form N-600, Application for Certificate of Citizenship. 

You can only request a replacement if you have been issued this certificate before. You can request a replacement if your certificate has been lost, stolen or otherwise destroyed. Legally changing your name, birth date or gender will also require you to replace the Certificate of Citizenship. 

How to Replace the Certificate of Citizenship?

The process of replacement is quite simple. However, one must stress not making minor mistakes to avoid denial of the application. To start the process, you will be required to submit Form N-565, Application for Replacement of Naturalization/Citizenship Document, to the USCIS. 

You can not file Form N-565 if you are a permanent resident applying for US citizenship since you require Form N-600, Application for Certification of Citizenship.

What Are the Reasons for Replacing the Certificate of Citizenship?

To request a replacement, your Certificate of Citizenship must:

Lost, Stolen or Destroyed: 

If your certificate was lost, stolen, or for some reason destroyed, then you can file Form N-565 for replacement. You will be required to provide evidence for such a situation. For example, if your certificate was lost, then you must submit evidence of loss. 

Generally, you need to inform the USCIS of the circumstances of when it was lost and certain evidence backing your statements like a police report or a sworn statement. The replacement form will require you to provide information such as the certificate number, date and place of issuance.

Change in Document Not Due to a USCIS Error: 

If there is an update or change in your biographical information, then you can contact the USCIS to get it fixed and get your certificate replaced. If a change is required due to a fault of the US government, then your certificate will be replaced at no cost. However, if it is because of your error or change, then you must submit the filing fee along with Form N-565.

To change any information in the document, you must provide evidence. For example, a name change request requires you to submit a marriage or divorce certificate or a certified copy of a court order.

If you are changing your date of birth, then you will be required to submit a certified copy of a court order or an amended birth certificate or a similar state record.

To change your gender in the document, you will be required to provide a certified copy of a court order or an amended birth certificate or medical certification by a licensed physician or other official documentation by a US state or local jurisdiction or a foreign state that recognizes your new gender.

Typographical Error by the USCIS: 

If you require a replacement of your certificate due to a typographical or clerical error on the USCIS’s part, then you must submit your original document and provide proof for the information that requires change. For example, if the date of birth on your certificate was incorrect, then you should submit a copy of your birth certificate indicating the correct date of birth. Your replacement Certificate of Citizenship will be issued without any fee in these cases.

You can request a replacement in case of the following errors committed by the USCIS:

  • Your certificate doesn't match the supportable facts mentioned on your Citizenship application
  • A clerical error made by the USCIS in preparation of your document

What Is the Average Processing Time for Replacing a Certificate of Citizenship?

Your application to replace your Certificate of Citizenship is usually processed within a year. In certain cases, expedited processing may be provided, however, it is generally lengthy.

To avoid longer processing times, the best thing to do is to prepare your application with minimal errors and provide all the supporting documents and evidence. You can receive the help of an immigration lawyer to help you prepare the form correctly and gather the required documents according to your case. 

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