From United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) applicants are eligible to receive a certificate documenting their US citizenship who either meet the eligibility requirements to derive or obtain citizenship or who become naturalized United States citizens. For issuance of a certificate the burden of proof to establish that he or she meets all of the relevant eligibility requirements is on the applicant. An official record issued to an applicant who has obtained citizenship at the time of birth or derived it after birth is the Certificate of Citizenship. To the applicant who is a naturalized US citizen the official record issued is the Certificate of Naturalization.
To minimize the unlawful distribution and falsified use of certificates USCIS guards the physical security of the certificates strictly. If you wonder what to do if you lost your naturalization certificate you could get it replaced filing Form N-565. Same is the case if you want to know how to get a duplicate US citizenship certificate from USCIS.
Who gets certificate?
To obtain from USCIS a Certificate of Citizenship or a Certificate of Naturalization generally a applicant should follow steps mentioned below:
- Along with the supporting evidences appropriate form like Form N-400 should be filed.
- If required applicant might have to appear for an interview before an officer.
- As evidences by approval of the form by USCIS applicant should meet the relevant eligibility requirements and
- Lastly if required take the Oath of Allegiance.
To administer during the oath ceremonies under administration of USCIS the Oath of Allegiance and to issue certificates authority has been delegated among the USCIS District Directors, Field Office Directors, and other acting USCIS officers on their behalf.
Information on legal authorities
Authority for naturalization and issuance of certificates is according to Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) Section 310(b) (4) title 8 of Code of Federal Regulations. INA Section 332 (e) title 8 of CFR regulates the Certificates of Citizenship and Naturalization issuance. INA Section 338 title 8 of CFR regulates the content and certificate of naturalization issuance. INA Section 340 (f) title 8 of CFR regulates after revocation of naturalization the cancellation of certificates. INA Section 341 title 8 of CFR is responsible for Citizenship certificates. Lastly the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) Section 342 title 8 of CFR is responsible for cancellation of certificates, related documents and records administration.
When and how will certificate be issued?
After a person’s application is approved and has taken the Oath of Allegiance in presence of a designated USCIS officer if required generally the Certificate of citizenship is issued by USCIS. Before issuing it should be ensured that the Alien Registration Card (ARC) or Permanent Resident Card (PRC) has been surrendered which is an evidence for applicant’s lawful permanent residence. Requirement of surrendering the card may be waived off by USCIS if person proves that the card got destroyed or lost. After the approval of naturalization application the USCIS issues the certificate if USCIS waives for a person the oath requirement. If applicant is below 18 years of age USCIS issues the certificate in person or may also send by certified mail to the parent or guardian in such cases. For persons 18 years and above of age the certificate is given in person or to a guardian if applicable.