Guide to Certificate of Naturalization for US Passport
There are many benefits to becoming a U.S. citizen. For one, you can
get a U.S. passport and open the door to unlimited travel days in over
170 countries around the world. You are protected from deportation and
can bring family members to the U.S. more easily; you can vote, run for
office, enjoy the advantages of college financial aid, and so much
more. If you've been living in the United States as a permanent
resident for five years or more, or you've been living in the U.S. as a
spouse to a U.S. citizen for three years or more, you are eligible to
apply for United States citizenship via the naturalization process.
In order to become a U.S. naturalized citizen
you must be at least 18 years old; you have to have entered the country
legally and lived here continuously for three to five years; you have
to be literate in English; you need to have good character; and you
must file a petition for naturalization and complete a multi-step
naturalization process. Once you have successfully become a naturalized
U.S. citizen, you are eligible for a Certificate of Naturalization.
What is a Certificate of Naturalization?
A Certificate of Naturalization is a document issued by the U.S.
Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). It provides proof that
you have gained United States citizenship through the naturalization
process, which is the legal process for obtaining a new nationality. It
is differentiated from a Certificate of U.S. Citizenship in that a
Certificate of Naturalization verifies the person is a U.S. citizen by
virtue of going through the naturalization process and taking the Oath
of Allegiance. A Certificate of U.S. Citizenship is given to children
whose parent(s) have completed the naturalization process.
How Do You Obtain Your Certificate?
To obtain your Certificate of Naturalization, you will first
need to successfully complete the naturalization process. Upon
completion, you may apply at one of three locations in the United
States. Download and fill out Form N-400; be sure to follow the
directions in A Guide to Naturalization
when filling out the form and also consult USCIS Lockbox Filing Tips
Take particular care with your current legal name, information about
your eligibility, date of birth, country of birth, and mailing address.
Be sure to attach all required documents, including a photocopy of both
sides of your Permanent Resident Card, a color photograph, and a check
or money order for the fees. Sign Form N-400 and remit the appropriate
fees with your application; mail it to the appropriate Lockbox
facility. The filing fee is $595, plus an additional $85 biometric fee,
making it a total of $680. The biometrics fee is waived for applicants
over 75, and for military applicants.
You will be issued your Certificate of Naturalization after an
officer approves your N-400 Application for Naturalization, you've
surrendered your Permanent Resident Card, and you've taken the Oath of
Allegiance. If you have a medical condition that prevents you from
attending the oath ceremony, your Oath of Allegiance will be waived and
your certificate will be delivered to you either in person or by
What Is Included on Your Certificate of Naturalization?
When you receive your Certificate of Naturalization, it will
include your USCIS registration number (A-number), your name, sex, date
of birth, height, marital status, place of residence, former country of
nationality, a photo of you, and, your signature. This is a summary of
your identifying information. It will also include your certificate
number, a statement from USCIS Director that you met all the
requirements for naturalization, the date you became a citizen, the
Director's signature, and a Department of Homeland Security seal.
How to Use Your Certificate of Naturalization to Get a U.S. Passport
Now that you are a U.S. Citizen and have your Certificate of Naturalization, you can apply for a new U.S. passport
Your Certificate of Naturalization is proof of citizenship, which is a
requirement for a U.S. passport. As a first-time applicant, you'll have
to apply in person. Fill out Form DS-11, but don't sign it. Submit your
Certificate of Naturalization, a photocopy of your Certificate of
Naturalization on 8 x 11 white paper, and one passport photo.
You will need the passport fee of $110 and an execution fee of $25. You
will be administered an oath that everything is true in your
application and you will sign it in front of the passport acceptance
facility agent. A U.S. Passport is also proof of citizenship of the
United States and can be used anywhere as identification.
As a naturalized citizen of the United States, you're now free to exercise your expanded travel freedoms, so start making those international travel
plans. Vote, and help make your new country even better. Start that
business you've been thinking about, or finish that degree. As a U.S.
citizen, you can enjoy all the rights and responsibilities afforded any
other citizen, so use them!
Have you gone through the naturalization process? Tell us what we missed. What tips do you have for others?
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