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Certificate of Citizenship Related Questions

The certificate of citizenship is an important document to prove U.S. citizenship as well as to apply for a passport. The immigration rules and regulations are vast and confusing. You may be a citizen by birth or through naturalization. Either way, your certificate of citizenship will be used for travel, work, and other immigration purposes. Below are common questions answered by Experts about certificate of citizenship.

Once I receive my citizenship, does my child, who is eleven years old, receive automatic citizenship? How long will it take? Do I need to go through the interview process again?

You need to file Form N-600 for your child to receive the certificate of citizenship. Form N-600 usually takes about six months to process. If the child is old enough, he/she will need to sign the certificate and the parent is also required for this process.

I was born aboard to naturalized U.S. citizen parents. They left the U.S. at 14 years old and returned after my birth and remained for ten years. I came to the U.S. legally at age 20 and got my Green Card at the age of 21. Am I a citizen?

The rule for children of U.S. citizens born abroad is as follows: For a child to become an automatic U.S. citizen, the citizen parent should have been physically present in the U.S. for a minimum ten years before the birth of the child and five of those ten years should have been after the age of 14 years. This translates as follows: In order to obtain automatic citizenship or naturalization, your parents should have lived in the U.S. from the age of 9 to the age of 19 at least. In a case such as this, your parents left the U.S. at the age of 14, thereby disqualifying eligibility for automatic citizenship.

I am an U.S. citizen with an adopted son aged 11 years from Guatemala and have changed his name. He has a permanent resident card which has expired. I have applied for his certificate of citizenship and passport. Do I need file Form I-90 and pay $365 to renew the card?

The certificate of citizenship needs to be applied for before the expiry of the Green Card. If this is done, in most cases there would be no reason to renew or pay the extra fees. However if there is a change of name involved, Form I-90 would need to be filed along with the certified copy of the name change court order. This is an imperative step without which your son will not be able to receive a certificate of citizenship with his new legal name.

I have misplaced my certificate of naturalization which I require in the procedure to get a passport. What can be done?

First you would need to fill Form N-565 Application for Replacement Naturalization/Citizenship certificate. This process usually takes up to six months.

More information available in the following link:

Once you have received the replacement certificate, you can use it to obtain a passport by making a request for an expedited passport. Instructions available at this link:

I was adopted when I was 11 years old by U.S. citizens. My parents had an option to apply for my citizenship when I turned 16 years. I still have only a Green Card. What does this imply?

Most likely you are already a citizen since your parents were citizens at the time of birth. Your parents will simply need to file Form N-600 which will provide the certificate of citizenship. This certificate also allows you to obtain a passport. The form and instructions are available on the following website: under the section “Forms”.

My wife and I are applying for citizenship. How can we apply for our 3year-old child as well? Will our child’s application be a part of our application?

By the operation of immigration law, when you and your wife become naturalized citizens, your child would derive U.S. citizenship; hence there is no requirement to apply for her citizenship. To obtain the certificate you would need to file Form N-600 found on under “Forms”. The related fee needs to be paid for this form. The child’s application cannot be filed along with yours as Form N-600 would require copies of the parent’s naturalization certificates and in your case the form has yet to be issued. If you do file together it could get rejected because of this and the money is non-refundable. Form N-600 usually takes about six to seven months to process.

Holding a certificate of citizenship or applying for one is an important step to being a permanent citizen of the U.S. It helps you in all future legal endeavors and becomes a document of significant importance. Hiring a lawyer to guide you through the process may prove useful in obtaining this efficiently and quickly.
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