Certificate of Citizenship: Application Process

A Certificate of Citizenship is a document issued by the United States government that serves as proof of US citizenship. An individual's Certificate of Citizenship acknowledges that he or she became a US citizen on a particular date. Persons applying for a US passport may need to provide a Certificate of US Citizenship if they meet certain provisions. Those who do may obtain the document by filing Form N-600, Application for Certificate of Citizenship.

Who Can Apply for a Certificate of Citizenship?

You may apply for a Certificate of Citizenship if you are claiming US citizenship based on your birth abroad to US citizen parents or a law in effect at the time of your birth. You may file Form N-600 if:

  • You are over 18 years old and claiming US citizenship based on your US citizen parent(s);
  • You are a US citizen parents/legal guardian of an adopted or biological child under 18 years old.
  • You were under 18 years old on February 27, 2001 and have met all of the following conditions before your 18th birthday:
    • You are the biological child of a US citizen parent;
    • You have been lawfully admitted to the US for permanent residence; and
    • You are living in the US in the legal and physical custody of your US citizen parent.

Apply for Certificate of Citizenship

The below steps outline the process of applying for US Certificate of Citizenship.

  • Gather all required documents.
  • File Form N-600, Application for Certificate of Citizenship.
  • Pay filing fee. The Form N-600 filing fee is $1,170 USD for all applicants including US citizen parents filing for an adopted child. The fee is waived if you are a member or veteran of the U.S. armed forces. Be prepared to furnish your application with proof of service.
  • Mail Form N-600 to:
    • (for USPS)
      USCIS
      P.O. Box 20100
      Phoenix, AZ 85036
    • (for USPS Express Mail/Courier)
      USCIS
      Attn: Form N-600
      820 Skyharbor Circle S
      Suite 100
      Phoenix, AZ 85034

Documents Needed for Certificate of Citizenship

You will need the following evidence and required documents to apply for Certificate of Citizenship:

  • Two identical passport-style photographs
  • Your birth certificate or birth record
  • Birth certificate or birth record of your US citizen parent
  • Marriage certificate(s) of your US citizen parent
  • Documents showing marriage termination (if applicable), such as certified divorce decree, death certificate, or annulment document
  • Proof of US citizenship such as birth certificate, Form N-550, Form N-560, Form FS-240, or valid US passport
  • Proof of required residence or physical presence in the US

Certain applicants may be required to provide the following:

  • Proof of status as US national (for applicants claiming US citizenship through a US national)
  • Proof of legitimation (for applicants born out of wedlock)
  • Proof of legal custody (for applicants whose US citizen parents divorced/separated and for adopted/legitimated applicants)
  • Copy of permanent resident card or other evidence of permanent resident status (for applicants claiming US citizenship after birth through a US citizen parent)
  • Copy of full, final adoption decree (for applicants who are adopted)
  • Re-adoption in the US
  • Evidence of all legal name changes

Once you have required a US Certificate of Citizenship, you may use this as proof of US citizenship.

For information on how to replace a lost, stolen, or destroyed Certificate of Citizenship, file Form N-565, Application for Replacement Naturalization Citizenship Document.