Posthumous Citizenship

February 2, 2012 § 2 Comments

Per Public Law 101-249, foreign national or non citizen national whose death was due to an injury or disease that happened on active duty with the US armed services during specified periods of military hostilities are granted American citizenship. Posthumous citizenship is a status given to honor the bravery and sacrifices of such persons. Remember that it does not convey any benefits under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) to any relative of the deceased person.

Once the USCIS approves your application, you will be issued a Certificate of Citizenship (N-645) in the name of the deceased person. Note that the certificate only establishes that the person is considered to be a US citizen as of the date of his/her death. It is not valid for other purposes. There were a few changes effected in the Form N-644 instructions. The current Form N-644 edition has updated instructions regarding the eligibility requirements while applying for a Certificate of Posthumous Citizenship. One significant change is that persons who die as a result of active-duty service in the US armed services on or after September 11, 2001, now qualify for US citizenship. Mail your completed N-644 application along with the supporting documents (if any) to the California Service Center. Note that there is no filing fee for this application.

Remember that if you intentionally give false information or hide a material fact or submit a false document while you submitting your application package, USCIS will reject your application and also deny other immigration benefits. Apart from these, you will be subject to harsh penalties provided by law and might also lead to criminal prosecution. So always make sure you are true and transparent in all the disclosures.

Once the form is accepted, the USCIS will review it to check for completeness, and verify if the required documents are submitted. If the form is incomplete, or lacks the required evidence, the USCIS may deny your application. If you are not required to submit original documents along with the application, you can submit legible photocopies. Documents that are in a foreign language should be accompanied by a English translation. The translator has to certify the translation as complete and accurate. In addition, the translator should certify that he is competent to translate from a foreign language to English. There is no need to attend an interview. However, note that if the form is approved and you are outside the US at present, you have to appear at the nearest US Embassy or Consulate to sign for the certificate.

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