What If I Lose My Certificate Of Citizenship?

April 27, 2011 § Leave a comment

Certificate of Naturalization

A Certificate of Naturalization is a document issued by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) since October 1, 1991 and the Federal Courts or certain State Courts on or before September 30, 1991 as proof of a person obtaining U.S. citizenship through the naturalization process (a legal process to obtain a new nationality).

Certificate of Citizenship

A Certificate of Citizenship is a document issued by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) as proof of a person having obtained U.S. citizenship through derivation or acquisition at birth (when born outside of the United States).

Who Should Apply for a Replacement Certificate?

Per the USCIS, you should go for a replacement of your lost certificate of citizenship, if it is mutilated, or destroyed. In addition to this, you can also apply for a new certificate if subsequent to issuance of your current certificate, your name has been legally changed either through court order or marriage or divorce.

How Do I Apply to Replace My Certificate?

A lost certificate of citizenship can be replaced by filing Form N-565. You have to mail the application with the necessary supporting documents and fees to the local USCIS office having jurisdiction over your place of residence.

What If I am Outside of the United States?

If you are outside the U.S. you must submit your application to a USCIS office in the United States and be willing to return to the U.S. to pick up the certificate.

Initial Evidence Requirements:

If you are applying for replacement of a mutilated document, you must attach the mutilated document.
If you are applying for a new document as your name has changed, you must submit the original USCIS document and a copy of the marriage certificate or court order that reflects the name change.
If you are applying for a special certificate of naturalization, you must attach a copy of your naturalization certificate.

Photographs and Fees:

Along with the N-565 application, you should submit two identical color photographs of yourself taken within 30 days of the filing of this application. You should also send a $345 submission fee along with the application.

Initial processing:

Once you mail the application and it has been accepted, the USCIS will check it for completeness, including submission of the required initial evidence and the appropriate fee. If your application is incomplete or you file it without required initial evidence, you will not establish a basis for eligibility and the USCIS might deny your application.

Requests for more information:

The USCIS might request more information or evidence or may request you to appear at a local USCIS office for an interview. They may also request you to submit the originals of any copy. They will return these originals when they are not required any longer.


If you properly establish eligibility for the document, your N-565 application will be approved and the new document will be issued. Under certain circumstances, a special certificate of naturalization will be forwarded to the U.S. Department of State to be delivered to a foreign government official. If your N-565 application is denied, you will be informed in writing of the reasons for the denial.


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