What is a Certificate of Naturalization?

Authored by , LegalMatch Law Library Managing Editor and Attorney at Law

Find a Lawyer

What is Naturalization?

Naturalization is the process through which a foreign national officially obtains U.S. citizenship.  After completing the naturalization process, the person takes an oath of allegiance to the United States. 

A person who has obtained citizenship through naturalization is granted all the rights and privileges of U.S. born citizens, such as the right to vote, and the right to carry a U.S. passport. 

There are various requirements, interviews, and tests that a person must complete in order to obtain naturalization.  These may vary according to the applicant’s age and background.   

What is a “Certificate of Naturalization”?

A Certificate of Naturalization is a document which provides proof that a person has successfully obtained U.S. citizenship through the process of naturalization.  It is issued when the person is officially granted citizenship. 

The Certificate of Naturalization is only granted to naturalized citizens of the U.S.  A person must first apply for U.S. citizenship before they can be issued the certificate. 

How do I Apply for a Certificate of Naturalization?

To begin the process of naturalization, you need to complete and submit Form N-400, “Application for Naturalization”.  This form is available in downloadable form through the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website.

There is a $595 filing fee for the Form N-400.  In addition, if applicable, there is an $85 biometrics fee, making the total $680 in some cases.  The filing fee may be waived for some applicants, such as certain military applicants.  Applicants who are over 75 years old do not need to pay the $85 biometric fee.

Once the Form N-400 is submitted, the applicant will be contacted for further instruction.  They may be then asked to supply additional documentation, and may need to complete multiple interviews to determine their eligibility.  Finally, a naturalization test will be administered before the final oath is taken. 

What if I Need to Replace my Certificate of Naturalization?

If needed, you can apply for a replacement Certificate of Naturalization.  However, you should only apply for a replacement certificate if your previous certificate was lost, incorrect, destroyed, or mutilated.

You can replace your Certificate of Naturalization by completing and submitting Form N-565, “Application for Replacement Naturalization/Citizenship Document”.  There is a $345 filing fee for Form N-565.

Is a Certificate of Naturalization Different from a Certificate of Citizenship?

Yes- the Certificate of U.S. Citizenship is a different document and has different application requirements.  While the application process for a Certificate of Naturalization is very similar to that for the Certificate of Citizenship, they are not the same. 

Both types of documents grant the holder the same benefits; however, you may wish to consult with an immigration lawyer if you are unsure of which type of certificate to apply for. 

Do I Need a Lawyer for Issues Regarding a Certificate of Naturalization?

If you need more information on how to obtain a Certificate of Naturalization, an immigration lawyer can be of great help to you.  An experienced immigration attorney can advise you on how to proceed with naturalization requirements.  Also, a lawyer can help you if you need a replacement copy of your Certificate of Naturalization, since the replacement process can sometimes be complex.  

Consult a Lawyer - Present Your Case Now!
Last Modified: 08-17-2011 03:15 PM PDT

Find the Right Lawyer Now

Did you find this article informative?

Link to this page

Law Library Disclaimer

What is a Certificate of Naturalization?, citizen,citizenship,immigration,immigrant,naturalized,naturalization,certificate,n-400,lawyer,attorney