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A Certificate of Naturalization is an official document proving that its holder has become a U.S. citizen through the process of naturalization. Therefore, the Certificate of Naturalization is issued to former foreign nationals.
People who are born abroad and subsequently travel to the United States and become U.S. citizens usually go through a process called naturalization. The process of naturalization is voluntary and is the most common way for foreign-born individuals to gain citizenship.
In order to obtain a Certificate of Naturalization, individuals must submit an application with USCIS (the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.) Permanent residents who meet the requirements for naturalization can fill out form N-400.
After the form is completed in all of its parts and the petitioner has taken the Oath of Allegiance, an USCIS officer approves the application. The applicant therefore becomes officially a U.S. citizen.
Please note that minor mistakes in the form N-400 can lead to the application being rejected or delayed.
The certificate confirms its holder’s U.S. citizenship and includes information regarding their identity. More specifically, the Certificate of Naturalization features:
Should a U.S. naturalized citizen change their name and have this recognized according to the U.S. naming laws after having received their Certificate of Naturalization, this information must be updated on the certificate.
The way to do so is by applying for a Replacement Naturalization/Citizenship Document, which can be done by submitting Form N-565 together with the relevant application fee and proof of legal change of name.
The Certificate of Naturalization is essentially proof of citizenship in the U.S. and can be used in several occasions where one is needed, for example, to obtain a U.S birth certificate.
One of the most important uses of the Certificate of Naturalization is to obtain a U.S. passport. In order to get a passport, you will need to submit the original copy and a photocopy of your certificate together with the application form (DS-11) and other relevant supporting documents.