Once you and your attorney determine that you are eligible to apply for a Certificate of Citizenship using Form N 600, you can begin the application process. First, you may want to have an idea of how the process will go. Below are the basic stages, from preparing the application to receiving a decision from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
Preparing The N 600 Application For Certificate Of Citizenship
Readying your application for filing will involve completing the N 600 Form according to the instructions and gathering all required documents. You can submit photocopies of all of the documents unless USCIS says otherwise. Some of the documents you must provide are:
- Two U.S. passport-style photographs of yourself;
- Your birth certificate;
- Your U.S. citizen parent’s birth certificate and marriage certificate, if applicable;
- Proof of your U.S. citizenship; and
- Proof of your U.S. citizen parent’s presence in the United States.
Depending on your specific situation, there may be other documents that you will have to provide. For example, if your U.S. citizen parent was born abroad and does not have proof of their U.S. citizenship, you may need to obtain documents to show your grandparents’ U.S. citizenship. If you were adopted, you must provide the full, final adoption decree.
If you acquired citizenship through a parent naturalizing, you would need to provide evidence of your status as a permanent resident (green card holder). You or your attorney will need to consult the N 600 instructions for the full list of required documentation to determine exactly which documents you should submit.
You may only file Form N 600 one time, so you mustn’t make any mistakes that could affect the success of your application. You probably will want to enlist the help of an immigration attorney who is familiar with the process to ensure that the form gets filled incorrectly and that you have all of the documents that you need to submit.
Filing The Application
You can submit your application, documentation, and filing fee in paper form via mail, or you can create a USCIS online account and file your application online. The USCIS website provides all of the information that you need to know to file in either way.
Passing The Initial Processing Stage
At this stage, USCIS may reject your application if it is incomplete. USCIS does not consider the N 600 to be “filed” until they accept the application at this stage, so you might be allowed to correct whatever initial evidence they say that your application is lacking and to refile the N 600.
Receiving Additional Requests From USCIS
You may receive a request for additional evidence or information to support your Form N 600, or you might be required to provide an original of one of the document copies that you submitted. If you receive a request like this, you should send the information to USCIS as soon as possible. USCIS could close your case if you fail to send in what they have requested.
USCIS might also send a notice giving you a date and time to go to a USCIS office for an interview or for another reason, such as being fingerprinted to prove your identity. They will also inform you of any additional fees for the appointment. Not everyone is required to go for an appointment, so you should not be concerned if you do not receive this request from USCIS.
Not receiving this request suggests that you provided USCIS with enough information with your application to decide whether you are eligible for a Certificate of Citizenship.
Attending An Interview Or Biometrics Appointment
When you go for an interview, you should take with you the originals of the documents that you filed with your application. If any of the documents have changed since you filed them, you should also bring these updated documents.
While you are there, USCIS might ask you to do more than what was mentioned in the letter. They might take your photograph or your fingerprints, or they could have you sign additional documents. You do not need to be alarmed by this. This may just be to verify your identity or to obtain updated background checks.
Receiving A Decision On Your Application For Certificate Of Citizenship
After USCIS is satisfied that they have enough information to make a decision, they will review your application and decide whether you are eligible for a Certificate of Citizenship based on the information you provided in your Form N 600. They will send you their decision in writing.
If your application is approved, USCIS will issue your Certificate of Citizenship and schedule you to appear for an Oath of Allegiance ceremony. If you are a parent who applied on behalf of your child, then your child may not have to attend the ceremony as long as they are under 14 years of age.
As discussed above, if your application is denied, you cannot file another N 600 application to try again. However, you will have 30 days from the date of the decision to file an appeal.
If you miss this deadline but still want to appeal the denial, you will have to file a motion asking the court to reopen your case and reconsider the decision. This is especially useful if your application was denied because you were missing some evidence of citizenship that you now have and can provide to USCIS.