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What Should I Do if My US Citizenship Certificate is Lost?

US citizenship certificate is a document issued by the USCIS to a US citizen who has acquired or derived US citizenship. If you were born in a foreign country to US citizen parents or if your parents had become US citizens through naturalization, when you were below age 18, you may acquire or derive citizenship. In such cases USCIS will grant you a citizenship certificate after approving your application. This is an important document that you need to retain and if you find that you had lost your US citizenship certificate, you can apply for replacement by filing Form N-565.

You may also file the USCIS Form N-565, Application for Replacement Naturalization/Citizenship Document, to replace a Declaration of Intention, Certificate of Naturalization or a Repatriation Certificate. If you had lost one of these forms, you may apply for a replacement on Form N-565. Apart from that, you may also file this form to change your name in the citizenship certificate, if your name was legally changed due to marriage or divorce, after the certificate was issued to you. However, you may not file this form to correct errors on your certificate of citizenship.

If you look forward to replace your lost citizenship certificate, you need to file Form N-565, along with the required supporting documents and the filing fees. See to that you fill out the form completely and sign it before you could mail the application to a USCIS lockbox. Remember that if you are applying to replace your certificate that has been damaged, you need to submit the mutilated document along with your application. You will have to submit two photographs along with your application for citizenship certificate replacement.

After you mail your application to the USCIS, your application will be reviewed and checked for completeness. Your application will be considered only if it is complete and if it accompanies the initial evidence. Similarly, petitions without the required filing fee may not be accepted. You may receive an application receipt notice with a unique number, from the USCIS, after you application is accepted and with that you can check the progress of your application.

At times, USCIS may require additional documents, if the supporting documents that you had submitted are considered insufficient. In such cases, you will have to submit the required documentation. This may result in delay in processing your request and it is also likely to result in the denial of your application. Hence it is mandatory to check your application and make sure that the required documents are attached, before filing your petition.

However, you will be required to submit original documents at the time of your interview and the original documents that you submit will be returned to you after verification. Finally, if the immigration officers find that you are eligible, you will be granted a new US citizenship certificate. In case your Form N-565 is denied, you will be informed about the reasons for denial, in writing. Your application for citizenship certificate replacement will be processed within 5 months from the date of your application.

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