On 4th June 2018, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) started to issue redesigned Certificates of Citizenship and Certificates of Naturalization. USCIS has redesigned these documents in order to make it difficult for fraudsters to counterfeit. The new features will prevent fraudsters from altering personal data printed on these documents and will also prevent identity theft. USCIS focuses on maintaining the integrity of the legal immigration system of the U.S. This is the main reason why it redesigns green cards, naturalization certificates, and other documents.
The redesigned certificates feature
- the individual’s digitized photo and signature.
- a complex patterned background against which is a large central image.
- a unique image that is visible only under ultraviolet light.
- different images for Posthumous Certificates of Naturalization and Special Certificates of Citizenship.
USCIS has redesigned the below-mentioned naturalization and citizenship certificates. (Descriptions paraphrased from the USCIS website)
- N-550, issued to an individual who obtains U.S. citizenship through the naturalization process;
- N-578, issued to a naturalized U.S. citizen to obtain recognition as a United States citizen by a foreign state; and
- N-570, issued when the original Certificate of Naturalization is lost, mutilated, or contains errors.
- N-560A, issued to an applicant who derived citizenship after birth;
- N-560AB, issued to an applicant who acquired citizenship at birth;
- N-645 and N-645A, issued to the family of an individual who served honorably in the U.S. armed forces during a designated period of hostility and died as a result of injury or disease incurred in or aggravated by that service. Form N-645 is issued if the decedent was a male, and the N-645A if the decedent was a female.
- Form N-561, issued to replace a Certificate of Citizenship when the original certificate is lost, mutilated, or contains errors.
If you are a naturalized U.S. citizen or if you hold one of the above mentioned documents, you need not renew them as the old certificates are still valid. Likewise, the changes apply only to the design of these certificates but not to the process of applying for naturalization or for one of these certificates.