If your Naturalization/ Citizenship certificate is lost, stolen, or damaged it can be replaced with a new copy of the certificate by filing Form N-565.
A naturalization certificate is issued to immigrants who become U.S. citizens through the process of Naturalization.
A citizenship certificate on the other hand is issued to people born outside the U.S. who acquired or derived U.S. citizenship through a U.S. citizen parent.
Per USCIS specifications, you should file form N-565, Application for Replacement Naturalization or Citizenship Document, if you have been issued a
- Naturalization Certificate
- Certificate of Citizenship
- Declaration of Intention or Repatriation Certificate
which has been lost, mutilated, or destroyed.
In addition to this, persons whose name has been changed by marriage or by court order after the citizenship document was issued and they need a document in the new name should also file Form N-565.
However, Form N-565 should never be filed to correct errors on the citizenship certificate unless they are USCIS errors.
To seek a replacement for your lost citizenship certificate, you should prepare and mail the completed N-565 application to the USCIS. Do not forget to attach to the application the appropriate check (submission fees) and supporting documents (if any).
You can refer to the instructions page that comes along with the application for information about the fees, the mailing address, and supporting documents.
Please ensure to take extra care while referring to the instructions because if you make a mistake with the fee or mailing address, your application will be returned to you.
The N-565 Application Process
You need to mail two color photographs of yourself along with the supporting documents. The photograph should reflect your present facial features, so it has to be taken within 30 days before filing this application.
If the reason for filing this application is to get a replacement of a mutilated document, make sure you attach the mutilated document and send it with your N-565 application. Documents in a foreign language have to be accompanied by a full English language translation and the translator should certify it as complete and accurate.
After you mail the application seeking a replacement for the lost citizenship certificate, the USCIS will start processing by checking the application for completeness, including submission of the required initial evidence and the appropriate submission fee.
Applications that are incomplete or not accompanied with the needed initial evidence will not establish a basis for eligibility and it is most likely that the USCIS may deny such applications.
You will get a notice from the USCIS saying the application is deficient if your application is not signed or not accompanied by the correct fee. So paying extra attention to sending a complete application along with the needed supporting documents and fees is extremely vital.
Within thirty days of having mailed your application to the USCIS, you can expect to receive an Application Receipt Notice that will have a 13-character Application Receipt number.
With this Receipt Notice, you can be assured that USCIS has received your application and that it is being processed. You may use the number on the receipt to track the progress of your application while it is pending.
Later, the USCIS may request more information or evidence when you appear at their office for an interview. They may also request you to submit the originals of any document.
Finally, if all goes well and the USCIS thinks that you do establish eligibility for the document, your application will be approved and you will get the new document.
If your application is denied, the USCIS will inform you in writing about the reasons for the denial. The Form N-565 process, on average, will take up to four to five months.
This citizenship certificate can be used as proof of your U.S. citizenship status.