You should fill out Form N-600 Application for Certificate of Citizenship if you were born outside the U.S. to one or more parents who are American citizens. Completing this application from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will allow you to receive a certificate that shows the government and other entities that you are, in fact, an American citizen.
A Certificate of Citizenship can be especially helpful if you need a passport or apply for a government job, student aid, or a loan. If you need help applying for this document or have other immigration-related questions or concerns, you can contact New Frontier Immigration Law for help. You can also meet with us for a strategic session.
Who Should and Should Not File Form N-600?
You should file Form N-600 if you were born outside the United States to one or more natural or adoptive parents who are U.S. citizens. Moreover, you can obtain U.S. citizenship yourself, which is an acquisition of citizenship. To do this, you must be under age 18 and living in the U.S. You must also be living in a citizen parent’s physical and legal custody.
You can also apply for a citizenship certificate if you are under age 18, already have a green card, and live with a parent who is a U.S. citizen. Then, you will gain citizenship automatically, which is called a derivation of citizenship.
Why Some People Should Not File Form N-600
You should not file Form N-600 if you were born in the United States; your birth certificate provides proof of citizenship. Nor should you file this form if you are a naturalized U.S. citizen; your Naturalization Certificate verifies your citizenship. If you plan on naturalizing, you should file Form N-400 Application for Naturalization instead.
Do not fill out this form if you are outside the U.S. Instead, you should seek proof of citizenship by applying to the U.S. State Department for a passport. If you have already obtained a U.S. passport, you don’t need a Certificate of Citizenship, so filing for this document is optional.
We Can Help You Fill Out Form N-600 for a Certificate of Citizenship
For your best chance at prompt approval, you can consult with an immigration lawyer from our firm to help you complete Form N-600 to ensure it’s correct. You can use a computer, which is recommended, but if you do not have computer access, use black ink, and write clearly and legibly.
When you record your answers on the application, make sure your answers fit within the box space or line provided. If a specific item does not apply to your circumstances, use “N/A.” If the answer to a question is “none,” be sure to write it to verify that you are answering the question and not skipping it.
The form has five parts. The first two ask about your eligibility and personal information, such as your name, address, and immigration history. The third requires biographical information, such as your height, race, and ethnicity. Parts 4 and 5 request information about your parents.
You Will Need to Submit Supporting Documentation with Form N-600
According to Form N-600 filing instructions, you must submit the following supporting documents:
- Two identical 2″x2″ color passport-style photographs taken recently
- Your birth certificate or record
- Your U.S. citizen parent’s birth certificate or evidence of their U.S. citizenship
If relevant, you may be asked to provide other evidence, such as a parental marriage certificate or proof of legal custody. See “What Evidence Must You Submit?” in Form N-600’s instructions.
Filing Form N-600, Fee, and Processing
You can file by mail or online. Filing online is easiest, as you only need to create a USCIS account and follow the directions. If you file by mail, print, and sign Form N-600 and attach all required documents. Send your application package to USCIS using one of the mailing addresses Form N-600 lists.
As of June 2022, it costs $1,170 to file Form N-600. This fee is waived for members or veterans of the U.S. armed forces but not for their children. For more information, see Form N-600 under Form Details/Filing Fees.
According to USCIS, as of June 2022, the current average processing time for Form N-600 applications is 12.5 months for the Phoenix, Arizona, field office. Other field offices or services centers will have different processing times. Once USCIS receives your application, it will give you an ID number. You can use this to track your application’s status on the related USCIS page.
Of note, depending on the evidence you submitted with your application package toward the end of the process, you may have to interview with the USCIS.
Form N-600 Approval vs. Denial
If USCIS approves your application, you will receive a Certificate of Citizenship. Persons over age 14 will be scheduled to appear at a USCIS office to take the Oath of Allegiance unless it is conducted on the same day as an interview.
If you receive an application denial, you can fill out Form I-290B Notice of Appeal or Motion to file an appeal within 30 days of USCIS’s determination. If the appeal deadline has expired, you cannot file another N-600 form; it will be rejected. Instead, you must file a motion to reconsider using the same form.
When to Consult with Our Immigration Lawyer about Form N-600
Although applying for a parentage-based U.S. citizenship certification may appear relatively straightforward at first, delays can occur at several points. This is often because USCIS requires substantial proof of the parent-child relationship and the citizenship status of applicants and their parents.
For this reason and others, you might find it challenging to fill out the application correctly or completely or gather the documents you need to prove your eligibility. As a result, your application may be denied. When this happens, you must appeal your case to the USCIS. In these circumstances, you can consult with an immigration law attorney from our firm who can help.
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Call New Frontier Immigration Law Today for a Strategic Session
If you are an individual born outside the U.S. to one or more U.S citizens, having proof of citizenship is essential. For help with applying for your certificate or other parts of the immigration process, call New Frontier Immigration Law for a free strategic session. During that time, we can learn more about your situation and determine how we can help you move forward.