When an individual legally becomes a U.S. citizen through the naturalization process, they are issued a Certificate of Naturalization. While there are other paths to citizenship, naturalization is the most common method for non-U.S. citizens born abroad to become U.S. citizens.
A Certificate of Naturalization can be used in place of a U.S birth certificate as proof of citizenship when applying for things like a U.S. passport and driver’s license. The Certificate of Naturalization includes detailed information on the certificate holder, such as their:
- USCIS registration number (A-number)
- Full, legal name
- Marital status
- Place of residence
- Country of former nationality
- Gender and identifying characteristics
In addition, the certificate will contain a:
- Certificate number
- Statement by the USCIS Director confirming that the person met all requirements
- Date of issuance
- DHS seal and the Director’s signature
How to Get a Certificate of Naturalization
If you meet the naturalization requirements, you can fill out form N-400 to apply for a Certificate of Naturalization. However, applications may be delayed or rejected due to even minor mistakes on the N-400 form. So, after the form is completed, it’s important to double-check the information before submitting your application to the USCIS ( U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services).
If a USCIS officer approves your application, you may take the Oath of Allegiance and officially become a U.S. citizen.
How to Change the Name on a Certificate of Naturalization
If you change your name after receiving your Certificate of Naturalization, you must apply for a replacement with your new name. Keep in mind that your new name must follow U.S. naming laws. You can use Form N-565 to request a replacement and your updated name. When you submit the form, you must also include payment for the processing fees and proof of your legal name change.