Am I required to have a Certificate of Citizenship?

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A person born abroad who acquires U.S. citizenship at birth (from a U.S. parent) will generally need to file Form N-600, Application for Certificate of Citizenship, to obtain proof of status. Upon approval, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will issue a Certificate of Citizenship to the beneficiary. However, filing Form N-600 is not required in all cases. A person may also apply for a U.S. passport with the Department of State to serve as evidence of his or her U.S. citizenship.

U.S. Passport or Certificate of Citizenship

If you already have a U.S. passport, you generally don’t need to obtain a Certificate of Citizenship. However, some people prefer to have some back up documentation.

The Certificate of Citizenship does not expire. Therefore, it may give some citizens more reassurance than a U.S. passport.

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A validly issued U.S. passport generally serves as evidence of your U.S. citizenship during its period of validity for most purposes. However, you may be required to submit your Certificate of Citizenship when attempting to apply for certain other benefits, including, but not limited to:

  • Social Security benefits
  • State issued ID including a Driver’s License or Learning Permit
  • Financial Aid
  • Employment
  • Passport Renewal
Source: USCIS