Depending on the basis of your claim to U.S. citizenship on Form N-600, Application for Certificate of Citizenship, you may need to show various supporting documents. Not every applicant has the same circumstances, and some may have difficulty obtaining the requested documents. So, what do you do when the N-600 document is unavailable?
Double Check Possible Sources
If this is a document that you previously had but is now lost or destroyed, consider if you may have used it in the past. Did you use the document with an employer, school, lawyer’s office, or government agency? Check with that organization or business to see if you can get a copy.
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If you previously used the document for immigration benefits, you may be able to obtain a copy through a Freedom of Information Act Request. Although this can sometimes take several months, you can access almost anything that has ever been in your immigration file. To request a copy, use Form G-639, Freedom of Information Act Request. If you need assistance, CitizenPath can help you prepare Form G-639.
N-600 Document Unavailable
If your supporting document is not available or does not exist, you generally must prove its unavailability or nonexistence and provide secondary.
Check for Availability of Document
First, check with the Department of State to see if documents are known to be unavailable or nonexistent in your country of birth. Click the button below to start your search.
If this web page shows that document from your country of birth is generally unavailable or nonexistent, you do not need to do anything to prove that your N-600 document is unavailable or nonexistent. Skip to Step 3.
Get a Certificate of Non-availability
If the State Department website does not show that your document is generally unavailable or nonexistent, you must submit a certificate of non-availability. These letters must be:
You’ll need to submit this original document along with secondary evidence. Continue to Step 3.
Provide Secondary Evidence
When your document is not available or does not exist, you must submit other acceptable evidence relating to the facts that an official document would have provided, such as church or school records, hospital or medical records, affidavits of birth, or similar evidence. (The State Department website mentioned above may provide additional insight on acceptable documents generally available in your country.)
You must provide a typed or printed explanation of the reasons a required document is unavailable and submit secondary evidence to establish eligibility. Secondary evidence must overcome the unavailable of the required documents. USCIS may request an original typed or printed statement from the appropriate government or other legal authority to support your claim that the documents are unavailable. The following types of secondary evidence may be submitted:
Certificate under the church seal where your baptism occurred showing your:
- Place of birth;
- Date of birth;
- Baptism date;
- Parents’ names; and
- Godparents’ names (if known).
An official letter from school authorities for the school attended (preferably the first school) showing your:
- Date of admission to the school;
- Place of birth;
- Date of birth or age at that time; and
- The names and residences of your birth parents (if shown on record).
State or Federal census records showing your:
- Place of birth; and
- Date of birth or age.
Affidavits (if other types of secondary evidence are not available)
Typed or printed statements sworn to (or affirmed) by two people who have personal knowledge of the claimed event. Affidavits must overcome the unavailability of both required documents and secondary evidence. Examples of events you may submit an affidavit for include the following:
- Your place and date of birth;
- Marriage; or
The people making these statements are not required to be U.S. citizens and may be relatives. Each affidavit must contain the following information about the person making the affidavit: full legal name, address, place of birth, date of birth, relationship to you, and detailed information about the event to include how they came to know about its occurrence.
RECOMMENDED: N-600 Sample Affidavit