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I Lost My Original Citizenship Paper

Discussion in 'US Citizenship' started by germanlady, Aug 29, 2005.

  1. germanlady

    germanlady Registered Users (C)

    My husband and I were scrambling to get ready for a cruise and I lost our citizenship documents. I now know they ended up in the trash. We went down to INS and applied for a replacement ( N- 565) which will take up to l year to get. We paid the $420.00 for both of us. We were able to get on the cruise with our other documents, however, we still need to get a passport. When we got back from the cruise, I searched the internet and found the National Archives where I can order certified copies of the lost ones($10.00 each). I was very upset that the INS did not tell us that. I was told that the certified copies work as good as new originals. I am hoping someone can tell me that I did not waste $420.00 and that I really do need an original replacement, not just a certified copy. I did order 2 certified copies which will come in 10 days, while I am waiting for the new original from INS. I hope this information will help others from making the same mistake.
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 29, 2005
  2. CanTex

    CanTex Registered Users (C)

    Interestiing, but from what I can see this is only available for older records -- my region's info. shows the most recent record available for Detroit area is 1991. It appears newer records aren't archived for some time, so not an option for recent new citizens like me... maybe the District Court keeps these until then?
  3. germanlady

    germanlady Registered Users (C)

    I was naturalized in 1961...When I called the archives they did say they only had copies until 1983....So you are right about records have to be older to get certified copies. It just upset me that INS did not tell me to go get copies at the National Archives--a much cheaper way to go!
  4. JohnnyCash

    JohnnyCash Volunteer Moderator

    Even if you are told by INS in itself that Certified copy will work as good as Original one, it is simply not true. The truth is you do need Original document at most of times, especially when it comes to prove the validity of certified copy. Besides, if Certified Copy works as good as Original one, then State Dept won't be requiring to submit Original one at the time of issuing passport to someone at first time. That said, you should not be upset on spending $420 for requesting replacement for Original documents, especially when it is VERY important document of your life.

    Further, it is not the job of INS to inform people about where to get cheaper stuffs, whether it is about obtaining Certified copy from National Archives at lower price. or obtaining photos for something else at lower price at certain places. They are there to do their job than advising people what could be cheaper way to go or etc...

    Bottom line, you DO REALLY NEED original replacement.
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 31, 2005
  5. germanlady

    germanlady Registered Users (C)

    Thanks...now I really do feel better. After thinking it over, I guess it is better to have an original..especially when you are applying for a government benefit(i.e. Social Security, Medicare, etc) I also am thinking that with all the new laws that are being passed regarding homeland security, the more documents you have to prove your identity the better. I am thinking after I get my passport, I will make a copy of it and also carry along a certified copy of my citizenship document each time I travel. I guess there are lessons to be learned from everything that happens in life. I now know that it is important to put all important papers in a safe file(preferably safe deposit box) and to make copies and more copies. Side note: The INS clerk kept asking me for a copy of my lost document. Well, back in 1961 the Naturalization documents very in factly stated that it was AGAINST THE LAW TO MAKE COPIES OR PHOTOGRAPH THE NATURAIZATION DOCUMENT. :confused:
  6. fitness99

    fitness99 Registered Users (C)

    The current naturalization document still has the text saying that "it is against the law to make copies of the document". However the immigration district director for the Dallas office told us it is okay to make a copy for backup as well as submission for any immigration related application and/or benefits.
  7. JohnnyCash

    JohnnyCash Volunteer Moderator

    It is STILL against the law to make photocopy of Naturalization Certificate. That's why the notation is still there. However, INS has amended it's internal policy on this in 2001. Now, making a photocopy of Naturalization Certificate is permitted so long it is for immigration purpose. Be noted: [1] It is permitted ONLY IF the copies will be used for Immigration purpose, [2] Law hasn't changed on this; instead INS has amened it's internal policy to permit making photocopy of Naturalization Certificate.

    And, it is true that it is always advisable to make and keep photocopy of important papers and keep them in a very safe place. Safe deposit box is the best. It is now more important than ever, epecially given the fact that we are living in a totally different time than 60s or 70s. Does it make sense? ;)
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 4, 2005
  8. germanlady

    germanlady Registered Users (C)

    It is odd that people don't know the policies of INS. Does INS require you to change your name on the natualization document if you get married? Also, does INS ever require you to update your picture on the Natualiztion document? I was a child in 1961 and now I am a senior, so if this paper is used for identification why does INS never require an update on the photo like a driver's license...Thanks for your knowledge regarding this Johnny Cash
  9. JohnnyCash

    JohnnyCash Volunteer Moderator

    “It is odd that people don't know the policies of INS”

    Yes, you are right that it is odd (perhaps sad too) that people don’t know the policies of INS. But, INS like any other govt. agency always make their own policy, and sometime they even repeal (cancel) those policies back.

    “Does INS require you to change your name on the natualization document if you get married?”

    No. But if your name has changed legally, either because of marriage or by court order, then you need to tell them about it if you DO want to have Naturalization Certificate in new name. For that, you would need to mention your new name on Form N-565 (Application for Replacement Naturalization Citizenship Document). But, changing a name on INS document is not necessary; so long you have a court order with you all the times about having changed your name.

    “does INS ever require you to update your picture on the Natualiztion document?”

    No. But you can do so if you REALLY want to. For that, you would need to file the same form mentioned above. But don’t forget that it will cost you money, time (very long-a year or more) and efforts in doing so.

    “if this paper is used for identification why does INS never require an update on the photo like a driver's license”

    Naturalization Certificate is not used for Identification purpose alone unlike other IDs; instead it is mainly used to identify a immigration status of a person. Driver License, passport and other documents are used primarily for Identification purpose.

    “Thanks for your knowledge regarding this Johnny Cash”

    My pleasure, Ma’am. I assume you are originally from Germany. Have you gone there since you came here? Germany is now a beautiful country. I go there every year. Hope you had a great time on your cruise trip. But wondering where did you go on cruise and how come you were not asked for passport or other INS document upon return, unless there is something I’m missing?

    By the way, I personally don't consider a person a "senior" if such person was a child in 1961. For me to consider a person as a senior, such person must be a child in 1940 or before that. It's just my opinion. However, so long a person remains young in heart, s/he could never be called-"senior". ;)
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 31, 2005
  10. germanlady

    germanlady Registered Users (C)

    Since I do not have a U.S. birth certificate, I thought I must use my passport or citizenship document to prove I am a citizen of the U.S. I have never been back to Germany or out of this country except for Canada. I know that by the end of 2005 Canada and Mexico will also require passports. In the past I remember getting the "are you sure this is you" stares from officials I showed my original document from 1961 to. That's why I asked about updating the document.
    We used the following documents to get aboard the ship: (1) we both had our parents' citizenship papers; (2) voter registration card; (3) notarized affidavits saying we are citizens; (4) our original birth certificates in German
    We went to Mexico on the cruise, but we opted to stay on the ship that day.
    When we got off the boat, they looked at our voter registration and affidavit and asked us both for our birthdates. That's it! But from what I have read, things will become a lot stricter in 2006.
    By the way, I have always liked Johnny Cash's music; however, my all time favorite singer is and will remain Elvis Presley. I grew up with his music and was fortunate enough to see him "live in concert" in 1972. Everytime I get discouraged or depressed, his music always seems to brighten my day.
  11. JohnnyCash

    JohnnyCash Volunteer Moderator

    Now it makes sense to ME how come you were allowed back into the country upon returned from cruise trip, especially when you had enough documents to prove your US citizenship. Tell me stupid, but I personally did not know that you could travel to Mexico thru cruise.

    It’s good to know that Elvis Presley is and will always remain your all time favorite singer. And it’s also good to know that his music always seems to brighten your day whenever you feel discouraged or depressed. However, if (only if) you ever feel/realize that his music don’t seem to have the same melody that you got used to hear, then it is my personal request to give a chance (or a blessing) to Johnny Cash’s music. I’m sure you won’t feel disappointed in listening his music. He is a country Musician, and I’m sure you would find his music very soothing, genuine, sensual and touching. Who knows you might end up seeing him Live in Concert as well.

    Take good care of yourself.
  12. JohnnyCash

    JohnnyCash Volunteer Moderator

    Even though Johnny Cash died, but his music is still there. Being a good singer myself, I won't mind playing his music Live in Concert for good reason.
  13. VS007

    VS007 Registered Users (C)

    I wish I had read this thread before applying N565

    After naturalization, I went for name change through local courts. I sent N-565 to replace my naturalization certificate which I thought its just a mere formality just like my drivers lic and SS card.

    Its been over a month now and today I went to the INS office in Newark throgh Infopass. The officers kinda rudely told me that my applciation is not in their hands and its gone to California and it takes about a year!!! They asked me to go to the adjoining court and get a certified copy for 9$.

    I do not have a passport and need to travel by end of year.

    1. Would that certified court accepted for US passport application?

    2. Any means at all to expedite like some Admin Appeals office or writing to a senator or any option at all. I would rather get my old certificate back.

  14. VS007

    VS007 Registered Users (C)

    I guess I can answermy own questions:

    1. Yes. US Passport agency issued a temporary 1 year passport. They would need to see the naturalization certificate to issue a 10 year PP.

    2. Couldnt find any means. Wrote to the Senator and just got an acknowledgement that he would enquire.
  15. DerrickTEverett

    DerrickTEverett New Member

    I need some help with obtaining a copy of my citizenship

    My Certificate of Citizenship was misplaced during an altercation with my father. My father is withholding my social security card, my State ID, my birth certificate, and my certificate of citizenship. A court order has proven ineffective and reasoning is difficult to near impossible for my father. I just turned 18 so i am now required to have these documents for more and more things. To get any of the documents i have mentioned, I will need to get a replacement for my certificate of citizenship. I remember my social security number and i have a school ID but all is useless without the Certficate of Citizenship.I would like to know about the actual application process. What form of ID will i need to re-apply for the Certificate of Citizenship? How long will i have to wait for the docauments to be sent to me? What is the precise cost for the replacement? As you know, with a school ID as my only form of ID, I am considered an illegal pedestrian everytime i step out of my house. Will someone please help?:( :confused:
  16. Bobsmyth

    Bobsmyth Volunteer Moderator

    A court order was ineffective? Was your dad not found in contempt of the order for failing to provide the documents to you?
  17. Jackolantern

    Jackolantern Registered Users (C)

    Follow up with the court. They can arrest him for contempt of court for failing to follow the order, and have the officers enter the house to get your IDs (of course, don't tell him you're asking the court to send the officers, or he might destroy the documents or disappear).
  18. BigJoe5

    BigJoe5 Registered Users (C)

    The form for a replacement is N-565. To get copies of your immigration file documents, a FOIA request is on form G-639. [If the Cert of Citizenship is fairly recent and you still look like the picture--your less than perfect current ID may suffice for the replacement certificate process.???]
    Expedite criteria is at: http://www.uscis.gov/portal/site/us...nnel=db029c7755cb9010VgnVCM10000045f3d6a1RCRD

    Good Luck,
  19. Lora316K

    Lora316K Registered Users (C)

    I have printed out the papers for replacing my lost citizenship. One of the questions is Certificate Number. Where can I find it?
  20. Jackolantern

    Jackolantern Registered Users (C)

    It's on the certificate itself. Do you have a copy of it?

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