Proof of citizenship

cherr1980

Registered Users (C)
This question is for a co worker that she is a US citizen but the only proof that she has is her US passport. She was born in India but she obtained her citizenship through her mother who naturalized. Now the only proof that she has is her passport but is not suppose to be another proof of her citizenship? Like a certificate? I was reading the Certificate one, form N-600 but looks that is when you are applying for something that she already have. So then, what's the form or what is the paper that she can get along with her passport to proof that? Or is the passport and that's as far as she will get?

Thanks for the heads up.
 

LolaLi

Active Member
Actually Cherr1980, the N-600 (Certificate of Citizenship) is the correct form for your friend, since it is used to obtain proof of citizenship that was derived from a parent. A processed N-600 application also creates a permanent file with USCIS of the individual's citizenship. She needs to fill complete the form, pay the application fee, and submit the required evidence showing how she got citizenship through her mother. Basically the Child Citizenship Act would apply to her in this case. Here is the link to the information: http://www.uscis.gov/portal/site/us...nnel=d6f4194d3e88d010VgnVCM10000048f3d6a1RCRD

Now if she was born in India, is still under 18 years old, and her mother was a US citizen at the time of her birth, she may be able to get a record of birth from the US Embassy/Consulate in India.

I would need more information/detail before I can give you specific advice.
 

boatbod

Registered Users (C)
A Certificate of Citizenship is generally considered an optional document, since the State Dept will issue a US passport based on requisite proof of derived citizenship. i.e. parent's natz cert + child's birth cert in this case.

If your friend wants a non-expiring proof of citizenship, she will have to apply for one with an N-600. USCIS are likely to demand copies of the mother's naturalization certificate and the child's birth certificate showing the parent's full name and date of birth. Its a long slow process, but eventually the certificate should be forthcoming.
 

LolaLi

Active Member
A Certificate of Citizenship is generally considered an optional document, since the State Dept will issue a US passport based on requisite proof of derived citizenship. i.e. parent's natz cert + child's birth cert in this case.

If your friend wants a non-expiring proof of citizenship, she will have to apply for one with an N-600. USCIS are likely to demand copies of the mother's naturalization certificate and the child's birth certificate showing the parent's full name and date of birth. Its a long slow process, but eventually the certificate should be forthcoming.

Actually I would argue that the certificate of citizenship or certificate of birth abroad documents are the essential proof of citizenship - and the passport is optional. The only reason why passports are so common is because immigrants tend to travel more and it is cheaper. A US passport can be, and has been erroneously issued and the government has denied that the holder is a citizen. I am not saying an n-600 cannot be wrongly issued, but it is unlikely since the process is more detailed.

The key point here is that these non-expiring documents relieve a person from their dependency on their parent's documentation to prove citizenship.
 

Jackolantern

Registered Users (C)
The natz certificate or certificate of citizenship is an important document for proving citizenship, and like LoLaLi said, it is more like a primary document than a backup one. You can use the certificate to get a US passport, but you can't use the passport to get the certificate.

Born American citizens have their birth certificate; the natz certificate (N-400) or certificate of citizenship (N-600) serves a similar function as far as proof of citizenship is concerned.

If she is concerned about having additional proof of citizenship she should definitely apply for the N-600.
 
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boatbod

Registered Users (C)
If it were a primary document, you wouldn't be able to get a passport without one. As it is, a certificate of citizenship isn't good for much except getting a passport - it's not much use for border crossing etc.
 

Jackolantern

Registered Users (C)
The certificate is primary in the sense that it is a "root cause" for deriving the other important government documents like passport, DL, SSN, and voter registration, not primary in the sense that you can or would use it on a regular basis like a passport or DL.
 
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Huracan

Registered Users (C)
All in all excellent advice in my humble opinion. Certificate of citizenship helps as a permanent document of citizenship (for now it doesn't expire as the passport, but I wouldn't be surprised if in my lifetime USCIS will find a way of making the certificate something that expires and that one has to pay for to renew) and it creates a record of citizenship in USCIS that can help when applying or dealing with other federal agencies that might check citizenship status with USCIS. Anyway, it is one of those documents that are optional, but useful, no need to rush or panic for not having one ;)
 

Huracan

Registered Users (C)
An interesting finding from a report on the E-Verify program:

From: http://www.uscis.gov/files/pressrelease/testimony.pdf

"E-Verify plans to incorporate U.S. passport information into the employment verification process. The use of U.S. passport information will help instantly verify those employees who present U.S. passports as proof of employment authorization and identity and may have previously received TNCs since they derived citizenship as children when their parents naturalized or they were born abroad to U.S. citizen parents; both populations which currently receive a disproportionate numbers of TNC. We are grateful for the hard work of the Department of State in working towards this important data sharing initiative."

This both points of how important is nowadays to have a certificate of citizenship, and why it might not be that much needed in the future if they can draw from the passport information.
 

thrix

Registered Users (C)
Only valid proofs of citizenship in the USA are:

- US Passport,
- Certificate of Citizenship,
- Certificate of Naturalization,
- US Passcard,
- Birth Certificate (issued in the USA or US Embassady/Consulate) + photo ID,
- Enhanced Driver License (NYS just started to issue them) in some states.

My sister on the 1st N600 interview had US Passport was DENIED of CertOfCitizenship! On the 2nd interview she was issued a certificate, but we intended to sue the IO and USCIS for lack of knowing the immigration law.


It is good to have certificate, but it is pain in the back hole!!! They give hard time to get it, unless you are young child.

I would just get a passport card as 2nd proof of citizenship.
 

Bobsmyth

Volunteer Moderator
22 USC 2705 states that a valid US passport is proof in itself of US citizenship.

The following documents shall have the same force and effect as proof of United States citizenship as certificates of naturalization or of citizenship issued by the Attorney General or by a court having naturalization jurisdiction:
(1) A passport, during its period of validity (if such period is the maximum period authorized by law), issued by the Secretary of State to a citizen of the United States.


So according to this along as you have a valid US passport, you don't need an extra certificate to prove US citizenship.

This is also stated in the USCIS document "How do I get proof of US citizenship"

http://www.uscis.gov/files/article/A4.pdf

If anyone or any government official refuses to recognize a valid US passport as proof of US citizenship they are in violation of 22 USC 2705.
 

Jackolantern

Registered Users (C)
So according to this along as you have a valid US passport, you don't need an extra certificate to prove US citizenship.
Correct. But people here are more concerned with proving citizenship when the passport is either lost or expired, which can be a very difficult task for an adult who derived citizenship through a parent.
 

thrix

Registered Users (C)
Correct. But people here are more concerned with proving citizenship when the passport is either lost or expired, which can be a very difficult task for an adult who derived citizenship through a parent.

Same if you loose certificate. Just have a copy and ID# of passport and they can make a passport without problems.
 

Jackolantern

Registered Users (C)
Same if you loose certificate. Just have a copy and ID# of passport and they can make a passport without problems.
Yes, but ideally one would keep the passport and certificate in separate locations (e.g. one at home, the other in a safe deposit box at the bank) so it would become highly unlikely to lose both.
 

LolaLi

Active Member
Yes, but ideally one would keep the passport and certificate in separate locations (e.g. one at home, the other in a safe deposit box at the bank) so it would become highly unlikely to lose both.

The more I see these types of questions, the more I realize it comes down to money. Most people just don't see the value in paying for a certificate of citizenship when a passport is cheaper.

Having a certificate should ease one's mind permanently, because you do not have to panic if you lose your passport or passport card, it does not expire, there is a permanent record with DHS, and it is directly linked/tied to you. By the last point, I mean a person who derived from parents must always use their parent's USC proof to obtain passports; their proof of citizenship is tied to someone else's.

Ok - enough on this point from me. :) I've exhausted the topic.
 

thrix

Registered Users (C)
Thrix, any news for you yet?

Still nothing. I called and called and "we still have time too process your case and please go work in this stupid country". Now for me it's not good to stay in the USA to work for low money, where I can make more in Europe. I only need passport to visit my parents. Then good bye America.
 
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