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What documents prove U.S. citizenship?

On Behalf of | Aug 8, 2020 | Naturalization/Citizenship

If you were not born on American soil to American parents, you may have concerns about proving your U.S. citizenship. Depending on your circumstances, you may have acquired American citizenship even though you were not born in the U.S. or you may have received citizenship through naturalization. To make sure you retain your rights as an American citizen, you should be aware of what the government accepts as proof of citizenship.

There are a number of different documents that help prove a person is a U.S. citizen. There is no uniform standard for everyone since people may gain American citizenship in various ways. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services explains the types of documents that may help you out.

Birth certificates

A person born in the U.S. typically has a birth certificate, so if you were born on American soil, a birth certificate should be enough to prove your citizenship status if you were born to American parents. In the event you were born in another country to American parents, your parents could still get a birth certificate issued by the U.S. embassy or consulate within that country. Your parents may also have registered your citizenship with the embassy or consulate and acquired a certificate of citizenship for you.

Passports

Another way to prove your citizenship is through a passport. The U.S. State Department issues passports for travel purposes, but the U.S. government also counts them as proof of citizenship. While some people apply to the government for a certificate of citizenship to help prove their citizenship, others choose to apply for a passport because it goes faster and is more convenient.

Naturalization certificates

If you are a foreign resident who seeks to become an American citizen, you will eventually receive a naturalization certificate once your naturalization process is complete. This document should serve as proof of your status as an American citizen. In the event you have lost your certificate, you may apply for a replacement through a Form N-565.