When one or both parents of a person are US citizens, but the person was born outside the United States, it is called “citizenship through derivation.” Consequently, although the person is still a US citizen, there are additional steps to obtain a proper certificate.

In this article, you will discover how to obtain a US citizenship certificate.

How Do I Obtain My US Citizenship Certificate? – Providing Proof of US Citizenship

There is a set of different documents that are usually accepted as proof of US citizenship, such as one’s birth certificate, a US passport (issued by the US Department of State), a certificate of citizenship, or a naturalization certificate.

A birth certificate must be issued by a US state where the person was born, or by the US Department of State if the person was born abroad to US citizen parents. Accordingly, a US citizen born abroad is usually registered with the local US Embassy or consulate.

For individuals born in the United States, it is possible to get a copy of the birth certificate by checking with the Department of Health (Vital Records) in the US state wherein they were born.

Certificate of Citizenship vs. Naturalization Certificate

A certificate of citizenship is issued when a person receives US citizenship through derivation. Hence, it means the person was born outside the United States through a US citizen parent.

On the other hand, a naturalization certificate is proof of naturalization granted to foreign-born individuals that became US citizens after reaching 18 years of age. Obtaining US naturalization requires lawful permanent residents to meet the eligibility criteria and pass the naturalization process with USCIS.

What Happens to US Citizens Born Abroad When There’s no Registering Process with a US Embassy?

Although it may sound simple, the idea that “my parent is a US citizen, so I am as well” is not that easy to materialize. Ultimately, determining whether someone born outside the United States to a US citizen has US citizenship depends on the legislation in effect at the time of birth.

Typically, obtaining citizenship through derivation requires two main factors – the applicant’s parent was a US citizen when he/she was born and whether the parent lived in the United States (or its possessions) for a specific period.

As it is plain to see, citizenship through derivation is a complex matter. If you want to have your case assessed, make sure to sit down with an expert immigration attorney to discuss your situation.

How Do I Obtain My US Citizenship Certificate? – Applying For Citizenship Recognition

US citizens can use their US passports as proof of citizenship. It is possible to apply for a US passport with the US Department of State.

Additionally, it is possible to apply with USCIS filing Form N-600 (Application for Certificate of Citizenship). The process requires applicants to fill the forms and submit them with a filing fee and passport-style photos.

While applicants are not required to use a lawyer when filing Form N-600, it is still the best approach to prevent mistakes and delays.

Obtain Your US Citizenship Certificate – Work with an Expert Immigration Attorney Today

With a decade of experience helping clients immigrate to the United States, Attorney Romy B. Jurado is willing to help you as well. Waste no time – contact us by calling (305) 921-0976 or emailing [email protected] to schedule a consultation.