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If you were born to American citizens, but you were born on foreign soil, you may want to apply for the Certificate of US Citizenship. This grants you citizenship to the United States. You can obtain it by completing Form N-560.
Here’s everything you need to know about Form N-560.
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What Is Form N-560?
Form N-560 is an alternative to citizenship documents, such as a US birth certificate or US passport. To get Form N-560, you must apply with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services Department (USCIS).
The certificate is different from naturalization since you have one or both parents who are citizens. Naturalization occurs when you’re an immigrant (without citizen parents), and you become a US citizen.
Who Must Complete Form N-560?
Only children of US citizen parents who were born outside of the United States must complete Form N-560. If you want U.S. citizenship, you must apply for it, but it’s a simpler process since your parents are U.S. citizens.
It’s called acquisition of citizenship if both of your parents are U.S. citizens. If either of your parents are naturalized citizens, it’s called derivation of citizenship.
It doesn’t matter if you were born to your parents or you were adopted. The same form applies if you were born outside of the United States to U.S. citizens.
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How to File Form N-560
To file form N-560, you’ll first need to complete Form N-600. This is the Application for Certificate of Citizenship. This form is a hefty one as it’s 15 pages long.
After you complete Form N-600, you’ll need the following documents:
- Passport-sized photos
- Records from your birth or a birth certificate from the U.S. consulate, but you’ll only have that if your parents informed the consulate of your birth at the time
- Proof your parents are U.S. citizens
- Your parents’ birth certificates
If your documents aren’t in English, have them translated before submitting them. The more documents you have, the faster your application will be processed.
The USCIS will decide on a case-by-case basis what else you may need. Common additional documents include:
- Marriage certificates
- Name change certificates
- Adoption decrees
The faster you provide the additional documentation, the faster you can get your application approved.
How to Submit Form N-560 (And N-600)
The easiest way to file Forms N-560 and N-600 is online. You’ll get the fastest response and get approval faster.
To file online, you must:
- Create an account online with the USCIS
- Provide all documentation as stated above
- Pay your fees (more on this below)
- Receive updates on your account in the dashboard
- Send secure messages to the USCIS
- Provide additional documentation as requested in their communications
If you already have a USCIS account, you can log into your existing account and complete the application.
If you prefer to file by mail. You must do the following:
- Follow the USCIS instructions for filing by mail
- Complete your form N-600, including signing it
- Pay the applicable fees
- Provide the required documentation
The problem with filing by mail, though, is you don’t know the status of your case. If you create a USCIS account online, though, you can check the status just as if you filed online. This will help you know if/when they need additional documentation so you can provide it quickly.
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What Happens After You File?
Once you file Form N-560 and 600, you’ll receive a notice of receipt from the USCIS. Keep this notice in case there are issues in the future. If the USCIS requires biometric verifications, you’ll receive notice of that as well.
Once the USCIS reviews your application (timelines vary), they’ll inform you of the next steps. Sometimes it’s to schedule an interview or to provide additional documentation. Once they reach a decision on your application, they’ll inform you of that as well.
Costs for Form N-560
Since you must file two forms, the filing fees are a little steep.
If you haven’t filed Form N-600 yet, you must do that first, and the filing fee is $1,170. There may be additional charges if you need translation services too. You can pay your fee with a personal check, money order, or cashier’s check. If you file at a USCIS Lockbox, you can also pay with a credit card, but there may be additional fees.
There are also additional fees if you hire an attorney to help with the process.
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Replacing Form N-560
There are a few reasons to request a replacement Form N-560:
- You lost your Certificate of Citizenship, or it was stolen
- Your Certificate was destroyed or is unreadable
- If anything changed (your name or any other identifying information)
To file for a replacement, you’ll need to complete Form N-565. You must file this form in person or via mail. The fee for a replacement certificate is $354.
The Bottom Line
If you want U.S. citizenship and were born outside the United States to U.S. citizens, Form N-560 will get you what you need. You must first complete Form N-600. It can seem overwhelming and confusing. Let the experts at Myra help, so you get the Certificate of Citizenship in a timely manner.