When Should I File for a New Citizenship Certificate?

A citizenship certificate is a document used to demonstrate you were born on American soil or have a parent who’s a citizen. If any information on your citizenship documents needs to be updated or you lose access to your forms, you have to file for a new certificate using Form N-565

Because the approximate wait time for the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to process and mail your N-565 form is more than 10 months, you should file as soon as you discover that you need a replacement.

American flag on a white background, Homeland Security Seal, and "U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services printed above it.
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services can take time to process a replacement citizenship certificate, so you should file right away.

When Would You Need to Use Form N-565?

The N-565 form is used to get several replacement documents, including:

Certificates of Citizenship (and Certificates of Naturalization) do not expire, unlike Permanent Resident Cards. Though, there are several situations when might need to file for a new Certificate of Citizenship:

When You Need to Correct Your Date of Birth

If your date of birth appears incorrectly on your initial Certificate of Citizenship form, that is a good time to request replacement documents. You will have to supply a state-issued form or a court order. 

When Your Documents Are Stolen or Lost

Is there anything more stressful than losing or having your citizenship documents stolen? Don’t worry; you can get new ones though it will take time, so file your USCIS Form N-565 as quickly as possible. 

You will be required to show corroborating evidence of how your document was stolen or lost. Additionally, a sworn statement regarding the truthfulness of the event and a police report was filed for the stolen certificate.

You will also have to give the date of issuance, the certificate number, and the issuance location. If you don’t have all of this information, fill out Form 565 the best you can.

When Your Citizenship Certificate Is Damaged Beyond Repair

If your certificates are still readable and only have minor damage, you can still use them for proof of citizenship, and you likely won’t have to apply for a new one. 

Conversely, if your documents are irreparably damaged or are no longer legible, government agencies, universities, and employers may not accept them as confirmation that you are a U.S. citizen.

When You Request a Gender Change

USCIS-issued citizenship forms are limited to indicating your gender as male or female. 

If you already possess immigration documents when you change your gender, you can file to receive new paperwork reflecting this change using Form N-565. You will need to furnish one of the following to verify your post-transition gender:

  • An order recognizing the change from a court with jurisdiction.
  • A licensed healthcare professional certification stating your gender identity is consistent with your requested gender designation.

Please note that the USCIS does not require proof of gender reassignment surgery, and government officers are not allowed to request records related to any such procedure.

When You Have Your Name Changed

When you have your name changed along with your gender, you must submit confirmation that you completed the name change process per relevant foreign or U.S. state law.

This is also true if you change your name due to:

  • A court order
  • A legal adoption
  • A marriage dissolution 
  • A marriage

When You Discover a Typographical Error on Your Immigration Documents

Your citizenship documents establish your immigration status in the United States and should accurately identify you. If your original citizenship certificate includes incorrect data or a typographical error, the USCIS can issue revised documents.

Yet if you provided the wrong information to the government under oath or with a signature, the USCIS may not be able to correct the mistake.

When You Are Ready to File, Choose FileRight

FileRight is more than just an excellent resource for easy-to-understand forms. We’ll be your ally for each question and throughout the application process. Our English- and Spanish-speaking customer support staff is on hand to provide clear explanations along the way. 

With FileRight, you can fill out and finalize your application online with confidence:

  • Easy to understand forms — The forms we provide are completed on your behalf by our online service. This alleviates confusing instructions or documents.
  • No costly errors — Our robust, automated technology combs through your application, looking for errors and making sure you haven’t overlooked anything. 
  • Fast and simple — FileRight asks straightforward questions in Spanish or English, and you respond with a click of your mouse.
  • Print and file your forms the right way — FileRight offers customized filing instructions for your document once it’s completed. You can print and file your documents knowing they are complete and correct.
  • Lawyer review services — The Citizenship Certificate Replacement application package includes a lawyer review. This service is performed by a licensed, independent immigration attorney.

Get Started Today!

Don’t wait. The perfect time to file for a new citizenship certificate is today with FileRight. There is absolutely no risk to you. 

If your application is rejected, we will refund our costs and any fee you paid to the government. To get started, answer a few questions in the qualification quiz to ensure that you’re eligible.

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