The advantages of U.S. Citizenship can be eroded if you don’t have proof of citizenship. Fortunately, there are a number of documents you can apply for to validate your status.
If you are having problems an experienced Austin citizenship lawyer can help you out. The best avenue to proof of citizenship will depend on how you gained it.
Documentation for People Born on U.S. Soil
If you were born in the United States, you can use your birth certificate as proof of citizenship. Being born on a U.S, military base overseas or U.S. territory abroad is classified as U.S. soil.
The applicable document is the standard American birth certificate issued by the state government as opposed to the birth certificate given to your parents at the hospital where you were born.
If you became naturalized in the United States, you would have been given a naturalization certificate rather than a birth certificate.
Proof of Citizenship Through your Parents
If you were born outside the United States but are entitled to citizenship through your parents you will have to apply for either a U.S. passport or a certificate of citizenship.
If your parents are both U.S. citizens, you may become a U.S citizen through the process called “acquisition” of citizenship. You may also become a citizen if one or both of your parents were naturalized. This process is called “derivation” of citizenship.
Certificates of Consular Registration of Birth
If U.S. citizens give birth to children outside the United States, they have five years to register the birth. The registration must take place with the U.S. consulate.
The consulate will issue them a document called a Consular Registration of Birth Abroad which provides proof of citizenship.
If you wait until after five years after a baby’s birth, you won’t be able to apply for a Consular Registration of Birth Abroad and must apply for a passport or a certificate of citizenship to prove you are a citizen. It’s the same process if you have lost a Consular Registration of Birth Abroad.
Obtaining a passport is a straightforward way of getting proof of citizenship if you are a U.S. citizen.
There are some additional steps if you were born abroad to U.S. citizens.
1 Show your parents are U.S. citizens;
2 Prove they met all of the residency requirements or followed them unless they had an exemption through not knowing the laws.
The evidence you supply can be in the form of tax records, employment records, citizenship records or affidavits from relatives explaining why you did not know about your claim to citizenship.
This evidence may be in the form of citizenship records, tax records, employment records, or affidavits from you or relatives explaining why you were unaware of your claim to American citizenship.
Apply at a U.S. passport office or directly with the U.S. consulate abroad.
Certificates of Citizenship
Certificates of Citizenship are proof of citizenship documents issued by US. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). They can only be obtained from USCIS in the United States and are issued to people with a citizenship claim.
It can be more difficult to obtain a Certificate of Citizenship than a passport and it’s not uncommon to wait a year to receive one.
Certificates are easiest to obtain through a parent but also are given via naturalization through marriage.
Relevant documentation should include.
- Marriage certificates
- Parent’s birth certificates
- Certificates of naturalization
Any changes to your name would have to be backed up with documentation such as a marriage certificate or a divorce decree.
Immigration laws are complex and require a lot of paperwork. At Peek & Toland , we know the challenges you can face making a citizenship application and want to help you. To speak to a representative, call us today at (512) 474-4445.