Congratulations! You are now a US citizen. You have been sworn in and have received your Certificate of Naturalization to show your legal status. It’s crucial that you review and verify the information printed on that certificate. Changing the certificate later is not as easy as one may think. Therefore, the sooner the mistake is discovered or a change is made to the information, the sooner a request must be made to United States Citizenship and Immigration Services to replace the certificate.
USCIS allows for the request of a new certificate when there is a need for correction of name or if there is a clerical mistake made by the agency in preparing the certificate. A request for replacement of certificate of naturalization follows a reference guide provided on the USCIS website. There are five categories for navigating a request for a new certificate, as well as determining its fee status. Below are those categories:
- Lost or Mutilated Certificate is a permitted replacement and requires a fee.
- A Legal Gender change is a permitted replacement and requires a fee.
- Legal Name change made after a court proceeding, with a court order, is a permitted replacement and requires a fee.
- Date of Birth change is permitted if there is a clerical error on the part of USCIS and requires no fee.
- Any Data Correction is permitted if there is a clerical error on the part of USCIS and requires no fee.
Once a category is determined, USCIS requires that an applicant submit a Form N-565-An Application for Replacement Naturalization/Citizenship Document. Follow the instructions of the application and submit the form with the appropriate fee, if the request requires a fee. USCIS will notify the applicant via mail regarding the determination of the replacement of certificate. If the application is denied based on the determination that no clerical errors were made, a fee is required. If USCIS denies the request for date correction, it will provide the applicant with an appeal process option. Follow the appeal instructions and file within the time allotted. Please contact an attorney for assistance.
Note that regulations prohibit USCIS from making any changes to a date of birth on a Certificate of Naturalization unless it’s due to a clerical error made by USCIS during its preparation of the certificate. Otherwise, once the applicant has completed the naturalization process and has sworn to the facts of the application, which includes the date of birth, no changes will be made. Therefore, it’s very important to accurately prepare the naturalization application, review before swearing to its accuracy and examine the naturalization certificate upon receipt. www.uscis.gov