Form N-600, Explained
Understanding the “Application for Certificate of Citizenship”
What is Form N-600?
Form N-600 (officially called “Application for Certificate of Citizenship”) is a government form you will need if you were born outside the United States to a U.S. citizen parent or parents, and you need evidence of your U.S. citizenship. It proves to the government that you are a U.S. citizen, even though you were not born in the United States.
The Certificate of Citizenship is particularly useful if you need to obtain a U.S. passport or apply for immigration benefits for your spouse or family.
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The current average processing time for form N-600 applications is 4–22 months, depending on the USCIS Service Center.
The fee to file Form N-600 is $1170. The fee will be waived if you are a member or veteran of the U.S. armed forces, but not if you are filing as an adopted child or as a child of a veteran or member of the U.S. armed forces.
Form N-600 Eligibility
Who can file Form N-600?
The Certificate of Citizenship is meant for a child born outside the United States to a biological or adoptive parent or parents that are U.S. citizens. The child must be under age 18 and be currently residing in the United States in the legal and physical custody of the U.S. citizen parent.
USCIS uses the following terms to describe who is eligible for a Certificate of Citizenship:
- Acquisition describes a child who is born outside the United States to a parent that has U.S. citizenship.
- Derivation applies to a child of parents who are legal permanent residents (green card holders) who has obtained U.S. citizenship.
You will need to take the Oath of Allegiance when you receive the Certificate of Citizenship.
Who cannot file Form N-600?
You cannot file form N-600 if:
- You were born in the United States. Instead, your U.S. birth certificate functions as your proof of citizenship.
- If you became a naturalized U.S. citizen. Instead your Certificate of Naturalization is proof of your U.S. citizenship.
- You are currently abroad. In this case, you should seek evidence of citizenship through a passport application to the U.S. State Department.
When filing Form N-600, you will be asked to submit the following documents:
- Two 2-inch-by-2-inch passport style photos
- The applicant’s birth certificate or record
- Evidence of the parent’s U.S. citizenship
- The U.S. citizen parent’s birth certificate
If applicable, you may also be asked to provide:
- Proof of either parent’s status as a U.S. national
- Proof of required residence or physical presence in the United States for the U.S. citizen parent
- The U.S. citizen parent’s marriage certificate
- Evidence the U.S. citizen parent terminated any prior marriage(s)
- Proof of legitimation for children born out of wedlock
- Proof of legal custody (only required for applicants whose parents divorced and/or legally separated and for applicants who are adopted)
- Proof of physical custody
- A copy of your permanent resident card or other evidence of permanent resident status
- A copy of the full, final adoption decree
- Evidence of re-adoption
- Evidence of all legal name changes
While not all applicants are required to appear for an in-person interview, USCIS will determine, based on the evidence submitted in your application, whether you are required to appear in person for an interview.
Once USCIS receives an application or petition, they’ll provide you with a 13-character identification number. You can use this to track the status of your application on the USCIS Case Status Online page
How do I file Form N-600?
You may file online or by mail. Filing online is simple: Create a USCIS account and follow the instructions.
When filing by mail, print and sign Form N-600, attach all required documents, and mail your application to USCIS using one of the listed mailing addresses.