How do you prove your U.S. citizenship?


Quick Answer

The most effective way of proving U.S. citizenship is a U.S. passport. Other documents, such as a birth certificate if born in the United States, can be used as well. If not in possession of a birth certificate, a person can contact the Bureau of Vital Statistics in the state where he was born.

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Full Answer

If a person is born outside of the United States, a combination of evidence is usually required. In most cases, proof of a parent being a United States citizen when the child was born and having lived in the United States or its possessions for a period of time is required.

If the birth was registered at the nearest United States consulate, the Consular Report of Birth Abroad, or FS-240 provides proof of citizenship. If already in the United States, it is possible to apply for a Certificate of Citizenship.

If a person is a naturalized or derivative citizen, his Naturalization Certificate or Certificate of Citizenship serves as proof of citizenship. If either of these documents has been lost, it is possible to apply for replacements through the Department of Homeland Security, using forms through the citizenship and immigration services.

If born in the United States, and a birth certificate is unavailable when applying for a passport, it is possible to submit a combination of early public records. They must be submitted with a letter of no record, showing that a search for a birth certificate was completed with no results. Early public records show the person's name, date of birth and place of birth, and preferably were created within the first five years of life. Examples include a baptismal certificate, hospital birth certificate, census record, early school record and a doctor's record of post-natal care.

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