The application process when you want to receive a replacement certificate is straightforward. First, you need to make sure that you have a valid document that proves your eligibility for certificate replacement. Put simply, you should prepare at least one of the following documents before you apply the Form N-565:
- Your original certificate if it was damaged or mutilated;
- A hard copy or a photocopy of your original certificate;
- A copy of the police report stating that your original certificate was stolen or lost;
- A copy of the medical certification or court order that your gender or date of birth was changed;
- A copy of your birth certificate if USCIS issued the certificate with a wrong date; or
- A copy of your marriage certificate, marriage annulment decree, or divorce decree.
You may also need any other document that can prove your request is valid. We also recommend you to contact a lawyer to find out what other documents may be necessary. But usually applying one of the documents that we listed is enough for USCIS to approve your request. Once you get the supporting documents, you may start the application process.
You need to complete the Form N-565, Application for Replacement Naturalization/Citizenship Document. You may complete this application form online or print the form and fill it out manually. You must provide all the data that is requested in the form. Otherwise, USCIS will reject your application.
You will also have to pay the filing fee. When you mail the completed Form N-565, remember to include the filing fee. USCIS allows you to pay the fee different ways. You may submit a money order or a personal check. Alternatively, you are allowed to pay by your credit card, although in this case you will have to submit yet another form – the Form G-1450 – to get permission for credit card payment.
You can only pay with check or money order in the U.S. currency from a bank located in the U.S. Also make sure that your check or money order were paid to “U.S. Department of Homeland Security”. You should spell out the entire name of the government office: it is prohibited to mention USDHS or simply DHS on the check or money order.
Additionally, USCIS requires two passport-style photographs from the Form N-565 applicants. The general requirements to photos are as follows:
- Two photos 2 by 2 inches;
- White or off-white background for good contrast;
- No retouching or coloring allowed;
- The photos must contain your entire face;
- No headgear is not allowed.
Once you have your photographs, you should attach them to your application form with other documentation and mail the package to USCIS. The application must be properly signed before you send it. In other words, your name must be handwritten because no typewritten or stamped signatures are allowed.
Remember that you can also apply the form online. In that case, you will also be able to follow the application process and manage your personal data such as contact details.