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How can I tell if my Birth Certificate is acceptable Proof of Citizenship?

Hospital birth certificates are not considered primary evidence of birth in accordance with Title 22 of the Code of Federal Relations. For a certificate to be considered acceptable it must:

  • Be issued by the office of vital statistics of the state, country, or the city where your birth occurred;
  • Show your full name at birth;
  • Indicate your date and place of birth;
  • List the full names of your parent(s);
  • Bear the embossed, impressed, multicolored, or raised seal and signature of the issuing authority; and

Abstracts cannot be used as proof of Citizenship.

If you were born outside the United States, but the child of US Citizens, you may provide one of the following as a primary Proof of Citizenship:

  • Foreign birth certificate

OR

  • Proof of the citizenship of your US citizen parent AND
  • An affidavit of your US citizen parent showing all periods and places of residence or physical presence in the United States and abroad before your birth. Depending on the year of your birth, there are minimum US residence requirements for your US parent for the years preceding your birth.

If you were born outside the United States, you may provide ONE of the following as a primary Proof of Citizenship:

  • Certified copy of the final US adoption decree;
  • Child's foreign passport with US visa and USCIS I-551 stamp (or with the child's permanent resident alien card/green card); AND
  • Proof of identity of adopting parent(s)

If the final adoption decree has not been attained yet, you will need:

  • Certified foreign birth certificate with certified English translation;
  • Certified foreign adoption certificate with certified English translation;
  • Child's foreign passport with US visa and I-551 stamp (or with child's permanent resident alien card/green card);
  • Proof of US Citizenship of adopting parent(s); AND
  • Proof of identity of adopting parent(s)

Note: The documents listed above are considered secondary proof of US citizenship. The US Department of State reserves the right to request additional information and documentation. Each application is handled on a case-by-case basis.

How can I get a certified copy of my U.S. birth certificate?

For routine service, contact the Vital Statistics office in the state where you were born. For expedited processing of your certified birth certificate, you can also contact www.vitalchek.com.

How can I get a copy of my Certificate of Naturalization?

Contact the US Citizenship and Immigration Services at www.uscis.gov or call 1-800-375-5283.