Certificate of Citizenship FAQ
NCFA talked with McLane Layton and Christine Poarch, experts in the Child Citizenship Act and immigration law for adoption, about why it is crucial for adoptive parents to secure a Certificate of Citizenship for their adopted children.
Below are answers to some FAQs that can help you complete the N-600 form for the Certificate of Citizenship yourself. A huge thanks to Christine Poarch and McLane Layton for joining us and sharing their expertise!
Frequently Asked Questions
Note: A child who immigrates to the United States as the adopted child of a U.S. citizen automatically becomes a U.S. citizen if the adoption is full and final before the child’s 18th birthday, if the child is “admitted” as a permanent resident before his or her 18th birthday, and if he or she “is residing” in the United States in the citizen parent’s legal and physical custody.
- How much is the application?
The filing fee for the N-600 is $1,000 as of October 2, 2020.
- How do I pay the application fee?
You must attach a check or money order to your application with the appropriate fee. The check or money order must be made out to US Department of Homeland Security. You can also pay via credit card using form G-1450.
- Where do I send the application once it is completed?
File Online through USCIS or File by mail to the USCIS Phoenix Lockbox Facility
If sending via US Postal Service, send to:
P.O. Box 20100
Phoenix, AZ 85036If sending via USPS Express Mail/Courier, send to:
USCIS, Attn: Form N600
1820 E. Skyharbor Circle S, Suite 100
Phoenix, AZ 85034
- Do I need to send originals? Are copies of my documents sufficient?
Never send original documentation unless USCIS specifically requests them. If you send original documents they will not be returned to you. For purposes of this filing, copies of all documentation are sufficient.
- Form N600 requires that I submit proof of US citizenship from the parent(s). What are some examples of this proof?
Birth certificates showing birth in the United States, an N-550, Certificate of Naturalization, N-560, Certificate of Citizenship, FS-240, Report of Birth Abroad of United States Citizen, a valid unexpired U.S passport.
- Form N600 requires that I submit proof of residence or physical presence in the United States. What are some examples of this proof?
This includes any document that proves the U.S citizen parent(s)' residence or physical presence in the United States. Some examples are: school, employment, military records, deeds, mortgages, leases showing residence, attestations by churches, unions or other organizations, U.S. Social Security quarterly reports, affidavits of third parties having knowledge of the residence and physical presence.
- What if a document is unavailable?
If you are unable to procure a particular document, you must provide a written explanation of the reason(s) the required document is unavailable and submit secondary evidence to establish eligibility. Secondary evidence may include baptismal records/certificates, school records, census records or affidavits (if other types of secondary evidence are not available).
- Do I need an attorney to fill out my Form N600?
Generally, you do not need an attorney to assist you in this process. However, the assistance of an attorney may be extremely beneficial in complicated cases.
- What if one of my documents is not in English?
You must provide a full English translation for any document written in a foreign language you submit to USCIS. The translator must certify that the translation is complete and accurate and that he or she is competent to translate from the foreign language to English.
- What if a question on the form is not applicable to my situation or to me?
All questions must be answered fully and accurately. If a question is not applicable, write: “N/A”. If the answer is none write “none”.
- What if we cannot afford the filing fee?
If you cannot afford the filing fee you may be eligible for a fee waiver. Be sure to file Form I-912, Request for Fee Waiver, with your application.
- What if we change addresses while our application is pending?
You must notify USCIS of your new address within 10 days of moving from your previous residence. Visit this website to find out where to file your change of address form: www.uscis.gov/addresschange or contact USCIS National Customer Service Center at 1-800-375-5283. Do not send your change of address form to the Phoenix Lockbox (where you sent the original application) as they do not process address requests. Please be aware that the address change may not be timely processed, so plan accordingly.
- After I have obtained my Certificate of Citizenship, what if I lost/destroyed my child’s Certificate of Citizenship?
You file Form N-565, Application for Replacement Naturalization/Citizenship Document.