How to Obtain a Copy of My Naturalization Papers

By JanetB

When a person born in another country wishes to become an American citizen, the process is called naturalization. Naturalization records, or papers, will then serve as proof of citizenship, similar to a birth certificate for natural born citizens. Therefore, if a naturalized citizen has lost his original naturalization papers, it is important to request replacements.

Fill out form N-265, the Application for Replacement of a Naturalization or Citizenship Document. The form is available from the Citizenship and Immigration Services (formerly known as the Immigration and Naturalization Service, or INS) website, which is a division of the Department of Homeland Security. The form will require you to provide information regarding where and when you were granted U.S. citizenship, as well as any information regarding name changes or corrections to the original document. Answer all questions truthfully.

Attach what is left of your original naturalization papers if you are replacing them because they were damaged in some way. You must submit the original document; a copy will not be accepted.

Include original naturalization papers and a copy of your marriage certificate documenting the name change, if you are requesting new naturalization papers because you have changed your name through marriage. If you changed your name legally via a court order, also attach a copy of the court order. You must submit your original naturalization papers; a copy will not be accepted.

Obtain two identical passport sized photos of yourself and attach them to your request for a copy of your naturalization papers. The photos must be 2 inches by 2 inches, and must show your face and head. You may not wear a head covering in the photos unless you are required to do so for religious purposes. Print your Alien Registration Number and your name on the back of each photo in pencil.

Write a check or money order to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in the amount of $380 (the fee as of 2010) and attach it to your request for a copy of your naturalization papers. Do not abbreviate the department's name, or your check will not be accepted.

Mail your completed form and attachments to the proper address. If you live east of the Mississippi River, send them to:

DHS/USCIS

Texas Service Center

PO Box 851182

Mesquite, TX 75185-1182

If you live west of the Mississippi River, send them to:

DHS/USCIS

Nebraska Service Center

PO Box 87565

Lincoln, NE 68501-7565

Wait to hear from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service. If you are eligible for a copy of your naturalization papers, they will be sent to you. If your application was incomplete, it may be rejected, or you may be asked to supply more information or appear at a Citizenship and Immigration Service office for an interview.