If your parents are United States citizens but you were born outside of the U.S., or if you became a citizen after moving to this country before age 18, you can apply for a certificate of U.S. citizenship by filling out Form N-600. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service issues the certificate, which acts as proof of citizenship. To change the name on your certificate of citizenship, use Form N-565.
Changing the Name
To change the name on your citizenship certificate because of marriage, divorce or other legal name change, obtain Form N-565, Application for Replacement Naturalization/Citizenship Document, from the U.S. Customs and Immigration Service. Fill out and return this form to the USCIS with the required filing fee, which is $345 as of 2014. If you are applying for a name change because of an error on your certificate caused by the USCIS, such as misspelling your name on the original certificate, no filing fee is charged.
You'll need to attach a copy of your certificate of marriage or divorce to Form N-565 if that is the reason for the name change request, or the court decree that legally changed your name. If you are applying for a new certificate because your name was misspelled, you must provide documentation of the correct spelling. You must also attach two identical, full-face, passport-sized color photographs of yourself taken within a month of filing the form. Submit the form to one of two USCIS service centers, depending on your state of residence. The information is available on the USCIS website.
- U.S. Customs and Immigration Service: N-600, Application for Certificate of Citizenship
- U.S. Customs and Immigration Service: Chapter 4 -- Replacement of Certificate of Citizenship or Naturalization
- U.S. Customs and Immigration Service: N-565, Application for Replacement Naturalization/Citizenship Document
A graduate of New York University, Jane Meggitt writes regularly for various legal blogs. Her work has appeared in LegalZoom, USA Today and many other publications.