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Form N-600 Complete Guide
When it comes to getting your U.S. citizenship, there are various interesting yet fairy complicated roundabouts that you are required to go through. For instance, US natives work with a fair number of people that weren’t born in the US but still have U.S. citizenship.
However, in order to reap the benefits of a citizen (such as taking out a non-us citizen loan), you still have to prove that you are a citizen of the United States of America. This all starts with Form N-600.
What Is Form N-600?
Form N-600 is a document that has been issued by USCIS that allows certain people who became U.S. citizens automatically (through their direct family) to prove their citizenship by using a Certificate of Citizenship.
Who Is Eligible for Form N-600?
You may be able to demonstrate that you are a citizen of the United States if you provide the following documents:
- FS-240, or Certificate of Birth Abroad
- US birth certificate
- US passport
- US Certificate of Citizenship
- Certificate of Naturalization
If you were born overseas but already believe that you are a citizen of the United States, you may apply for a US passport at the U.S. Department of States. The passport is proof of your citizenship, and it will also serve as travel documentation for when you wish to get out of the country.
How to Fill out an N-600
Part 1 – Information About Your Eligibility
Step 1: Check one of the first two boxes to indicate whether you are the biological or adopted child of a U.S. citizen.
Step 2: Check the “Other” box if you want to provide information about your grandparents to prove that you are a U.S. citizen and your parent never obtained proof of his or her own U.S. citizenship.
For each step above, you will need to explain this situation.
Part 2 – Information About You
Section 2 should be filled out about you or, if you are applying for a minor, about your child.
You will need to fill in your:
- Full name
- U.S. Social Security Number (if applicable)
- USCIS online account number (if any)
- Date of birth
- Country of birth
- Country of prior citizenship or nationality
- Mailing address
- Marital status
- Information about your admission into the U.S.
You will also need to indicate the type of travel document you used to be admitted into the country.
On Page 3 of Section 2, you need to select whether you are a Lawful Permanent Resident, Nonimmigrant, refugee/asylee, or other. If you obtained Lawful Permanent Resident status via an adjustment of status, indicate the date this happened and the location in Question 14D.
If you previously applied for a Certificate of Citizenship or U.S. passport, you need to explain in the space provided.
The remainder of Section 2 is dedicated to questions regarding your adoption if you answered that you were an adopted child of a U.S. citizen parent in question 1.
Part 3 – Biographic Information
Here, USCIS collects basic identifying information such as your ethnicity, race, height, and so on.
Part 4 – Information About Your U.S. Citizen Biological Father (or Adoptive Father)
If you are claiming that you acquired or derived U.S. citizenship from both parents (or you are a father submitting Form N-600 for your minor child), you will need to complete both parts 4 and 5. If you are claiming citizenship based solely on your U.S. citizen father, you can complete this section and skip Part 5.
Question 8 asks about your father’s marital history. This is relevant if your parents were not married when you were born. Your answers determine whether you will be required to provide proof that he “legitimated” you along with the application.
Part 5 – Information About Your U.S. Citizen Biological Mother (or Adopted Mother)
Just like with the previous section, complete this section if you are claiming U.S. citizenship based on both parents or just from your U.S. citizen mother (or you are a mother applying for your minor child).
Part 6 – Physical Presence in the United States From Birth Until Filing of Form N-600
If you are claiming that you automatically became a U.S. citizen at birth because you acquired citizenship from a U.S. citizen parent, you will need to provide all the dates of their residence in the United States. How long your parent must have resided in the U.S. will depend on the laws in effect when you were born.
Part 7 – Information About Military Service of U.S. Citizen Parent(s)
Fill out this section if you acquired U.S. citizenship at the time of your birth and you want to use a parent’s dates of military service to fulfill the physical presence requirements (even if he or she was stationed overseas).
Part 8 – Applicant’s Statement, Contact Information, Certification, and Signature
Make sure to fill in this section affirming that you’ve understood what you were entering on this form, and sign and date here. A parent or legal guardian may sign for a child who is under 14 years of age. Children under 14 years of age may also sign themselves. If a parent is filing the form for a child between 14 and 18, the child must sign.
Part 9 – Interpreter’s Contact Information, Certification, and Signature
If someone helped you understand the English on this form, that person needs to provide information and sign here.
Part 10 – Contact Information, Declaration, and Signature of Person Who Prepared This Application, if Other Than the Applicant
If someone else, such as an attorney, completed Form N-600 on your behalf, that person should sign and fill in the information requested.
Part 11 – Additional Information
Use this section if you couldn’t fit answers into the previous parts of the form.
Parts 12 and 13 – DO NOT complete these sections. You will be instructed to complete Part 9 if you are required to appear for an interview, and Part 13 is for USCIS use only.
Required Documents for Form N-600
Generally speaking, every required document in regards to Form N-600 should be mentioned on the USCIS website. However, considering that every person is different, you should discuss these matters with an immigration attorney. They will tell you precisely what documents you will need to send, and what you are safe to leave out.
Here are the documents that you are required to bring, regardless of your circumstances.
- Two passport-type photographs of the child that needs the Certificate of Citizenship.
- The birth record or certificate of the child.
- Evidence that the parents or grandparents have US citizenship.
- The birth certificate of parents or grandparents.
Bear in mind that while both parents should have US citizenship, this certificate can be given even if only one parent has said status. In some cases, the attorney will advise you of any extra documentation that you have to bring, such as proof of physical custody or evidence of legitimation for children that were not born in wedlock.
You should not send any original documents unless it was specifically requested that you do so. You have to provide verified copies – and if needed, translated verified versions of those copies. Failing to provide these documents might lead to your application being denied.
When it comes to Form N-600, the filing fee is $1170 for most citizens. Since every person might have different requirements, it is recommended that you use a fee calculator to determine exactly how much you have to pay.
Those who are veterans or members of the US army are exempt from paying this fee. You need to bring proof that you went through military service. Otherwise, you will have to pay the filing fee.
N-600 Processing Time
In general, USCIS takes about 9-14 months to process an N-600. Below is a breakdown of the various steps and how they take individually:
- Receipt of Applications (2-3 weeks from filing)
- Appointment Notice for Biometrics (3-5 weeks from filing)
- Biometrics Appointment (5-8 weeks from filing)
- Appointment Notice from Interview (6-10 weeks from filing)
- Citizenship Interview (8-12 months from filing)
- Receive Your Certificate of Citizenship (9-14 months from filing)
How to Check Your N-600 Processing Status
You may also check the processing status of your case by going to the My Case Status set up by USCIS. There, you enter the tracking number you received on your receipt notice, and you will be told exactly which stage the application has reached. If you did not get a receipt notice even after a few months have gone by, you might want to contact USCIS regarding this matter.
Where to Submit Form N-600?
When it comes to submitting your Form N-600, you can do it online by filing an electronic application, or you may do it by mail, using a standard paper application. Online applications are most recommended, particularly for those that are applying outside of the US. The addresses are given on the USCIS website, depending on your filing method.
Tips for Completing Form N-600
Filing the N-600 might be a rather complicated procedure, particularly if you are doing it for the first time. In order to ensure that it all goes flawlessly, here are some tips that you might want to consider:
- If possible, fill out the form on the computer. If that is not a possibility, write out every answer in black ink.
- If answers are not applicable, fill the place as “N/A” or simply write “None.”
- All answers should be contained inside the boxes or the lines provided in the form. This will keep your answers much easier to follow.
- Refrain from highlighting a text or crossing out answers that do not apply to you. Simply stick to the answers that do apply.
- Do not use correction fluid either (the white-out” technique). If you have made major mistakes on your form, simply complete a new form. For this reason, you should print out more than one form, so that you have a spare one at hand.
- If you are adding separate pages as attachments because you didn’t have enough room, make sure that you have the question number on the page, as well as your name in full. You should also date and sign every attachment that you make.
- Immigrant attorneys can be very helpful when filing the N-600. While they might seem like an unnecessary expense, they will ensure that everything is done correctly. This will lower your chances of having your request denied due to a simple mistake.
- Be honest and clear about every answer that you give. If the USCIS agents feel that you are withholding information from them, there is a chance that they will reject your application.
- Do not send any original documents; you won’t be getting them back.
Bear in mind that you only have one chance to file the N-600 – so if your application gets rejected, you should immediately appeal. A lawyer can be very helpful – especially if your parents already filed an N-600 on your behalf that was unsuccessful.