Form N-560: What You Need to Know

Updated on April 10, 2024

At a Glance

  • Form N-560 grants citizenship to children of U.S. citizens born abroad.
  • Serves as proof of citizenship, akin to a U.S. passport or birth certificate.
  • Application involves document submission online or by mail and payment of associated fees.
  • Replacement requests are possible if the certificate is lost, damaged, or needs updating, with costs covering fees, translation services, attorney fees, and miscellaneous expenses.

The United States offers many ways for people born outside of the country can become U.S. citizens. Form N-560 is just one of the ways that certify your U.S. citizenship status. In this article, we’ll explain everything you need to know about Form N-560, who is eligible for it, and how to get one if you’re eligible.

What Is Form N-560?

Form N-560, known as the Certificate of U.S. Citizenship, is for children of American citizens who were born outside of the United States. This certificate is awarded by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) after you’ve met the eligibility and passed the screening.

Form N-560 is equivalent to other proof-of-citizenship documents like the U.S. state-issued birth certificate, U.S. passport, and Naturalization Certificate. 

What’s the Difference Between Citizenship and Naturalization?

It is important to understand the difference between citizenship and naturalization. While both amount to the same status, they are radically different in process and apply to two separate categories of individuals.

Citizenship is granted by birthright if you are born in the United States) or acquisition (if one of your parents is a U.S. citizen). In the case of naturalization, you start with immigrant status and, years down the road, become an American citizen by meeting all the eligibility criteria.

Who Needs Form N-560?

Form N-560 is used by the USCIS to grant U.S. citizenship to people whose parents are U.S. citizens either by birth or through naturalization. Only people born outside of the United States to American parents can apply for Form N-560 with the USCIS.

This process is known as the acquisition of citizenship. If one of your parents became a U.S. citizen through naturalization, you can apply for “derivation of citizenship.” Children adopted by American parents are also eligible for Form N-560.

Documents Required for Form N-560

If you’re applying for Form N-560, chances are you lack documents that can prove your U.S. citizenship. If you were born to American parents on foreign soil, your parents should have informed the U.S. consulate in that country and acquired a birth certificate.

But if, for some reason, your parents failed to do so, you can still apply for Form N-560 without documents. You simply have to file an application, and the U.S. government will determine your eligibility. If it is found satisfactory, you’ll be given the N-560 or N-561 certificate, along with a U.S. passport and Social Security card.

But since you’ll be filing Form N-600 in the process, you’ll be asked to submit a few documents. Those documents are:

  • Recent passport-sized photos
  • Birth records or certificate
  • Evidence a parent or grandparent is a U.S. citizens
  • Birth certificates of parents or grandparents

How to Apply for Form N-560

To apply for Form N-560, first get in touch with the U.S. embassy in your country. If you’re in the U.S., visit the nearest USCIS office and begin your application process.

File Form N-600

The first step is to file Form N-600, known as the Application for Certificate of Citizenship. Visit the USCIS website to download the form. It is a 15-page document accompanied by instructions.

Provide Relevant Documents

Next, submit the relevant documents mentioned above. These help USCIS officials verify your claim and process your application. If any of these documents are written in a foreign language, have them translated into English before submitting them.

Depending on your particular case, you may be asked to provide additional documents, like a marriage certificate, adoption decree, name change certificate, etc. Therefore, be prepared to produce whatever documents officials might ask for.

Where to Submit Form N-560

Once you’re done with filling out Form N-600 and gathering relevant documents, you have two options for submitting them.


You can submit the form and upload the documents online on the USCIS portal. This is considered convenient and fast. If you’re submitting online, you’ll also have to pay the fees online and submit a receipt.

By Mail

The second way is to file it by mail. Gather the documents, complete Form N-600, and send it to the USCIS office mentioned in the form. See the bottom of Form N-600 for the address.

Replacing Your Form N-560

If your N-560 gets damaged, lost, or stolen, you can apply for a replacement. After verifying your document and case, the USCIS will issue Form N-560, Replacement Certificate of Citizenship. If you find that your issued Form N-560 contains errors or some information has changed, you can also apply for a replacement.

Form N-560 Cost

The cost associated with Form N-560 varies. The first cost you will incur is for filing N-600, which is $1170. If you have used translation services, there are separate fees. If you consult an attorney, that will also be an expense, as well as or any other miscellaneous fees.

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The USCIS has stopped issuing a similar form called Form N-560AB and has asked all applicants to use Form N-560 instead. Therefore, you don’t get confused if you come across old information on an outdated website. If you have any other questions or concerns, get in touch with an immigration attorney.

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Frank Gogol

I’m a firm believer that information is the key to financial freedom. On the Stilt Blog, I write about the complex topics — like finance, immigration, and technology — to help immigrants make the most of their lives in the U.S. Our content and brand have been featured in Forbes, TechCrunch, VentureBeat, and more.

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