Certificates of Citizenship and Naturalization: New Design, Greater Security

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) issued an announcement for new, redesigned Citizenship and Naturalization certificates. The change comes after a successful pilot launch of the improved certificates at several field offices across the country. These eight certificates will have a new design to provide a fresh look and, more importantly, greater safeguards against document fraud.

Redesigned Certificates

Although certificates of naturalization are widely known, certificates of citizenship are less common. Certificates of citizenship are issued to those with U.S. citizenship who obtained status without being born in the United States or through the naturalization process. Certificates of Citizenship included in the redesign are:

  • N-560A; issued to an applicant who derived citizenship after birth;
  • N-560AB; issued to an applicant who derived citizenship at birth;
  • N-645 and N-645A, issued to the family of an individual who served honorably in the U.S. armed forces during a designated period of hostility and died as a result of injury or disease incurred in or aggravated by that service (Form N-645 is issued if the decedent was a male, and Form N-645A if the decedent was a female)
  • N-561, issued to replace a Certificate of Citizenship when the original certificate is lost, mutilated, or contains errors.

The newly redesigned certificates of naturalization are:

  • N-550, issued to an individual who obtains U.S. citizenship through the naturalization process;
  • N-578, issued to a naturalized U.S. citizen to obtain recognition as a United States citizen by a foreign state; and
  • N-570, issued when the original Certificate of Naturalization is lost, mutilated, or contains errors.

New Look

The new certificate look will help to deter counterfeiters from producing fake documents. Now, the certificates are printed on a “complex patterned background,” with a central image on each certificate. The image is unique to each certificate and is only visible under ultraviolet light. USCIS notes that the agency will continue to change the design every couple of years to insure the highest security of important immigration documents.