How to Get an Apostille on a Naturalization Certificate

For US citizens traveling abroad, consider getting an apostille for your naturalization certificate.

It’s an authentication that ensures recognition under the Apostille Convention, making your citizenship docs internationally accepted.

Obtain a certified copy, then apply for an apostille from the US Department of State. Include it with your passport for hassle-free international travel.

How to Get an Apostille on a Naturalization Certificate
How to Get an Apostille on a Naturalization Certificate

 

Let me explain the process for legally verifying citizenship records, the costs involved, and typical processing times.

What Does a Naturalization Certificate Show?

A naturalization certificate documents that a person legally became a citizen of the United States through the naturalization process.

This occurs when an individual meets certain eligibility requirements over time, such as having permanent resident status, good conduct, passing tests, and pledging allegiance.

The certificate comes from United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), which is under the Department of Homeland Security.

It contains the person’s name, birthdate, photo, signature, and other details. It also features a unique identification number and seal from USCIS.

Why Pursue Legalization of a Naturalization Certificate?

Additional verification may be necessary if planning to present the citizenship record across international borders, particularly in nations that are members of the Apostille Convention.

This global treaty makes it simpler to use certain public records between its many participating countries.

Since naturalization papers are issued by a government agency, they qualify as public documents.

Legalization confirms the seal and signature on the document match the records. It does not authenticate the contents themselves.

With an apostille attached, the receiving nation can accept it without further delays.

Some common situations requiring verification include efforts related to passports, visas, marriages, property matters, education, jobs, banking, and more.

It’s wise to check destination requirements in advance.

Where to Get It Done

The United States Department of State in Washington, D.C., holds the sole authority to legally verify federal records like naturalization certificates.

Neither individual state offices nor USCIS can apply for an apostille.

You have the option to request a certified copy from USCIS if you don’t wish to send the original document.

Costs and Processing

To get legalization from the Department of State, anticipate spending $20 per document. Additionally, certified documentation from USCIS costs $555 per copy.

Factor in mailing fees to ship materials and receive them back as needed.

The apostille process takes around 11 weeks once it is received by the authentication office.

You can track the status online or via phone during that time.

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