Completing Form N-565: A Step-by-Step Guide

Completing Form N-565: A Step-by-Step Guide

What if you can’t find your Certificate of Citizenship or Certificate of Naturalization? It’s certainly stressful to lose such an important document. These documents represent a significant investment of time, effort, and money, and they are often essential for proving your citizenship and accessing various benefits and opportunities. Losing them can be a significant inconvenience.

The good news is the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has a process for replacing these documents if they are lost, stolen, destroyed, or mutilated beyond recognition.

This page provides an overview of completing Form N-565, Application for Replacement Naturalization/Citizenship Document. You will also explain how to request expedited service if you need your document replaced quickly.

What is Form N-565?

Form N-565 is used by individuals who need to request a replacement for a naturalization or citizenship document, including a Certificate of Naturalization or a Certificate of Citizenship. It can also be used to request a replacement for a Repatriation Certificate or Declaration of Intention.

Form N-565 Instructions

The seven-page application contains 11 sections. However, you’ll only be required to complete the sections that are relevant to your situation.

For example, if you’re submitting an N-565 because you lost your naturalization certificate, you’ll complete: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 9, and then the sections designated for signatures for an interpreter and preparer if it’s relevant to your application (Part 10-11).

Part 1: Personal information

The first section is where you provide your name, country of birth, certificate number, Alien Register Number, and mailing address.

Part 2: Indicate what you need replacing and why

Choose only one document to replace out of the five options: 

  1. Certificate of Naturalization
  2. Certificate of Citizenship,
  3. Certificate of Repatriation
  4. Declaration of Intention (Form FS-240)
  5. Special Certificate of Naturalization to prove U.S. citizenship to a foreign country.

Then, you’ll explain why you need to explain the reason for your application. You’ll select all the boxes that apply to you and follow the specific instructions based on your situation.

For example, suppose you are applying because your certificate was lost. In that case, you’ll explain the situation and attach a copy of the certificate if you have one and any relevant police reports or sworn statements.

You might also need a replacement if you legally changed your name, birth date, or gender. There are some circumstances where a typo or clerical error needs correction, or your document is mutilated. Finally, there is an “other” section for circumstances that don’t fit the other options. 

Remember, carefully read the specific instructions for each option because it will indicate which parts you need to complete and what other documents you might need to attach.

Part 3: Additional Processing Information

In this section, provide some additional information about yourself. This includes your gender, height, and marital status. You will also identify the USCIS office or court that issued your last certificate or Declaration of Intention, the date it was issued, and your name on the document. If you have used any other names in the past, list them here. Finally, you will be asked if you have lost or renounced your citizenship by checking a “yes” or “no” box. If you check “yes,” you must attach an explanation.

Part 4: Document Corrections

This section is specifically for new certificate requests due to errors such as typos.You’ll explain why it’s incorrect, provide documents supporting your request, and indicate the correct information.  The incorrect documents are required to be included with your application.

Part 5: Name Change

If you legally changed your name either through marriage or court order, you must complete this section of the form. Here, you will indicate why your name has changed and when it officially became effective. Depending on how you changed your name, you may be required to provide additional evidence in support of your request as a marriage or divorce certificate.

Part 6: Birthdate Change

If your birth date was legally changed, complete this section by indicating whether it was by court order or state-issued document.  You must provide the original document from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and a state-issued document that shows the change, like a birth certificate or a certificate recognizing your foreign birth. This option is only available to people replacing a Certificate of Citizenship.

Part 7: Gender change

If you need a new certificate because your gender has been legally changed, you’ll need to provide certain documents and complete Part 7.

To request a replacement document, submit:

  • The original document from the USCIS
  • A certified copy of a court order, government-issued document, or medical certification that recognizes the change in your gender

You can provide multiple documents for proof such as both a government-issued document and medical certification.

Government-issued documents that recognize the change in your gender could include an amended birth certificate, passport, or driver’s license.

A medical certification is a document from a doctor that says you’ve had the right treatment for your gender change and that you have a doctor-patient relationship with the person who gave the certification.

You must include contact information for the doctor, their medical licensing number and Drug Enforcement Administration registration number, and the issuing state.

Statements from people who are not licensed doctors (like psychologists or nurse practitioners) are not accepted.

Part 8: Applying for a Special Certificate of Recognition

If you need a special certificate of naturalization to prove that you’re a citizen of the United States to a foreign country, attach a copy of your naturalization certificate to your form. You might need this special certificate if a foreign country needs proof of your citizenship for a good reason, like for a job or to get married, but not for things like traveling to the country or getting a benefit from them. 

You’ll also have to include a letter from the foreign government or agency that needs your certificate. The letter should explain why they need it and how it will be used.

Part 9: Your Signature and Contact Information

Finally, you will be required to sign and date your application and provide your phone number and email address.

Part 10-11: Interpreter and Preparer Signatures

If you have help from an interpreter or a preparer (such as an attorney) in these last sections, they will provide their name, address, phone number, email, and signature.

N-565 Processing Time

How long does it take to get a replacement naturalization certificate? Well, there isn’t a direct answer to this common question. The processing time for Form N-565 can vary depending on a number of factors, including the volume of applications being processed, the completeness of the application, and the specific request being made.

According to the USCIS processing times estimation calculator, the processing time for Form N-565 is currently listed as 13.5 months. However, it is important to note that this is just an estimate, and your actual processing time may be shorter or longer. You can use the USCIS processing times tool to see what you can expect for your application.

If you need to receive your replacement document by a specific date, you may be able to request expedited processing.  These requests are sometimes granted under certain humanitarian, compelling, or emergency situations. However, it is important to note that expedited processing is not always available and is granted at the discretion of the USCIS.

Form N-565 Fees

As of 2022, the fee for Form N-565 is $555. This fee is for the application only and does not include the cost of biometric services, which is an additional $85 for all applicants over the age of 14.

If you file your Form N-565 online, you can pay the fee online using a credit card or debit card. If you file your form by mail, you can pay the fee with a money order, personal check, cashier’s check, or by credit card using Form G-1450, Authorization for Credit Card Transactions. If you pay by check, it must be made payable to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

It’s important to note that filing and biometric service fees are non-refundable, even if your application is denied or you withdraw your request. You’ll need to pay each filing fee separately for any forms you submit. If you submit a single, combined payment for multiple forms, your entire package may be rejected.

If you are requesting a new certificate because of a clerical error by the USCIS, you will not have a filing fee.

In some cases, you may be able to request a Form N-565 fee waiver if you are unable to pay the fees due to financial hardship. To request a fee waiver, you will need to submit Form I-912, Request for Fee Waiver, along with your application. The decision to grant a fee waiver is made on a case-by-case basis, and you will need to provide documentation to support your request.

Need Help Replacing Your Lost Certificate of Citizenship or Certificate Naturalization?

If you have lost your Certificate of Citizenship or Certificate of Naturalization, don’t panic. At Scott D. Pollock & Associates, P.C., our experienced immigration attorneys can guide you through the process of obtaining a replacement document using Form N-565. We have over 70 years of combined experience and can provide the support and guidance you need to ensure your application is completed correctly. Contact us today by filling out our online form or calling (312) 444-1940 to learn more about how we can help.

We're looking forward to hearing from you!