Understanding the N-644 Form and Benefits of Posthumous Citizenship

Understanding the N-644 Form and Benefits of Posthumous Citizenship

The N-644 Form is an application for posthumous citizenship that allows veterans who were not U.S. citizens during their lifetime to receive citizenship after their death. The application must be filed on behalf of the deceased individual by a surviving relative such as a spouse, parent, or child who can provide evidence of the individual’s eligibility for citizenship.

In addition to honoring the bravery and sacrifices of the veteran, the main benefit of posthumous citizenship is the ability to pass on citizenship to any surviving children or grandchildren. It can provide a pathway for family reunification and ensure that future generations have access to the opportunities and protections afforded by U.S. citizenship.

Eligibility Requirements for Posthumous Citizenship

To apply for posthumous citizenship under the N-644, specific eligibility requirements must be met. First, the deceased individual must have been a lawful permanent resident at the time of their passing.

Second, they must have served in the U.S. military during specific periods:

  • World War I (1917-1918)
  • World War II (1939- 1946)
  • Korean War (1950-1955)
  • VietnamWar (1961-1978)
  • Persian / Gulf War (1990-1991)
  • Iraq Hostilities (2001-ongoing until terminated by Executive Order)
  • Any other time period in which hostilities are designated by Executive Order

In addition to the dates listed above, the deceased may be eligible if they enlisted or re-enlisted under the Lodge Act of 1950 for five years.

Finally, their death must have resulted from active combat or disease incurred during military service. In addition, the deceased individual must have been physically present in the United States for at least five years before joining the military and until their death.

If all of these eligibility criteria are met, a qualifying family member can file the N-644 form within two years of the person’s death.

The attorneys at Scott D. Pollock & Associates, P.C. can help determine if your case meets the criteria for approval.

How to File an N-644 Form

Close-Up View of Form N-644

Any spouse, parent, child, or sibling is eligible to begin the N-644 Form filing process for posthumous citizenship for their deceased loved one. With adequate legal documentation- certain non-family members such as legal guardians, estate administrators, and those involved with the conservatorship of the dead are eligible to apply on behalf of the family. 

If the N-644 Form is submitted by someone other than a spouse or legally dedicated non-family member, all relatives in order of succession (age difference to the descendant) must be listed on the application.

Adequate proof of required eligibility must be submitted along with your N-644 Form.

Required Applicant Documents:

  • Proof of Marriage/Marriage Certificate (if completed by a spouse)
  • Authorization affidavits for all living relatives, including parents, siblings, and children (if completed by a living relative)
  • Letter of Appointment for authorized non-family members
  • Evidence of recognition by the Department of Veteran Affairs

All Other Required Documents:

  • Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty (Form DD214)
  • Report of Casualty/Military Death Certificate (Form DD1300)
  • All other Military or State issued Certificates of Death

The N-644 Form cannot be completed online and must be delivered by mail.

Your application and submission of the N-644 Form are processed in the order received. USCIS does not provide an estimated time frame for the completion of its review. However, applicants have reported an estimated 14 months to complete the process. 

What Happens After Filing an N-644 Form

USCIS does not provide delivery receipts for completed N-644 Forms mailed to their office, so applicants are encouraged to send items via-Certified Mail. Once USCIS receives the application, a portion of the certified mail postage label is signed and mailed back to you in order to confirm delivery.

Once received, the N-644 Form application and provided documents will be evaluated for deficiency during the review process. This process includes checking item validity, confirming eligibility, and ensuring all critical areas are correctly signed. Failure to meet these standards or providing incomplete items could result in longer waiting periods or application denial.

Using a legal service like Scott D. Pollock & Associates, P.C. can ensure that your application is completed correctly and meets all the requirements for approval. Our professional team of experienced attorneys is well-versed in immigration law and posthumous citizenship and knows precisely what documents to include and the important steps to take in the filing process.

The notification of approval or denial is delivered by mail to the address listed on the N-644 Form at the time of filing.

If denied, it is impossible to contest the decision for further review, significantly reducing the chances of obtaining posthumous U.S. citizenship. Carefully completing the N-644 Form is crucial to families seeking benefits. 

After approval, the applicant will receive notification (Form N-645) of the successful posthumous U.S. citizenship of the descendant. Eligible family members will also be able to begin the documentation process through Certification of Citizenship as a result of the approval. Family members outside the United States must visit their local consulate or Embassy to sign their U.S. Certification of Citizenship.

Frequently Asked Questions about N-644 Form

Can the N-644 Form be filed by someone who is not a U.S. citizen?

Yes, the N-644 Form can be filed by someone who is not a U.S. citizen as long as they are eligible to apply on behalf of the deceased member of the U.S. armed forces. The person filing the N-644 Form must be either the surviving spouse, parent, child, sibling, or legal representative of the deceased member of the U.S. armed forces.

Although the person filing the N-644 Form does not need to be a U.S. citizen, they must be located in the United States and be able to provide the necessary information and documentation to support the application. 

Is there a filing fee for the N-644 Form?

No, there is not a filing fee associated with the N-644 Form. USCIS does not charge a fee for this application because it is a benefit provided to the family of the deceased U.S. armed forces member.

However, applicants may need to pay fees for related services or documents, such as obtaining copies of the deceased member’s military records or a certified copy of the death certificate. Additionally, applicants may seek the assistance of an immigration attorney or legal professional, which may involve additional costs.

It is important to note that USCIS fees are subject to change, so it is always a good idea to check the USCIS website or consult an immigration attorney or legal professional for the most up-to-date information on fees and requirements.

Can the N-644 Form be expedited?

USCIS does not have an official expedited process for the N-644 Form.

USCIS may consider requests for expedited processing on a case-by-case basis if the applicant can demonstrate that they meet one or more of the USCIS expedited criteria, such as severe financial loss, an emergency, or compelling humanitarian reasons. The request for expedited processing must be made in writing and include documentation to support the request.

It is important to note that USCIS has sole discretion to approve or deny expedited requests, and there is no guarantee that the request will be granted. 

How Scott D. Pollock & Associates, P.C. Can Help 

At Scott D. Pollock & Associates, P.C., we understand that filing an N-644 Form can be complicated and emotional for families. Our experienced immigration attorneys are dedicated to helping you through this challenging time with compassion and expertise. 

We can help you determine if your loved one is eligible for posthumous citizenship, complete and submit the required paperwork, and answer any questions about the process. Contact us today to get started: call (312) 444-1940 or fill out our online form.


We're looking forward to hearing from you!