9 FAM 202
Non-visa travelers

9 FAM 202.1

U.S. citizens and nationals

(CT:VISA-313;   03-31-2017)
(Office of Origin:  CA/VO/L/R)

9 fam 202.1-1  statutory and regulatory Authorities

9 FAM 202.1-1(A)  Immigration and Nationality Act

(CT:VISA-1;   11-18-2015)

INA 101(a)(21) (8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(21)); INA 101(a)(22) (8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(22)); INA 215(b) (8 U.S.C. 1185(b)); INA 343(b) (8 U.S.C. 1454(b)); INA 343(d) (8 U.S.C. 1454(d)).

9 FAM 202.1-1(B)  Code of Federal Regulations

(CT:VISA-1;   11-18-2015)

8 CFR 204.1(g)(2); 22 CFR 40.2(a).

9 fam 202.1-2  visa-related issues with u.s. citizens

(CT:VISA-1;   11-18-2015)

a. Processing Visa Applications for Aliens Who May Have a Claim to U.S. Citizenship:

(1)  Nonimmigrant Visa Applicants:  You may not issue a visa to an individual who has been determined to be a U.S. citizen.  However, if a nonimmigrant visa applicant with a possible claim to U.S. citizenship is unable or unwilling to delay travel until he or she has been able to obtain documents to establish that status, as determined by the post’s citizenship and passport officer, you may presume that the applicant is an “alien” pursuing a nonimmigrant visa application.  If you find the presumed alien eligible to receive the visa then you may issue the visa.

(2)  Immigrant Visa Applicants: Under 22 CFR 40.2(a), a U.S. citizen is not eligible to receive an immigrant visa.  If an immigrant visa applicant has a possible claim to U.S. citizenship, post’s citizenship and passport officer must resolve the citizenship issue before you may take final action on the visa application.  If the matter cannot be resolved that same day, the visa officer should deny the immigrant visa application under INA 221(g) pending resolution of the citizenship issue.  Any doubts regarding the applicant’s U.S. citizenship status must be resolved before the visa officer may take final action on the visa application.

b. Child Born in the United States to Aliens on Official Assignment:  A child born in the United States to alien parents who are in the United States on assignment for a foreign government is considered to be a U.S. citizen.  However, a child born to alien parents who, at the time of the child’s birth were “not subject to the jurisdiction of the United States”, such as ambassadors, envoys, ministers and other persons as set forth in 7 FAM 1111 (d)(2) are not considered U.S. citizens.  Any doubtful cases should be determined by post’s citizenship and passport officer.

c.  Applications for Visas for Certain Dual National Children:

(1)  You should advise parents who apply for visas for dual national children that regulations prohibit the issuance of a visa or other documentation to a U.S. citizen or national for entry into the United States as an alien. The children of foreign government officials, however, may use their foreign passport for entry into the United States.

(2)  After the U.S. citizenship of a child has been determined by a citizenship officer, the consular officer may, to avoid delay or difficulty, give a written statement to the parents for presentation to carriers or immigration officials. The statement should make clear that the bearer of the foreign passport is a dual national child of a foreign government official or employee who is traveling to the United States on official business and as such may enter the United States on the foreign passport as an exception to the provisions of INA 215(b) regarding valid passport requirement.

(3)  A child under 12 years of age who is included in the passport of an alien parent in an official capacity may be admitted if evidence of U.S. citizenship is presented at the time of entry. A determination of the child’s citizenship should be made by citizenship officer prior to departure from a foreign country and the parent should be instructed to have evidence of such citizenship available for inspection by the admitting Department of Homeland Security Officer.

9 fam 202.1-3  proof of u.s citizenship

(CT:VISA-313;   03-31-2017)

a. Primary Evidence: Primary evidence that a petitioner or person is a U.S. citizen may consist of the following:

(1)  A birth certificate issued by a civil authority which establishes birth in the United States;

(2)  A Certificate of Naturalization or Certificate of Citizenship issued in the petitioner’s name;

(3)  An unexpired U.S. passport issued initially for a full ten-year period to a petitioner or person over the age of 18 as a citizen of the United States (and not merely a noncitizen national) – see also 9 FAM 202.1-3 paragraph d below;

(4)  An unexpired U.S. passport issued initially for a full five-year period to a petitioner under the age of 18 as a citizen of the United States (and not merely a noncitizen national) – see also 9 FAM 202.1-3 paragraph d below;

(5)  Department of State Form FS-240, Consular Report of Birth Abroad of a Citizen of the United States of America; or

(6)  An unexpired passport card issued for full validity to the petitioner.

b. Secondary Evidence: If primary evidence is unavailable, the petitioner or individual must present secondary evidence. This evidence must be evaluated for authenticity and credibility. Such evidence may include, but is not limited to, one or more of the following:

(1)  A baptismal certificate with the seal of the church, showing the date and place of birth in the United States and date of the baptism;

(2)  Affidavits sworn to by persons who have personal knowledge and were present at the time naturalization took place;

(3)  Early school records showing the date of admission to the school, the child’s date and place of birth, and the name(s), date(s), and place(s) of birth of the parent(s); or

(4)  Census records showing name, date and place of birth, or age.

c.  An approved Form I-600-A, Application for Advance Processing of Orphan Petition, for an adoptive or prospective adoptive parent attests to USCIS determination that citizenship and age requirements have been met.

d.  U.S. Passport as Proof of Citizenship for U.S. Citizen Petitioners:  Petitions filed by U.S. citizens must be accompanied by primary evidence of the petitioner's U.S. citizenship.

(1)  U.S. citizen petitioner abroad may establish U.S. citizenship by presentation of an unexpired U.S. passport issued initially for the full period of validity to the petitioner as a citizen of the United States, not as a non-citizen national.  If the petitioner intends to mail the application to a DHS office, or is not carrying the passport when seeking to file the petition at a consular office, citizenship may be established by a statement by the consular officer that the petitioner has presented such a passport on some occasion or that post records show the petitioner to be a U.S. citizen who is the bearer of such a passport.

(2)  This statement may be written on or attached to the Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, Form I-360, Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant, or Form I-600, Petition to Classify Orphan as an Immediate Relative.  If the petition is filed at a consular office and the consular officer is not fully satisfied that the petitioner is a U.S. citizen rather than a national, the petition should be considered “not clearly approvable”.  (See 9 FAM 504.2-4.)

(3)  A petitioner who is unable to obtain primary evidence of citizenship may submit other forms of evidence; however, such a petition should be regarded as "not clearly approvable" and forwarded to the USCIS office with jurisdiction. (See 8 CFR 204.1(g)(2) for further information concerning documentation that USCIS accepts when evidence of U.S. citizenship is unavailable.) In every case, the consular officer must be satisfied with the bona fides of the document and that the bearer has not lost U.S. citizenship since the date of issuance.

e. U.S. Citizen in Armed Forces:  If it is determined that it would cause unusual delay or hardship to obtain documentary proof of birth in the United States, a U. S. citizen petitioner who is a member of the U.S. Armed Forces and who is serving outside the United States may submit a statement from the appropriate authority of the Armed Forces. The statement should attest to the fact that the personnel records of the Armed Forces show that the petitioner was born in the United States on a certain date (see 8 CFR 204.1(g)(2)(V)).

9 fam 202.1-4  replacement certificates of citizenship or naturalization

(CT:VISA-153;   08-05-2016)

The Attorney General has authority under INA 343(b) and INA 343(d) to issue a Form N-550, Replacement Certificate of Naturalization, or Form N-645 Certification of Citizenship, in cases where the original certificate has been lost, mutilated, or destroyed, and to issue the replacement certificate under a new name when the name of any naturalized person has been changed.

(1)  Applying for Replacement Certificate of Citizenship or Naturalization at Post:  DHS has authorized consular officers to assist applicants for a replacement certificate of naturalization or citizenship if the applicant is physically present in the consular district and submits Form N-565, Application for Replacement Naturalization/Citizenship Document, in person. The consular officer must forward the completed Form N-565 with the appropriate fee to the DHS Service Center having jurisdiction over the applicant's state of residence in the United States, or to the district director of the Washington, DC district for DHS action.

(2)  Applying for Replacement Certificate of Citizenship or Naturalization in the United States:

(a)  An application for a replacement certificate of naturalization or citizenship is normally submitted in person at a DHS office in the United States where a DHS officer will conduct an interview.

(b)  In cases in which the applicant will proceed abroad before the certificate can be delivered, DHS will forward the certificate to the consular post designated by the applicant. The consular officer must forward the receipt for delivery of the certificate, signed by the applicant, to the DHS office of origin.

(c)  If the consular officer finds that the applicant has lost his or her U.S. citizenship, or is otherwise ineligible to receive the certificate, he or she must withhold the certificate from the applicant and return it to the originating DHS office.

(3)  When Interview is Required:  When a DHS officer has not interviewed an applicant, the immigration officer will prepare and transmit the replacement certificate to the consular office designated by the applicant for delivery of the document. Along with the certificate, the DHS officer will send the application and photographs of the naturalization petition and of the certificate(s) being replaced, as an aid to the consular officer in conducting the interview. The interviewing consular officer must follow the guidelines listed below to determine the applicant's eligibility to receive the duplicate certificate.

(a)  Identity:  The consular officer must be able to identify the applicant as the person who was naturalized and to whom the original certificate was issued. Comparing photographs and signatures and questioning the applicant regarding items in the petition for naturalization will aid in this respect.

(b)  Expatriation:  The applicant must be questioned to determine whether citizenship has been lost since the date the applicant became a U.S. citizen. Other persons may be questioned, and records examined, if the consular officer decides such additional action is necessary to resolve the issue.

(c)  Disposition of Original Certificate:  The consular officer must question the applicant regarding the circumstances of the claimed loss or destruction of the original certificate to ensure that the claim is not fraudulent. If DHS instructs the consular officer to obtain the original (mutilated or incorrect) certificate from the applicant, the consular officer must withhold delivery of the new certificate until the original has been surrendered.

(4)  Certificate Delivery:  Only when all requirements discussed in 9 FAM 202.1-4 have been satisfied may the new certificate be delivered. The applicant must execute and sign the receipt at the bottom of Form N-565, Examiner's Report, page 2 of Form N-565. The consular officer must complete the Examiner's Report and return the application and attachments to the DHS office of origin. The consular officer should assume, and so indicate in the report, that DHS verified the applicant's naturalization at the time of application in the United States.

(5)  Denial of Application:  The consular officer must deny the application if he or she finds any of the elements lacking.  If the application is denied, the officer must complete the Examiner's Report, with a supplemental report covering the reasons for the denial, and return the replacement certificate, Form N-645, the application, and attachments to the DHS office of origin.