I’m filling out a form from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and it asks for my naturalization certificate number and date and place of issuance. I’m not sure where to look, or whether I’ve found the right number.
First, let’s make sure you are indeed a naturalized U.S. citizen, and therefore have such a certificate. A naturalized citizen is one who was neither born a U.S. citizen nor granted the status by “acquisition” or “derivation” from U.S. citizen parents, but instead became a U.S. citizen after submitting an application and taking an exam.
Upon being sworn in as a citizen, you would have been given what’s known as a “certificate of naturalization.”
Now take a look at your certificate. The requested "certificate number" can be found at the top right-hand side of it, in red ink. Do not get confused and use the number that appears below after “USCIS Registration No.,” “CIS Registration No.,” "Application No.," or “Petition No.”
The date and place issued are also shown on the naturalization certificate. For place of issuance of newer certificates, use the city and state where your oath ceremony took place, located lower down on the certificate. Don’t use the city and state of the USCIS field office where your application was filed (which also appears on the certificate), or your residence at the time you got citizenship. Older certificates show the location of the court that admitted you as a citizen. Use that location, rather than your city and state of residence at the time.
On newer certificates, the date of issuance is stamped or written right after the place of issuance. This will be the date of your oath ceremony, not the date your application for citizenship was approved or the date of your citizenship interview.
On older certificates, you’ll see two dates: the date of your court appearance, and the date the court official signed the certificate. If there’s any difference, use the date of the court’s signature.
If you were NOT a naturalized citizen, but instead had a certificate of citizenship after gaining U.S. citizenship through your parents, you would have been asked to give that certificate number and date and place of issuance. The certificate number on a certificate of citizenship is also on the top right-hand side in red (don’t use the “USCIS Registration No.,” “CIS Registration No.,” “Petition No.,” or “Application No.”). The date of issuance is expressly stated on the certificate—don’t use the date you became a citizen. On newer certificates, the place of issuance is not stated, but can be presumed to be Washington, DC. You can also use your residence at the time the certificate was issued, which is on the certificate, since this will help identify your certificate. Older certificates may have been issued by a court. If so, use the location of the court, not your residence.