TN 18 (12-15)

RM 10210.505 Primary Level Evidence of U.S. Citizenship

NOTE: For replacement card applications, SSA’s enumeration system automatically checks the latest Numident record. For more information on citizenship evidence for replacement cards, see RM 10210.500A.

Primary level evidence (definition and rules)

Is an original document with the highest probative value that conclusively establishes that the person is a U.S. citizen.

  • If the applicant does not submit primary evidence and it is readily available, develop for the primary evidence.

  • For U.S. born SSN applicants, if primary level evidence is not readily available, develop for secondary evidence.Readily availablemeans the evidence exists and can be obtained in 10 working days.

See Secondary Evidence Details:

Document

Explanation, Rules, and References

U.S. public birth record showing birth in:

  • One of the 50 U.S. States;

  • District of Columbia;

  • American Samoa (includes Swains Island);

  • Puerto Rico;

  • Guam;

  • Virgin Islands of the U.S. (on or after 01/17/1917); or

  • Northern Mariana Islands (on or after 11/04/1986 (NMI local time))

States, Commonwealths, territories, and local jurisdictions issue birth record documents.

The birth record must show that the agency established the record prior to the applicant turning age 5.

See Also:

  • RM 10210.515, for Guam, Virgin Islands, and Northern Mariana Island applicants born prior to the date these areas became part of the U.S.

  • RM 10210.525, for birth records amended after 5 years of age.

  • GN 00308.000, for sources and fees for State and local vital records.

U.S. passport, including:

  • Machine readable passports;

  • Passport cards;

  • e-passports;

  • Non-machine readable passports.

Department of State (DOS) issues U.S. passports. Passports are issued for tourist, official, diplomatic, military dependents or emergency travel purposes. U.S. passports may be current or expired but must meet the following criteria to be acceptable evidence of U.S. citizenship:

  • The tourist passport:- If the applicant is under 16 years old at the time the passport is issued, the validity period must be 5 years. If the applicant is 16 years old or older at the time the passport is issued, the validity period must be 10 years.

  • U.S. Official, Diplomatic, and Military dependent passports have a validity of up to 5 years and are acceptable evidence of U.S. citizenship regardless of the length of validity. NOTE: To enter a U.S. official, diplomatic or military dependent passport in SSNAP, select “RO/CPS Int” in the Proof of Citizenship screen under Level 4. For more information, see RM 10210.170.)

Do not accept U.S. passports that do not meet the above criteria as those passports are called “limited” or “emergency” passports that may not be based on conclusive proof of U.S. citizenship.

NOTE: Young children were sometimes included on a parent's passport through 1980. U.S. passports issued after 1980 show only one person.

See Also:

  • ACM, for physical description and specimens of U.S. tourist passports

  • RM 10210.550 and RS 02640.050B, for a description of all U.S. passports.

  • RM 10210.210 and RM 10210.555, for reviewing U.S. passports.

  • GN 00303.300B.1., for SSN applications taken outside of the U.S., if a non-resident applicant submits a passport and claims birth abroad to a U.S. citizen parent.

Certification of Report of Birth (DS-1350)

DOS issued the DS-1350 through December 31, 2010. The DS-1350 had been:

  • Issued to U.S. citizens in the U.S. born outside the U.S. and acquired U.S. citizenship at birth.

  • Prepared based on the information recorded with DOS on the Consular Report of Birth (FS-240) at the time of birth.

Although no longer issued, these forms are still valid.

Effective January 3, 2011, DOS issues a Consular Report of Birth Abroad, FS-240, to replace or correct a previously issued DS-1350.

See Also:

GN 00308.235, for sources and fees for DOS vital records.

Consular Report of Birth Abroad (FS-240, CRBA)

DOS’ American embassy or consular office takes the FS-240 application overseas while the child is under the age of 18.

The FS-240 reflects the fact of a birth abroad of a child whose U.S. citizenship is derived through one or both parents being U.S. citizens at the time of the child's birth. EXAMPLE: Children born abroad to U.S. military personnel usually have an FS-240.

Effective January 3, 2011:

  • DOS only prints FS-240s in the U.S. so it can take several weeks before the parents receive the form.

  • DOS issues a new FS-240 to replace or correct a previously issued FS-240 or DS-1350.

See Also:

GN 00308.235, for information on requesting DOS vital records.

Certification of Birth Abroad (FS-545)

DOS’ American embassy or consular office.

  • Issued FS-545s with a prior version of the FS-240.

  • Stopped issuing FS-545 in 1990.

Treat an FS-545 the same as the DS-1350.

U.S. Citizen Identification Card

(I-197 or the prior version I-179)

Immigration and Naturalization Services (INS).

  • Issued the I-179 from 1960 until February 1974.

  • Issued the I-197 (replacing the I-179) until April 7, 1983.

  • Identifies naturalized U.S. citizens living near the Canadian or Mexican border who needed these forms for frequent border crossings.

Although no longer issued, these forms are still valid.

American Indian Card (I-872) showing a class code of “KIC”

Department of Homeland Security (DHS), previously INS.

  • Began issuing in 1983.

  • Identifies U.S. citizens who are members of the Texas Band of Kickapoo Indians living near the U.S./Mexican border.

See Also:

RM 10211.075C, for aliens submitting a card showing a Class Code of “KIP” or a Certificate of Indian Status card.

Northern Mariana Card (I-873)

INS issued the I-873 to a collectively naturalized citizen of the U.S. who was born in the North Mariana Islands before November 4, 1986. Although no longer issued, this form is still valid.

Certificate of Naturalization (N-550/N-570)

CAUTION: Acceptable evidence only after DHS verification via the enumeration system.

DHS

  • Issues an N-550 to people who are individually naturalized.

  • Issues an N-570 as a replacement certificate when the original N-550 is lost, mutilated, or the person’s name has changed.

  • Issued through Federal and State courts until December 1990.

  • Issued through administrative naturalization after December 1990.

The N-550 or N-570, issued in a parent’s name, is also primary level evidence of U.S. citizenship for any children listed on that certificate.

Certificate of Citizenship (N-560/N-561)

CAUTION: Acceptable evidence only after DHS verification via the enumeration system.

DHS

  • Issues an N-560, generally upon request, to individuals who derive their U.S. citizenship through a parent.

  • Issues an N-561 as a replacement certificate when the original N-560 is lost, mutilated, or the person’s name has changed.

See Also:

RM 10210.530, RM 10210.535, and RM 10210.540, for more information on evidence for foreign-born children.

Machine Readable Immigrant Visa (MRIV) showing a Category code of IR3 or IH3.

CAUTION: Acceptable as primary level evidence only when:

  • the applicant has not received the Certificate of Citizenship; and

  • the SAVE initial verification response, requested via the enumeration system, is “U.S. Citizen.”

DHS

  • Issues the MRIV showing IR3 or IH3 to certain foreign-born foreign-adopted children who automatically acquire U.S. citizenship when admitted to the U.S.

  • Mails the Certificate of Citizenship to the parent(s) within 45 days of the child’s admission to the U.S.

NOTE: If the applicant has the Certificate of Citizenship, the applicant must submit it instead of the MRIV.

See Details:

RM 10210.530 and RM 10210.540, for more information on foreign-born adopted children.

Certificate Statement from a U.S. consular official.

Derivative citizenship applies. This statement is acceptable only for SSN applications taken outside of the U.S.

See Also:

GN 00303.300E Policy - Primary Evidence of Citizenship.


To Link to this section - Use this URL:
http://policy.ssa.gov/poms.nsf/lnx/0110210505
RM 10210.505 - Primary Level Evidence of U.S. Citizenship - 12/02/2015
Batch run: 12/02/2015
Rev:12/02/2015