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Proof of U.S. Citizenship and Identification When Applying for a Job

Your U.S. passport is your best proof of U.S. citizenship. Other official documents can be used, as described below.


Are you a citizen born in the United States?

Your birth certificate provides proof of citizenship. If you need a copy of your birth certificate, contact the Bureau of Vital Statistics in the State in which you were born. We do not issue any kind of citizenship document to a person who is a citizen by birth in the United States.

Are you a citizen born outside of the United States?

The citizenship of someone born outside of the United States, as the child of a U.S. citizen parent, could vary depending on the law in effect when the birth took place.  In most cases citizens born outside the U.S. requires a combination of evidence showing at least one parent being a U.S. citizen when the child was born and having lived in the United States or its possessions for a period of time. 

To apply for recognition of citizenship, you have options: 

  • Your Consular Report of Birth Abroad, or FS-240, provides proof of citizenship if your birth was registered at the nearest U.S. consulate when you were born. For more information you can link to the U.S. Department of State Web site from the “Related Links” section in the upper right corner of this page.
  • If you are already in the United States, apply for a Certificate of Citizenship. Use Form N-600, Application for Certificate of Citizenship, also available from the “Related Links” section in the upper right corner of this page. 

Are you a naturalized citizen or derivative citizen?

You can use your original Naturalization Certificate or Certificate of Citizenship as proof of citizenship.  If you have lost either of your certificates, you can apply for a replacement using Form N-565. The instructions to N-565 explain how to file and the process in greater detail. You can access both the form and instructions from the “Related Links” section in the upper right corner of this page. If you do not have Web access at home or work, check with your public library, or you can order a form by telephone by calling the USCIS forms request line at 1-800-870-3676.

Identification when applying for a job

Every employer in the United States must verify that each newly hired employee can be legally employed in the United States.  A U.S. citizen may show a variety of evidence to meet this requirement:

  • U.S. passport;
  • U.S. birth certificate along with a government-issued photo identification document.

Last updated:02/03/2010