What is Form N-600K?
Form N-600K, officially known as “Application for Citizenship and Issuance of Certificate Under Section 322,” is an immigration form used to apply for citizenship on behalf of foreign-born children who regularly reside outside the U.S.
Section 322 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) provides a process for U.S. citizen parents to transmit citizenship to their foreign-born children under certain conditions.
To be eligible, the U.S. citizen parent must meet specific residency and physical presence requirements, and the child must meet age and custody requirements.
The Form N-600K is used to initiate the process and apply for a Certificate of Citizenship for the eligible child.
This certificate serves as official proof of the child’s U.S. citizenship.
Who can file Form N-600K?
To be eligible to file Form N-600K, the child must meet all of the following requirements:
- Child is unmarried;
- USCIS must administer the Oath of Allegiance to the child before reaching 18 years of age;
- The child regularly resides outside the U.S.;
- The child is in the legal and physical custody of the U.S. citizen parent;
- The child’s U.S. citizen parent has been physically present in the U.S. for at least 5 years total, at least 2 of which were after 14 years of age. If the U.S. citizen parent does not meet this requirement, the U.S. citizen’s own U.S. citizen parent (child’s grandparent) has to have been physically present in the U.S. for at least 5 years total, at least 2 of which were after 14 years of age.
- The child is temporarily in the U.S. in lawful status.
Requirements for children of members of U.S. Armed Forces:
- If the child is residing abroad with a U.S. citizen parent who is a member of the U.S. Armed Forces under military orders, the process can be completed outside the U.S.
- The child doesn’t have to meet the physical presence and lawful status requirements
- U.S. citizen parent who is serving in the U.S. Armed Forces can count the time spent outside the U.S. under official military orders as 5 years of physical presence in the U.S. as long as the child is residing abroad under official military orders at the time of filing.
The following individuals may file Form N-600K on behalf of the child:
- U.S. citizen parent;
- U.S. citizen grandparent;
- U.S. citizen legal guardian.
Who cannot file Form N-600K?
The following individuals are not eligible to file Form N-600K:
- U.S. citizen step parents on behalf of their step children;
- Children over 18 years of age;
- If the child has already acquired citizenship automatically under INA sections 301, 209, 320 or on or before February 27, 2001;
- If you need to replace a lost or stolen certificate of citizenship. You can file Form N-656 to replace the certificate
- If you previously filed Form N-600K and it was denied
How to file Form N-600K online
The process of filing Form N-600K online involves the following steps:
Step 1. Create an online USCIS account if you do not have one
Step 2. From the “My account” dropdown menu, choose “File a form online”. Choose “Form N-600K”
Step 3. Carefully answer all of the questions and upload scanned copies of the documents requested.
Step 4. Review your answers, make sure that all the requested documents are uploaded and submit the application. You will pay the filing fee online using a credit card.
Step 5. Download the Form N-600K receipt notice from “Your cases” – “Documents” – “USCIS Notices”. Hard copy notice will arrive by mail within a couple of weeks.
Step 6. Wait for USCIS processing: you can track the status of your case in your online account. If USCIS issues a Request for Evidence (RFE), you can upload your request to RFE directly to your online account.
Step 7. If approved, you will have access to approval notice in your online account. The Certificate of Citizenship Under Section 322 will arrive by mail.
How to file Form N-600K by mail
The process of filing Form N-600K by mail involves the following steps:
Step 1. Download the Form N-600K:
- Obtain the latest edition of Form N-600K, Application for Citizenship and Issuance of Certificate Under Section 322, from the USCIS website.
- USCIS will reject any outdated editions of Form N-600K
Step 2. Gather Supporting Documents:
- Collect all the necessary supporting documents (see the checklist below). Unless directed otherwise, submit only photocopies of the documents
Step 3. Complete the Form:
- Fill out the form accurately and completely. Sign and date the form in ink
- USCIS does not accept computer-generated or stamped signatures
- Fill out and submit Form G-1145 to receive an electronic notification (text message or email) containing USCIS receipt number
Step 4. Filing fee payment:
- Check the USCIS website for the most current filing fee.
- Acceptable forms of payment include: money order, personal check, cashier’s check or credit card payment (fill out Form G-1450)
- If paying by check, the check must be payable to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security
Step 5. Mail the Application:
- Once the form is completed and the supporting documents are gathered, filing fee payment is submitted, mail the entire package to the correct filing address (“Where to File” section).
- It’s recommended to mail the application via express mail with a tracking number
Step 6. Check Application Status:
- USCIS will mail the receipt notice 2-3 weeks after the submission date
- You can track the status of your application online by entering the Form N-600K receipt number
Step 7. Wait for Processing:
- USCIS will process your application, and if additional information or document is needed, an RFE notice will be mailed to you. Once processed, you will receive a decision on your application by mail.
Form N-600K filing fee
The filing fee for Form N-600K, Application for Citizenship and Issuance of Certificate Under Section 322, is $1,170.
Acceptable forms of payment include:
- Money order
- Personal check
- Cashier’s check, or
- Credit card payment (for credit card payments, fill out Form G-1450)
USCIS fees are subject to change, check the latest Form N-600K filing fee on the USCIS website.
Form N-600K checklist of required documents
The following documents must be submitted with your Form N-600K application:
Examples of acceptable documents
|Completed and signed Form N-600K
|Filing fee of $1,170
|U.S. passport-style photographs
|Child’s birth certificate
|U.S. citizen parent’s birth certificate
|U.S. citizen parent’s marriage certificate
|U.S. citizen parent’s marriage termination documents
|Child’s marriage termination documents (if applicable)
|Parent’s proof of U.S. citizenship
|Provide at least one of the following document confirming the parent’s U.S. citizenship status:
|Grandparent’s proof of U.S. citizenship (only if applying through the child’s U.S. citizen grandparent)
|Provide at least one of the following document confirming the grandparent’s U.S. citizenship status:
|Proof of legitimation
|Required ONLY if the child was born out-of-wedlock to a U.S. citizen father:
|Proof of legal and physical custody
|Required ONLY if your US citizen parents divorced/separated, you were adopted or legitimated:
|Proof of child’s lawful admission to the U.S. and maintenance of lawful status (not required for children of U.S. Armed Forces members)
|Parent’s or grandparent’s proof of physical residence/presence in the U.S.
|Legal Guardianship (if applicable)
|ONLY if the legal guardian is filing Form N-600K:
|Final adoption decree
|Required ONLY if the child was adopted:
|Proof of legal name change
|If the child has changed name(s):
|For adopted children only (at least one of the following):
|ONLY if the primary evidence is unavailable:
Form N-600K processing time
Processing times of Form N-600K vary depending on several factors, including the workload at the specific USCIS field office processing the application and the complexity of the case:
|USCIS field office
|N-600K average processing time
|Charlotte Amalie VI
|Des Moines IA
|El Paso TX
|Fort Myers FL
|Fort Smith AR
|Kansas City MO
|Las Vegas NV
|Long Island NY
|Los Angeles CA
|Los Angeles County CA
|Minneapolis-St. Paul MN
|Mount Laurel NJ
|New Orleans LA
|New York City NY
|Oakland Park FL
|Oklahoma City OK
|Saint Louis MO
|Salt Lake City UT
|San Antonio TX
|San Bernardino CA
|San Diego CA
|San Fernando Valley CA
|San Francisco CA
|San Jose CA
|San Juan PR
|Santa Ana CA
|West Palm Beach FL
To check the most current processing times for Form N-600K:
- Visit the USCIS website at https://egov.uscis.gov/processing-times
- Choose “Form N-600K”
- Choose your USCIS field office. You can find your USCIS field office by entering your physical address ZIP code: https://www.uscis.gov/about-us/find-a-uscis-office/field-offices (scroll down to the bottom of page, “Field Office Locator”)
Keep in mind that processing times are general estimates, and individual cases may take less or more time to complete.
Additionally, USCIS may issue Requests for Evidence (RFEs) during the processing of your application, which can add to the overall processing time.
It’s crucial to respond promptly and thoroughly if you receive an RFE to avoid delays.
If your case is outside the normal processing time, you place an Outside Normal Processing Time e-Request or request assistance from your local congressman’s office.