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As https://travel.state.gov, mentions:

You must apply in person using Form DS-11 if [...] You are applying for your first U.S. passport.

When applying in person for a US passport using Form DS-11, can one keep the original certificate of naturalization while waiting for the US passport?


My research so far left me confused:

risccmke.org

You do not need to submit your original naturalization certificate. You only need to show it at the acceptance facility.

Form DS-11 surprisingly doesn't seem to mention what proof of US citizenship a naturalized US citizen born outside the US and without US parents should bring:

enter image description here

DS-11 does point to https://travel.state.gov/citizenship, which indicates:

Submit your original evidence of U.S. citizenship. Submit a photocopy of the front (and back, if there is printed information) of your original evidence of U.S. citizenship. [...] Examples of Primary Citizenship Evidence: [...] Certificate of Naturalization.

Submitting one's certificate of naturalization seems to imply that one cannot keep one's original Certificate of Naturalization while waiting for the US passport, which contradicts risccmke.org.

DS-11 mentions (as can be seen in the screenshot above):

Submit an original or certified copy and a photocopy of the front and back.

but I don't know if this applies to Certificate of Naturalization as well. I.e., I don't know if one may submit a certified copy of one's certificate of naturalization (so that one could keep one's original Certificate of Naturalization while waiting for the US passport).

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    "Form DS-11 surprisingly doesn't seem to mention what proof of US citizenship a naturalized US citizen born outside the US and without US parents should bring" They do have "Certificate of Naturalization" in the left column (though it should be in the right column). I think it was due to a lousy redesign. In the previous version of the form, birth certificate and Certificates were listed separately from the secondary evidence that was divided into people born inside and outside the US.
    – user102008
    Feb 18, 2023 at 6:47
  • @user102008 Thanks, yes I was wondering indeed in what cases someone born in the US may have a Certificate of Naturalization, since "Amendment XIV, Section 1, Clause 1 of the U.S. Constitution directs that all persons born in the United States are U.S. citizens" (source). The only case I see is if they lost/abandoned their US citizenship in the past. Feb 18, 2023 at 7:03
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    @FranckDernoncourt that's not the only case. The US constitution only provides citizenship to those who were born under the US jurisdiction, not just on the US soil. So there are people born in the US who are not natural us citizens.
    – littleadv
    Feb 18, 2023 at 10:12
  • @littleadv Thanks, I didn't know. Feb 18, 2023 at 10:13
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    @FranckDernoncourt this applies to children born of parents with diplomatic immunity and to children born of foreign parents in US territory that has been occupied by hostile foreign forces. The latter has not happened; the former is not particularly unusual. The parents have to have full immunity, though, consular immunity and other forms of official acts immunity aren't sufficient, and children born of people with such immunity are US citizens.
    – phoog
    Feb 18, 2023 at 21:10

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Generally official guidance trumps random interenet anonymous posts. So if the guidance of the State Department is to submit, and random anonymous posters on the Internet say otherwise - you should follow the guidance of the State Department.

In this case the guidance is clear - you should submit the original certificate:

Submit your original evidence of U.S. citizenship.

When talking about "certified copy", the DoS defines this as (from the same link):

A certified copy is any document that has the seal or stamp of the official issuing authority.

I.e.: a certified copy is a copy with a USCIS stamp on it. To the best of my knowledge, USCIS does not in fact provide certified copies, but you can obtain a replacement certificate by filing the form N-565.

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    Watch the state department video. The applicant who visits an acceptance facility hands the staff person a stack of papers that seems to include an original certificate of naturalization, and walks away with only her checkbook. Feb 17, 2023 at 22:57

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