Fact Check

The INS permits photocopying Certificate of Naturalization/Citizenship documents if done for lawful purposes, such as applying for student financial aid funds.

Acceptable Documents

A Social Security card or a driver’s license is not acceptable for documenting citizenship or national status.

Citizenship Status

Eligible students

  • U.S. citizen or national (includes natives of American Samoa or Swains Island)
  • U.S. permanent resident who has an I-151, I-551, or I-551c (Alien Registration Receipt Card)
  • Arrival-Departure Record (I-94) from the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) showing one of the following designations to be eligible:
    • “Refugee”
    • “Asylum Granted”
    • “Indefinite Parole” and/or “Humanitarian Parole”
    • “Cuban-Haitian Entrant, Status Pending”
    • “Conditional Entrant” (valid only if issued before April 1, 1980)

Ineligible students

  • Notice of Approval to Apply for Permanent Residence (I-171 or I-464) only
  • F1 or F2 student visa only
  • J1 or J2 exchange visitor visa only
  • G series visas (pertaining to international organizations)

Confirming Your Citizenship Status

If the Office of Financial Aid needs to verify your citizenship status, the following are acceptable documents. You may submit a signed copy of acceptable documentation to be considered for financial aid, but you must present the original document to your regional Office of Financial Aid before your aid will disburse, unless you are a fully online student*.

  • A copy of the student’s official birth certificate showing that he/she was born in the U.S.
  • A copy of Form FS-240 (Report of Birth Abroad of a Citizen of the U.S.), the FS-545 (Certificate of Birth-Foreign Service), or the DS-1350 (Certificate of Birth). These forms are generated by the State Department and include an embossed seal.
  • A U.S. Passport or Passport card. In the case of nationals who are not citizens, the passport will be stamped with Noncitizen National.
  • A Certificate of Citizenship (N-560 or N-561) issued by USCIS.
  • A Certificate of Naturalization (N-550 or N-570) issued by USCIS (or, prior to 1991, a federal or state court), or through administrative naturalization after December 1990 to those who are individually naturalized.

*If you are a fully online student, you must complete the Citizenship Affidavit, have it notarized, and submit it with a copy of your identification.