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 must submit a signed copy of acceptable documentation and a completed Citizenship Affidavit here to be considered for financial aid. If this documentation is not properly submitted, your financial aid will not disburse.


  • 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.