Certificate of citizenship

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#1
Colorado
68 Posts
Joined Jan 2012
Is there any possibility that a Certificate of Citizenship would not be accepted in place of a BC or PP? I can't get a PP for my younger daughter because I don't have an English copy of our adoption certificate. (international adoption) I'm working on getting it translated, but in case I don't get it in time to send for a passport, she will only have the COC. I know normally they can be used for anything that a BC is needed for, but I've also read here that it's up to the person who's boarding you onto the ship. I'm 99 percent sure it will be okay, but I would love some reassurance.
#2
17,131 Posts
Joined Jul 2007
Here's a link to the government's web page describing acceptable documentation. It lists birth certificate, Consular Report of Birth Abroad or Certificate of Naturalization as acceptable. It says nothing about a CoC.

http://www.getyouhome.gov/html/lang_eng/eng_sa.html

By the way, according to the State Department, the Certificate of Citizenship is accepted as primary proof of citizenship for being issued a passport, so I don't understand why you need anything more:

http://travel.state.gov/passport/get...tml#step3minor


Primary Evidence of U.S. Citizenship (One of the following):
Previously issued, undamaged U.S. Passport
Certified birth certificate issued by the city, county or state*
Consular Report of Birth Abroad or Certification of Birth
Naturalization Certificate
Certificate of Citizenship


Edit: OK...I see the problem...you still need the adoption certificate...I missed that in my first reading of your post
#3
New York, NY
21,021 Posts
Joined Aug 2003
the "Certificate of Citizenship" is listed as acceptable. It proves your US citizenship. It will be accepted. original or duplicate original only not a copy.

BTW you probably have plenty of time to get a passport. The Certificate of Citizenship along with an informal translation of the adoption order should be enough. If you are concerned that might be the easiest thing to do.

http://travel.state.gov/passport/get...tml#step4minor
#4
Lafayette, IN
10,320 Posts
Joined Jan 2005
Make sure you ask the cruiseline specifically and get someone who will go on record with the answer.
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#5
17,131 Posts
Joined Jul 2007
Originally posted by smeyer418
the "Certificate of Citizenship" is listed as acceptable. It proves your US citizenship. It will be accepted. original or duplicate original only not a copy.

BTW you probably have plenty of time to get a passport. The Certificate of Citizenship is enough to get a passport. If you are concerned that might be the easiest thing to do.
In order to get the passport for a minor the parents need the adoption certificate, and they don't have one that's in English...that's the problem.

While common sense suggests the CoC should be acceptable since it's acceptable as primary proof of citizenship to get a passport, I don't see where a CoC is listed by DHS as acceptable for taking a cruise, and I'd definitely be concerned about it being recognized as acceptable at the pier.


The US regulation is 22 CFR § 53.2 (b)(2) which reads as follows:


Quote:
Exceptions.
(b) A U.S. citizen is not required to bear a valid U.S. passport to enter or depart the United States:

(2) When traveling entirely within the Western Hemisphere on a cruise ship, and when the U.S. citizen boards the cruise ship at a port or place within the United States and returns on the return voyage of the same cruise ship to the same United States port or place from where he or she originally departed. That U.S. citizen may present a government-issued photo identification document in combination with either an original or a copy of his or her birth certificate, a Consular Report of Birth Abroad issued by the Department, or a Certificate of Naturalization issued by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services before entering the United States; if the U.S. citizen is under the age of 16, he or she may present either an original or a copy of his or her birth certificate, a Consular Report of Birth Abroad issued by the Department, or a Certificate of Naturalization issued by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services;
#6
New York, NY
21,021 Posts
Joined Aug 2003
Originally posted by njhorseman
In order to get the passport for a minor the parents need the adoption certificate, and they don't have one that's in English...that's the problem.

While common sense suggests the CoC should be acceptable since it's acceptable as primary proof of citizenship to get a passport, I don't see where a CoC is listed by DHS as acceptable for taking a cruise, and I'd definitely be concerned about it being recognized as acceptable at the pier.


The US regulation is 22 CFR § 53.2 (b)(2) which reads as follows:


Quote:
Exceptions.
(b) A U.S. citizen is not required to bear a valid U.S. passport to enter or depart the United States:

(2) When traveling entirely within the Western Hemisphere on a cruise ship, and when the U.S. citizen boards the cruise ship at a port or place within the United States and returns on the return voyage of the same cruise ship to the same United States port or place from where he or she originally departed. That U.S. citizen may present a government-issued photo identification document in combination with either an original or a copy of his or her birth certificate, a Consular Report of Birth Abroad issued by the Department, or a Certificate of Naturalization issued by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services before entering the United States; if the U.S. citizen is under the age of 16, he or she may present either an original or a copy of his or her birth certificate, a Consular Report of Birth Abroad issued by the Department, or a Certificate of Naturalization issued by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services;

read your own post above.
the following are listed as acceptable

Certification of Birth
Naturalization Certificate
Certificate of Citizenship



BTW calling the cruise line is one of the worst thing you can do because you probably will get 10 answers. If you live near the port go down one day when they have ships sailing ask for the supervisor and show them what you have and ask if it would be acceptable..

BTW the state department site says an informal translation is acceptable...not a certified one.
#7
17,131 Posts
Joined Jul 2007
Originally posted by smeyer418
read your own post above.
the following are listed as acceptable

Certification of Birth
Naturalization Certificate
Certificate of Citizenship



BTW calling the cruise line is one of the worst thing you can do because you probably will get 10 answers. If you live near the port go down one day when they have ships sailing ask for the supervisor and show them what you have and ask if it would be acceptable..

BTW the state department site says an informal translation is acceptable...not a certified one.
Since I wrote my post I somehow think I've read it. What you're quoting from my post is the State Department requirements for obtaining a passport...no one is saying the CoC isn't acceptable for that.

The problem is that Homeland Security, not State, is the department responsible for the regulations controlling international travel documentation, and DHS's regulation, which I've quoted above does not list the CoC as an acceptable alternative to a passport for a closed loop cruise. As I said, common sense suggests a CoC should be acceptable, but it's simply not listed as such in the DHS regulation.
#8
New York, NY
21,021 Posts
Joined Aug 2003
Originally posted by njhorseman
Since I wrote my post I somehow think I've read it. What you're quoting from my post is the State Department requirements for obtaining a passport...no one is saying the CoC isn't acceptable for that.

The problem is that Homeland Security, not State, is the department responsible for the regulations controlling international travel documentation, and DHS's regulation, which I've quoted above does not list the CoC as an acceptable alternative to a passport for a closed loop cruise. As I said, common sense suggests a CoC should be acceptable, but it's simply not listed as such in the DHS regulation.
"Closed Loop" Cruises: U.S. citizens who board a cruise ship at a port within the United States, travel only within the Western Hemisphere, and return to the same U.S. port on the same ship may present a government issued photo identification, along with proof of citizenship (an original or copy of his or her birth certificate, a Consular report of Birth Abroad, or a Certificate of Naturalization). Please be aware that you may still be required to present a passport to enter the foreign countries your cruise ship is visiting. Check with your cruise line to ensure you have the appropriate documents. (emphasis added).

here is the whole quote from the Know before you go site...

see Certificate of Naturalization its the same as Certificate of Citizenship...
its proof that you are a citizen. I have no doubt that it will be accepted. they see them all the time at the pier in NY. but if the person wants an official(not me) proof...go to the pier...
and people under 16 don't need a photo id...but if I remember correctly there is a picture on the C of C anyway...
#9
17,131 Posts
Joined Jul 2007
Originally posted by smeyer418
"Closed Loop" Cruises: U.S. citizens who board a cruise ship at a port within the United States, travel only within the Western Hemisphere, and return to the same U.S. port on the same ship may present a government issued photo identification, along with proof of citizenship (an original or copy of his or her birth certificate, a Consular report of Birth Abroad, or a Certificate of Naturalization). Please be aware that you may still be required to present a passport to enter the foreign countries your cruise ship is visiting. Check with your cruise line to ensure you have the appropriate documents. (emphasis added).

here is the whole quote from the Know before you go site...

see Certificate of Naturalization its the same as Certificate of Citizenship...
its proof that you are a citizen. I have no doubt that it will be accepted. they see them all the time at the pier in NY. but if the person wants an official(not me) proof...go to the pier...
and people under 16 don't need a photo id...but if I remember correctly there is a picture on the C of C anyway...
Several posts back I cited the exact wording of the reg, which is 22 CFR § 53.2 (b)(2) . I know what it says...read post #5 for the actual wording of the regulation.

I realize they are both proof of citizenship, but they are different forms since they are acquired through two distinct processes, they have different form numbers, and one says Certificate of Naturalization", the other "Certificate of Citizenship" in bold print at the top of the form.

Again, common sense says the CoC should be acceptable, but I think there is at least some risk of the CoC not being accepted because it's not specifically listed in the DHS regulation governing the closed loop cruise exception to the passport requirement.
#10
1,305 Posts
Joined Jan 2011
The issue is not the Certificate of Citizenship. The issue is that parents must be present or sign a notarized statement for a minor to receive a passport. Without the adoption certificate, the OP cannot prove that she or he is the child's parent.

Step 4. Submit Evidence of Relationship
Parent(s)/Guardian(s) must submit evidence of their relationship to the minor applicant.

Evidence of Relationship (One of the following):
Minor's certified U.S. birth certificate with both parents' names
Minor's certified Foreign Birth Certificate with both parents' names*
Minor's Report of Birth Abroad with both parents' names
Adoption Decree with adopting parents' names*
Court Order establishing custody
Court Order establishing guardianship

*All foreign documents submitted with a passport application must be accompanied by an English translation (formal or informal).
http://travel.state.gov/passport/get...tml#step4minor
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#11
17,131 Posts
Joined Jul 2007
Originally posted by dread_pirate
The issue is not the Certificate of Citizenship. The issue is that parents must be present or sign a notarized statement for a minor to receive a passport. Without the adoption certificate, the OP cannot prove that she or he is the child's parent.


http://travel.state.gov/passport/get...tml#step4minor
The OP pointed out in the original post that they were awaiting a translation of the adoption certificate needed to get the passport. No one was disputing that point or really even discussing it.

The CoC is an issue if they can't get the adoption certificate translation in time to obtain a passport prior to the cruise, because the CoC is not specifically identified in the DHS regulation defining acceptable proof of citizenship for the closed loop cruise exception to the passport requirement.
#12
3,656 Posts
Joined Jan 2000
Originally posted by silentbob007
Make sure you ask the cruiseline specifically and get someone who will go on record with the answer.
Cruise line personnel are trained (with good reason) to NOT give opinions about these types of issues. At most they'll read to you the same boilerplate you'll find on their web site or in the contract of passage.
#13
Colorado
68 Posts
Joined Jan 2012
I couldn't sleep last night, so I got up & decided I would go through our adoption paperwork one more time. Lo & behold, I found an English copy of the adoption certificate stuck in a random folder!! No, I'm not at all organized, unfortunately! Anyway, I took the cert. to the city passport office today along with the coc, etc. They took it, but said they didn't know if it would be accepted, since it's not an original. No seal, no photo, etc. But it does show that we are her adoptive parents. I paid to have the pp expidited. It will be worth the extra $$ to get it back even a little sooner, just so I can relax and stop worrying about it.
#14
Howard County, Maryland
1,384 Posts
Joined Oct 2010
Originally posted by SunniDaze
I couldn't sleep last night, so I got up & decided I would go through our adoption paperwork one more time. Lo & behold, I found an English copy of the adoption certificate stuck in a random folder!! No, I'm not at all organized, unfortunately! Anyway, I took the cert. to the city passport office today along with the coc, etc. They took it, but said they didn't know if it would be accepted, since it's not an original. No seal, no photo, etc. But it does show that we are her adoptive parents. I paid to have the pp expidited. It will be worth the extra $$ to get it back even a little sooner, just so I can relax and stop worrying about it.
I'm glad you were able to dig up a copy of the adoption decree, and hopefully the passport office will accept it and issue your daughter's passport right away.

The paperwork just never seems to end, does it? (I'm also an adoptive parent, twice over, so I feel your pain about the paperwork!)
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#15
1,178 Posts
Joined Jul 2004
Originally posted by SunniDaze
I couldn't sleep last night, so I got up & decided I would go through our adoption paperwork one more time. Lo & behold, I found an English copy of the adoption certificate stuck in a random folder!!

Congrats..... I do have a question though.... After you adopted your daughter, what paperwork did you have to present to obtain her visa to first enter the US? Or did you get her COC prior to entering the US?

(Looking over the various sites makes the whole process seem rather involved.)

Aloha,

John
#16
Virginia
40 Posts
Joined Feb 2012
SunniDaze - I'm there with you ... also adoptive parents and taking our kids on their first cruise next month. We also had similar issue ... passport application now on hold for our daughter born outside US. Her green card expired, thus we no longer had it. Per, the Passport processing agency, we are requesting an expedited copy of her expired green card (less expensive and quicker route than getting her CoC prior to our cruise).

At the same time, we are covered under the WHTI since we are on a closed loop cruise and have the required documents.

However, I"ll feel more comfortable once we also have her passport in our hands.

Good luck to you and happy cruising!
#17
New Mexico
14,404 Posts
Joined May 2004
Originally posted by mommy1st
SunniDaze - I'm there with you ... also adoptive parents and taking our kids on their first cruise next month. We also had similar issue ... passport application now on hold for our daughter born outside US. Her green card expired, thus we no longer had it. Per, the Passport processing agency, we are requesting an expedited copy of her expired green card (less expensive and quicker route than getting her CoC prior to our cruise).

At the same time, we are covered under the WHTI since we are on a closed loop cruise and have the required documents.

However, I"ll feel more comfortable once we also have her passport in our hands.

Good luck to you and happy cruising!
Mommy1st, you have me a little confused. It sounds as if your child entered on an IR-4 visa and you said she does not yet have her CoC. May I ask you what WHTI citizenship document you have if you are also applying for her green card extension? As a green card holder, she will be allowed to re-enter the US, but will need her foreign birth passport if she is still LPR. I know there is a ton more information in your case, and you may not want to post it publicly, but the reference to the Green Card concerned me because it is a residency, not citizenship, document. And the WHTI cruise exception only applies to citizens, not LPRs.
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#18
New Mexico
14,404 Posts
Joined May 2004
Originally posted by jcl410
Congrats..... I do have a question though.... After you adopted your daughter, what paperwork did you have to present to obtain her visa to first enter the US? Or did you get her COC prior to entering the US?

(Looking over the various sites makes the whole process seem rather involved.)

Aloha,

John
The CoC is received after entry into the US on either an IR-3/IH-3 or IR-4/IH-4 visa. In the latter case the adoption is finalized in the US before the CoC can be issued. The type of visa depends on the country of birth and the status of the child according to the Hague Convention.

A preliminary guideline to both steps can be found here (and yes, it can be complicated!):

http://www.uscis.gov/portal/site/usc...00082ca60aRCRD
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#19
Virginia
40 Posts
Joined Feb 2012
Originally posted by cherylandtk
Mommy1st, you have me a little confused. It sounds as if your child entered on an IR-4 visa and you said she does not yet have her CoC. May I ask you what WHTI citizenship document you have if you are also applying for her green card extension? As a green card holder, she will be allowed to re-enter the US, but will need her foreign birth passport if she is still LPR. I know there is a ton more information in your case, and you may not want to post it publicly, but the reference to the Green Card concerned me because it is a residency, not citizenship, document. And the WHTI cruise exception only applies to citizens, not LPRs.

Applying for our daughter's passport and needing to remember all that we completed for her int'l adoption 13 yrs ago is quite confusing to me

According to our understanding of WHTI requirements, we have what we need - her US BC and final order of adoption decree - for the cruise. The SC Passport Ctr tells us if we don't have her CoC, then submitting an expired green card will suffice, in addition to the documentation we've already submitted to get her passport.

Just to be sure from your comments, I'm going to call them again Monday am to triple check that we are compliant with WHTI requirements.
#20
17,131 Posts
Joined Jul 2007
Originally posted by mommy1st
Applying for our daughter's passport and needing to remember all that we completed for her int'l adoption 13 yrs ago is quite confusing to me

According to our understanding of WHTI requirements, we have what we need - her US BC and final order of adoption decree - for the cruise. The SC Passport Ctr tells us if we don't have her CoC, then submitting an expired green card will suffice, in addition to the documentation we've already submitted to get her passport.

Just to be sure from your comments, I'm going to call them again Monday am to triple check that we are compliant with WHTI requirements.
Now I'm getting more confused. If someone has a US birth certificate they were born in the US and are automatically a US citizen, with the sole exception of children born in the US whose parents were foreign diplomats. If you are already a US citizen by birth you wouldn't need a green card, or a CoC.

If you're asking the passport center about WHTI documentation, you're asking an agency of the wrong US department. The Department of State issues passports, but it's the Department of Homeland Security that issues the rules defining acceptable documentation for entry into the US.

As has already been stated, the closed loop cruise exception to the passport requirement applies only to US citizens, and green card documents you as a lawful permanent resident, not as a citizen. Even a valid green card alone isn't sufficient...much less an expired green card. As I cited in an earlier post here is the regulation issued by DHS; note that it applies only to US citizens

The US regulation is 22 CFR § 53.2 (b)(2) which reads as follows:


Quote:
Exceptions.
(b) A U.S. citizen is not required to bear a valid U.S. passport to enter or depart the United States:

(2) When traveling entirely within the Western Hemisphere on a cruise ship, and when the U.S. citizen boards the cruise ship at a port or place within the United States and returns on the return voyage of the same cruise ship to the same United States port or place from where he or she originally departed. That U.S. citizen may present a government-issued photo identification document in combination with either an original or a copy of his or her birth certificate, a Consular Report of Birth Abroad issued by the Department, or a Certificate of Naturalization issued by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services before entering the United States; if the U.S. citizen is under the age of 16, he or she may present either an original or a copy of his or her birth certificate, a Consular Report of Birth Abroad issued by the Department, or a Certificate of Naturalization issued by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services;