Citizenship Status

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Fact Check

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


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

Eligible students

  • U.S. citizen or national (includes natives of American Samoa or Swain's 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:

  • 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, which must be current at the time it is reviewed. If it expires during the academic year, there is no effect on financial aid for the current year, but it may affect your ability to obtain financial aid in subsequent years. In the case of nationals who are not citizens, the passport will be stamped with Noncitizen National.
  • A Certificate of Citizenship from the INS, which includes certificate number and date of issue.
  • A Certificate of Naturalization from the INS, which must include date, certificate number and the INS A-Number.