People in California may find themselves needing proof of citizenship whether they are dealing with an immigration matter or a different type of application. There are several documents that people can use in order to show that they are citizens. For people born in the United States or on U.S. soil elsewhere, such as overseas territories or military bases, their birth certificates are their primary documents proving U.S. citizenship. While people first receive a birth certificate from the hospital, the document in question may also be obtained from the state government. On the other hand, naturalized citizens may use their naturalization certificate rather than their birth certificate.

Some people may need this proof because they have a right to obtain U.S. citizenship through their parents but were not born in the U.S. themselves. In this case, people would need to apply for a passport or a citizenship certificate. U.S. citizens can register their child’s birth abroad for five years after the birth with the local U.S. consulate. if they do so, they can receive a Consular Registration of Birth Abroad, which serves as proof of U.S. citizenship. After the fifth birthday, however, this option is unavailable.

As an alternative, people may apply for a U.S. passport. They would need to show that their parents were U.S. citizens who met relevant residency regulations in order to pass on citizenship to their child. The child would also need to show that they followed relevant regulations, absent a legitimate excuse. In order to prove their claim, they could provide tax or employment records, marriage certificates and other relevant documents.

Some people born to U.S. citizens abroad may find themselves later needing to prove their citizenship. An immigration law attorney may help people in these circumstances to verify their citizenship and obtain a passport.