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Application For Posthumous Citizenship For Deceased Veterans

Author : Jessica Potter

The US Federal Law has a provision which allows for an alien or a non-citizen national, who dies as a result of an injury or disease incurred(while on active duty with the U.S. Armed Forces during specified periods) to become a citizen of the United States. This is referred to as the posthumous citizenship process. This is in recognition of their exemplary and selfless service.

What form should be used?
In order to obtain posthumous citizenship, form N-644 has to be filed by their immediate family members on their behalf.

Purpose of posthumous citizenship
Once the form N-644 has been approved, a Certificate of Citizenship will be issued by the USCIS, in the name of the deceased veteran. The certificate indicates that the decedent, as of the date of his or her death, is considered a US citizen. As a gesture to commemorate the bravery and sacrifices of the deceased veteran and honor them, posthumous citizenship is bestowed upon them.

Section 319(d) of the INA allows certain qualifying family members of the deceased veteran to apply for benefits or maintain lawful permanent residence with the help of the posthumous citizenship certificate.

Once the Certificate of Citizenship has been issued for a deceased veteran, USCIS will not approve any further application on his or her behalf. Exception to this is the application to replace a certificate that was lost, destroyed or mutilated.

Who can file N-644?
Persons who have any of the following relationship with the deceased veteran can file the form to obtain posthumous citizenship
1. Spouse
2. Father or Mother
3. Son or Daughter
4. Brother or Sister
Persons who are representatives of the deceased veteran defined by any one of the following relationships can also file for posthumous citizenship.
1. Executor or administrator of the estate of the decedent
2. Guardian, conservator, or committee of next-of-kin of the decedent
3. A Department of Veterans Affairs recognized Service Organization
4. Secretary of Defense or the Secretary's designee with USCIS after being requested by the next-of-kin of the decedent

Instructions to apply for posthumous citizenship
Filling out Form N-644
Only Part I of this application needs to be completed. Parts II,III or IV are for the use of the USCIS.

General Requirements
In order to become eligible for posthumous citizenship, the deceased veteran should have served during any of the following periods - 04/06/1917 – 11/11/1918 (World War I),09/01/1939 - 12/31/1946 (World War II),06/25/1950 - 07/01/1955(Korean hostilities),02/28/1961 - 0/15/1978(Vietnam hostilities),08/02/1990 - 04/11/1991(Persian Gulf Conflict),09/11/2001 until terminated by the order of the President (Iraq hostilities);Any other period of military hostilities that is designated by Executive Order of the President for the purpose of obtaining naturalization benefits; a period of at least five years after being enlisted or reenlisted in the U.S. Army and who fall under any one of the following requirements - Having been enlisted, reenlisted, or inducted in the US, Panama Canal Zone, American Samoa, or Swain's Island, having been admitted to the US as a lawful permanent resident, having been allowed to enter the US, Panama Canal Zone, American Samoa, or Swain's Island as a result of military orders at some time during the Iraq conflict.

Evidence for filing application for posthumous citizenship
The following authorization documents should be compulsorily submitted while applying for posthumous citizenship.

Authorization in the form of an affidavit stating the name, address and relationship to the decedent and authorizing the applicant to apply for posthumous citizenship should be obtained. In case the affidavit is in a different language, then an English translation of the same by a certified English translator should also be submitted. This should be obtained authorization from all living next-of-kin above the applicant in the order of succession. Spouse of the deceased veteran or the executor or administrator of the estate of the decedent are exceptions to this.

If at all the person applying for posthumous citizenship is either the Executor or administrator of the estate or guardian, conservator, or committee of next-of-kin of the decedent, then a certified copy of their letter of appointment as the above mentioned persons should be submitted.If at all a service organization is applying for posthumous citizenship, then they need to submit evidence of their organization being recognized by Department of Veterans Affairs

Proof of the deceased applicant's service and death
A copy of each of the following documents if they are available should be filed in while applying for posthumous citizenship - Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty (Form DD214),Report of Casualty/Military Death Certificate (Form DD 1300),Any other certificate of the deceased veteran's death issued either by the military or state.

Failure to submit any of these documents may not automatically result in the denial of your application, but will delay the certification process.
There is no fee for this application and a completed form N-644 should be sent to the USCIS California Service center. The application for posthumous citizenship will be approved after the USCIS checks all the documents and the decision will be intimated in writing to the applicant.

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citizenship application,
US Citizenship form

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Tags:   posthumous citizenship, citizenship application, us citizenship form

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Submitted : 2011-06-27    Word Count : 837    Times Viewed: 403