Citizenship Verification

I have a quick question about the citizenship section requirements on the sf86/eqip(section 9) for a Secret that I recently submitted for a federal contractor.

In short, I derived citizenship as a minor from my naturalized parents, and on the eQIP I provided my passport information, my parent’s naturalization certificate information, and a comment that described my situation as having derived citizenship from my parents. In case this is relevant: My current unexpired passport was obtained by providing my old expired passport as proof of citizenship. The old expired passport was obtained as a minor when my parents provided their naturalization certificate information to obtain a passport for me.

My FSO says he thinks this should be fine, but my FSO also mentioned another case similar to mine from about a year or two ago of a woman who was also naturalized as a minor and didn’t have a citizenship certificate and only a passport whose eQIP was kicked back from the Feds for not having a citizenship certificate. I pressed him to elaborate on this case and he said he didn’t recall the exact details but her situation was akin to mine.

Should I worry about my eQIP getting kicked back from the government for lacking a “Citizenship Certificate” despite having a passport?

I find the requirement for a citizenship certificate odd because USCIS itself states that a passport is better proof of citizenship?

Thank you for taking the time to answer my question!

If you have a current U.S. Passport that is valid, that means the U.S. State Department verified that you are a U.S. citizen. It does seem unusual for you to not have a naturalization certificate or number, but it should not prevent your E-QIP from getting submitted, as OPM will also verify citizenship by using your passport #.

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Thanks for the response @marko.hakamaa

My parents naturalized when I was a minor, so I was not issued a nat. cert. or anything like that because I technically “derived” citizenship from them according to USCIS. As per US law, minors automatically receive US citizenship when their parents are naturalized so according to USCIS a nat. cert. was not issued because I “derived” citizenship rather than being “naturalized”, because minors can’t “naturalize”, although they can “derive” citizenship as minors.

A current US passport is proof of US citizenship. Normally, when a minor child received derivative citizenship via the parents becoming naturalized citizens, the minor child’s info is added to the mother’s naturalization cert or cert of citizenship. However, before OPM or one of their investigators get a bug on, I recommend that if your mother is still alive, ask her to do some research to see if she can find the original documents. If that doesn’t work, try a FOIA request to INS/ICE for copies of any documents pertaining to you. You would need the date and court of naturalization for your mother. Good luck.


I checked my parents nat. cert.'s and they do not have my name on them (only my respective parent’s names). Not only that, I believe they are the new style nat. cert.'s that are not issued by a district court but directly by USCIS (formerly known as INS) since they state that the ceremony was conducted by USCIS, although the ceremony took place in a federal court building rather than a USCIS building. This practice of direct issuance by USCIS apparently began circa 2005 based on what I am reading on the internet.

I am surprised that the eQIP/SF-86 that I submitted didn’t have a check box option for those who obtained derivative citizenship, forcing you to select one of the four other answers. Surprising because citizenship via derivation as a minor is a pretty common method of becoming a US citizen!

I wrote in comments on the eQIP that I submitted about the fact that I derived US citizenship rather than “naturalized”. This seems to be a very fine and obscure legalistic distinction. Will the person who conducts the evaluation on my submission know about this distinction, especially in light of my FSO reporting back on me the lady with a similar situation to mine getting her application kicked back?

I can not write a politically correct response. Whether the info on the eQIP is accepted depends on the personnel at OPM, their investigators and the adjudicator who gets your case and their individual experience and training. I worked for the Army as an adjudicator and I would accept a valid, current passport as proof of citizenship.

Thanks for the response.

I am going to file for a USCIS citizenship certificate soon but the timelines for the citizenship cert. according to USCIS is 4-6 months or something like that.

If OPM ends up kicking my eQIP back for inadequate documentation, I don’t want to have to wait another 6 months for my citizenship cert. to come back to continue the process. Is there anyway short of say, contacting your congressman or senator to get OPM to recognize a passport as valid documentation in the unfortunate event that they kick it back?

There is no short way of dealing with OPM. The regulations say that a US passport can be accepted as proof of US citizenship. OPM, the investigators and the adjudicators should obey these rules. If your eQIP gets kicked back, contact an attorney with national security or security clearance experience.

Depending on country of birth, Iceland for example, those born after November of 1986, to military parents stationed in Iceland, by US law are automatically granted US citizenship. Previously there was reporting requirements, certificates of birth abroad, etc. Germany used to grant dual citizenship to military dependents. I recently (last week) had to explain the fact there was a US Passport on file, the birth occurred after November of 86, that they are proven US citizens to the clearance folks. I have found having a US Passport is prima facia evidence of citizenship. Previously we had a foreign adoption in a country with political struggles. Since the embassy gave a passport to the person as an infant they were able to be cleared and recognized as citizens.

Hi amberbunny,

I am not a military dependent. My parents and I were all born in a non-allied country. I was born well after Nov. of 1986 and I have a current and valid US passport which I submitted as proof of citizenship with comments that I derived citizenship (but no cit cert. or nat. cert as mentioned above).

I am assuming that when you said that “I recently (last week) had to explain the fact there was a US Passport on file, the birth occurred after November of 86, that they are proven US citizens to the clearance folks” that you are an FSO and that the US Gov’t clearance either kicked back the eQIP or gave you questions about whether a passport served as proof of US citizenship correct?

So if the Gov’t kicks back the eQIP is it my FSO’s job to explain immigration law minutae to the gov’t? Or should I inform my FSO in the event that my FSO is kicked back that, as you said, a US passport is prima facia evidence of citizenship?

Thanks for the response.

Be proactive in case you have a newbie FSO not experienced in dealing with kick backed packages. We get packages back at least once a month. Sometimes our scanner eats a page or they want clarification. In the case I spoke to I had to explain to a rather smart alecky clearance person that the US passport is indeed prima facia evidence of citizenship. It is the second time it came up for me as we had a “now adult but adopted as a child from a non aligned country applicant.” On paper it seemed as if determining citizenship would reveal something shady. But the passport was the end of the story. With a passport, citizenship is not in question. Said smart alecky clearance person later called me and was far nicer on the phone than in his email. He admitted the passport was acceptable but he wanted to clarify for future submissions we would mark different boxes. Our problem is they seem to rotate in 18 months and we get a brand new group of new clearance folks.

I have a question about this. If I already have anot active clearance and change jobs is it necessary for them to verify my citizenship to pull my JPAS or can they just pull what is already in JPAS?

It is not necessary for the clearance since reciprocity for the completed investigation would be used but hiring regulations may cause them to verify your citizenship/eligibility to work in the U.S.before issuing you a new badge.

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Wouldn’t that be the I-9 form?

Correct, if you were born outside of the US you would need to show proof of citizenship.

There are certain countries where the law changed in November of 1986 where certificate of birth abroad forms will not be filed. Iceland for example. Prior to November 86 they would have filed the record of birth abroad. Post November 1986 they are automatically US citizens if born to military parents. In a current case (literally rescanning SF86 with copy of US Passport today) I had to research that law and provide a copy to clearance.

Interesting…thanks for sharing!

If federal employee with already completed clearance, renews his or her foreign passport after becoming a US citizen, because you require a national ID to reactivate a foreign bank account in a foreign country, how does that affect the person.

They should talk to their security officer or FSO before doing that as it could impact their ability to retain the clearance. Regardless, it would need to be reported and the information reviewed by the agency that granted the clearance.


Definitely report prior to doing it. Could easily be interpreted as shifting loyalties. On a somewhat separate point. I see my comment from a year ago this month. That person cleared TS Full scope Poly and was just brought on as my administrative assistant. And we are steadily digging out of 60 plus clearance packages backlogged in my office alone. Most returned for corrections, folks not responding, etc.