Last week, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services department announced that it was launching a pilot program that intended to test a new design for certain legal certificates. The pilot program began on January 22, 2018, and is expected to finish up tomorrow, February 1, 2018. The purpose of the pilot program was to issue citizenship and naturalization certificates to new citizens of the United States for 10 days that were designed differently than previously designed certificates of this nature. The design changes occurred because the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services noticed there was a significant issue with fraudulent copies of these documents. The newly designed citizenship and naturalization documents included “enhanced graphics and fraud-resistant security features” in an effort to combat such fraudulent activity.
It is important to note that the pilot program was only administered at 5 different field offices throughout the United States. These include the Norfolk Field Office, the Tampa Field Office, the Minneapolis-St. Paul Field Office, the Sacramento Field Office, and the Nebraska Service Center. Another crucial element to be aware of is that any certificates of citizenship or naturalization with previous designs are still valid as proof of citizenship. There is no need for individuals who have certificates with previous designs to get new certificates unless they have been lost or contained incorrect information.
With the end of the program near, it will be interesting to see whether the USCIS adopts the new designs for all future citizenship and naturalization certificates.
If you are in need of experienced legal counsel for matters regarding immigration, please contact the Law Offices of Salvatore A. Falletta, LLC and we would be happy to provide you with assistance.