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About Form N-400, Application for Naturalization

The N-400 Application is just one of the many forms you may need for the immigration process. For information, guidance, and support, call the Do Law Office.

What Is Form N-400?

Form N-400, Application for Naturalization, is a form used by legal permanent residents (Green Card holders) in the United States who want to become full U.S. citizens. This form is filed with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), a division of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

The form includes several sections where applicants provide information about their background, residency, employment, and character. It also includes questions about the applicant’s commitment to the United States, their understanding and willingness to accept the principles of the U.S. Constitution, and their ability to read, write, speak, and understand English.

Form N-400 is an essential part of the naturalization process, which concludes with an oath of allegiance at a naturalization ceremony for successful applicants. In this guide, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about applying for American citizenship using N-400.

 

How Much Does the N-400 Form Cost?

Form N-400, like many other immigration forms, has a filing fee. The current fee for filing Form N-400 is $725. $640 of the overall cost of $725 is allocated to form processing, while $85 is allocated to biometrics services.

Applicants over the age of 75 are exempt from the biometrics charge. Therefore, their total application fee payment will be $640. Your filing fee is non-refundable. USCIS will not return your filing cost, regardless of whether your application is approved or denied.

The filing fee may be paid using a money order, cashier’s check, or personal check paid to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. USCIS will not accept payment if you address your check to any other name, including an abbreviation like DHS or USDHS. You may also use a credit card to pay the charge by completing and signing Form G-1450.

You may qualify for a fee waiver or charge reduction if you cannot pay the filing costs.

A Detailed Walkthrough of Form N-400

Form N-400, the Application for Naturalization, is a comprehensive document designed to gather essential information about applicants aspiring to become U.S. citizens. This form is divided into several parts, each focusing on different aspects of the applicant’s background, residency, and allegiance to the United States.

  • Part 1 requests your basic personal information, such as name, A-Number (if applicable), and contact details. It’s straightforward but crucial for identification purposes.
  • Part 2 delves into your eligibility for naturalization, asking you to confirm your permanent resident status and the basis of your application. This section is pivotal, as it determines whether you meet the primary criteria for filing.
  • Part 3 covers accommodations for individuals with disabilities or impairments, ensuring that all applicants have equal access to the naturalization process.
  • Part 4 is about your biographic information, including ethnicity, employment, and marital history. This part helps USCIS understand more about your personal background.
  • Part 5 focuses on your residence and physical presence in the U.S., critical for establishing your eligibility based on continuous residence and physical presence requirements.
  • Part 6 asks about your parents’ citizenship status to determine if you may already be a U.S. citizen through your parents.
  • Part 7 is dedicated to your employment and school history over the last five years, providing USCIS with insight into your life in the U.S.
  • Part 8 covers time spent outside the United States, crucial for assessing your continuous residence and physical presence.
  • Part 9 inquires about your marital history, including current and past marriages, to verify your marital status and any claims of citizenship through marriage.
  • Part 10 focuses on your children, if any, which helps determine if they are eligible for benefits through your naturalization.
  • Part 11 addresses moral character and asks questions related to criminal history, allegiance to the U.S., and willingness to take the Oath of Allegiance.
  • Part 12 is a summary of additional information, often clarifying previous answers or providing more detail on specific topics.

Completing Form N-400 accurately is vital for a successful naturalization application. Applicants are encouraged to consult with an immigration attorney to ensure all information is correct and to address any potential issues that could affect their application.

Who Is Eligible Form N-400?

Not everyone can apply for naturalization. To help you understand the process, we have divided the eligibility requirements into two parts.

Who Can Submit Form N-400?

Only those who have met the eligibility requirements for naturalization can submit Form N-400. In general, you must satisfy the following conditions:

  • Applicants filling out Form N-400 must be at least 18 years old.

  • Applicants must have had a green card (also known as Form I-551 or the permanent resident card) for five years (or three years if they are married to a U.S. citizen).

  • You must be of good moral character.

Who Cannot Submit Form N-400?

Generally speaking, you cannot submit an N-400 if you:

  • Do not meet the conditions for naturalization eligibility;

  • Acquired citizenship via at least one U.S. citizen parent or are the child of a U.S. citizen living abroad.

If you are unsure about your eligibility, you may discuss your case with an immigration lawyer for more assistance.

What Are Common N-400 Requirements?

Before submitting their Form N-400 to USCIS, all naturalization applicants must include supporting documents with their Form N-400.

Depending on your unique circumstances, you may need to provide the following supporting documents:

  • Birth certificate

  • Two identical 2-by-2-inch passport-style photos in color

  • If relevant, proof of your marital status, such as a marriage certificate or death certificate

  • If you are divorced, submit your divorce papers or annulment certificate

  • Certificate of military or naval service (Form N-426), if applicable

  • Certified English translation of any foreign-language papers that are necessary

  • Tax documents

  • Medical Certification for Disability Exceptions (Form N-648), if applicable

To avoid missing critical documents, you may consult with an experienced Atlanta family immigration lawyer to help you prepare your naturalization application.

What Is the Average N-400 Processing Time?

The current average Form N-400 processing time is 6 to 24 months. You can check the current application processing times on the USCIS website. The processing time depends on the USCIS field office handling the application. To monitor the progress of your naturalization, you can enter your receipt number into the USCIS case status tracker.

Can You Fast-Track Form N-400?

The premium processing service is inapplicable to Form N-400. However, you may be able to expedite the processing of your Form N-400 by directly contacting the USCIS Contact Center.

To request accelerated processing, you will need your receipt number, application number, and a copy of your application to supply case-specific information promptly and correctly.

 

How Is the N-400 Processed?

You can submit your Form N-400 application electronically through the USCIS website or mail it to a USCIS service center or lockbox. If filing from overseas or requesting a fee waiver, however, you must use the printed Form and mail it in.

USCIS will invite you to a naturalization interview at a USCIS field office after you submit your application. At the USCIS office, you will be asked application-related questions and given English language and citizenship exams. If you pass the exams, the last step will be to swear the oath of allegiance during an oath ceremony when you become an official U.S. citizen.

Filing Early

You may submit Form N-400 no earlier than 90 days before your third or fifth anniversary as a legal permanent resident. This is known as an early filing, giving you a head start to avoid processing delays.

You may use the USCIS calculator to determine your early filing date. You must provide a three or five-year date (depending on the situation) after the date on your green card. The calculator will remove 90 days and provide the earliest application submission date.

Applying by Mail

To submit the paper form via mail, you must download the N-400 form and print it from the USCIS website. Your application’s mailing address depends on your state of residence and the delivery provider you use. The correct postal address may also be found on the USCIS website.

The Form comprises fifty questions (some with sub-questions) requesting information about you and your circumstances. You must affirm that you have read and understood the form and are ready to pledge allegiance to the United States.

 

Applying Online

To electronically submit the N-400 form, you must establish a USCIS online account on the USCIS website. You may pay the application fee and submit supporting papers electronically with your online account.

However, this method is only available to people in the United States. Therefore, if you live abroad, you cannot use the online application and must submit your application by mail. In addition, if you seek a fee reduction or waiver, you must pick the mail-in option even if you reside in the United States.

 

Get Help With Your Application

Whether you are a military service member, a legal permanent resident, or an immigrant seeking naturalization in the United States, it is best to request assistance from an immigration lawyer when filing Form N-400.

trusted naturalization lawyer can review your application, inform you of any missing documents, and help correct errors on the application. Your lawyer can also prepare you for the naturalization interview and oath of allegiance ceremony, ensuring your Form N-400 process goes as smoothly as possible.

At Do Law Office, our team of experienced immigration lawyers can assist you with preparing your naturalization application and provide dedicated guidance throughout the process. Contact us today to get started!

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