Form N-400 Guide: Application For Naturalization, Explained

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Last Updated: 27th April 2023

What is Form N-400 and Used For?

The N-400, Application for Naturalization is a form used by permanent residents to apply for U.S. citizenship through the naturalization process. USCIS Form N-400 application is also known as U.S. citizenship form. This form is submitted by green card holders who meet the eligibility requirements to the USCIS. Every year, almost one million individuals become naturalized citizens of the U.S. and enjoy the benefits of U.S. citizenship, such as receiving a Certificate of Naturalization and being eligible to apply for a U.S. passport immediately after naturalizing.

The completion of Form N-400 is a crucial step in the naturalization process and must be filed with the appropriate USCIS office along with the required documentation and filing fee. In this article, you will understand completely the processing time, costs, and requirements for the “Application for Naturalization”.

Form N-400 Eligibility

To apply for U.S. citizenship through naturalization, first, you should know the basic eligibility requirements for U.S. citizenship. Depending on an individual’s situation, there may be specific requirements to fulfill. However, there are general requirements that all naturalization applicants must meet. They are:

  1. You should be at least 18 years of age at the time of filing the form.
  2. You should be a lawful permanent resident of the U.S. for the past 5 years
  3. You should prove that you maintained continuous permanent residence in the U.S. for at least 5 years. (This may be reduced to 3 years if you are married to a U.S. citizen)
  4. You should be served in the U.S. armed forces and served a minimum of 1 year

If you are seeking U.S. citizenship through either five years of permanent residency or three years of permanent residency while being married to a U.S. citizen, you can submit your application up to 90 days before meeting the “continuous residence” requirement. It is essential to fulfill all other criteria at the time of filing the application with USCIS. To determine your eligibility, you can utilize ImmigrationDirect online software to prepare the N-400 application.

Form N-400 Checklist

The applicants applying for naturalization with their N-400 should include supporting documents along with the application. Our guide list all the N-400 document checklist to be submitted with your N-400 form. The required documents are:

  • Copy of front and back side of the Green Card (Form I-551, known as “Permanent Resident Card”)
  • Form N-400 fee (can pay by check or money order, write your A-Number on the back, and use Form G-1450 if paying by credit card)

There are some additional documents applicants need to submit with their N-400 including:

  • Your current marital status, submit a marriage certificate, divorce papers, annulment certificate(s), and/or death certificate(s) for former spouses if you’re married or were previously married.
  • If you live and applying from outside the U.S. submit two 2-inch-by-2-inch passport-style photos
  • If you’re applying for citizenship based on your military service, submit Form N-426, Request for Certification of Military or Naval Service
  • If you’re applying for an exemption to the U.S. citizenship test based on a qualifying medical condition submit Form N-648, Medical Certification for Disability Exceptions

Form N-400 Processing Time

What is the time duration to process Form N-400?

The processing time for Form N-400 can range from 15 to 16 months, but typically, the processing time depends on the USCIS field office. There are currently 89 field offices processing Form N-400. Throughout the process, most individuals will be required to attend three separate appointments, including a biometric appointment, a naturalization interview, and the oath ceremony. The most effective approach to ensuring a smooth process and a quick processing time is to prepare a strong application without any mistakes.

Form N-400 Filing Cost

What is the cost to file Form N-400?

The current application cost to file N-400 Form is $640 and the biometrics fee is $85. In total each applicant should pay $725. This fee is non-refundable if your application is rejected or approved.

If you can’t afford the filing fees for your application, you may request a reduction of fees based on special circumstances. If you qualify for a complete fee waiver, you will not be required to make any payments. Furthermore, military personnel (under 328 or 329 of the INA) or veterans are exempted from paying any fees. Also, individuals aged 75 or above need to pay $640 instead of $725, and the biometric fee will be waived.

Form N-400 Filing

How Do I File for Citizenship Using Form N-400?

Applicants can file their Form N-400 online or by mail. If the form is submitted through online, applicants need to create a USCIS online account to submit their application, pay the fee, and track their case status online. On the other hand, if the applicant submits the form through the mail, USICIS will send an acceptance notice for the application.

Where should I send my N-400 form?

The mailing address for Form N-400 depends on the applicant’s state of residence and the type of delivery service used. To find the correct address, applicants should refer to the “Direct Filing Addresses for Form N-400” page on the USCIS website. The page provides a list of addresses for regular mail, express mail, and courier deliveries, organized by state. It is important to make sure that the correct address is used to avoid processing delays or the rejection of the application.

Form N-400 Early Filing

It is also called the 90-day early-filing rule. Early filing of Form N-400 refers to submitting the naturalization application before 90 days of your wait period (three or five years) as a permanent resident. You can check your green card date to identify the exact 90 days before the actual date.

Form N-400 Filing Tips

If you are planning to file Form N-400, there are certain filing tips that you should keep in mind to ensure that your application is processed quickly and smoothly.

  1. Read the instructions carefully: Before you begin filling out Form N-400, it is important to read the instructions carefully. The instructions will provide you with all the information you need to fill out the form correctly.
  2. Gather all necessary documents: You will need to provide certain documents with your Form N-400, such as your green card, passport, and other identification documents. Make sure to gather all necessary documents before you begin filling out the form.
  3. Use black ink: When filling out Form N-400, make sure to use black ink. This will ensure that your application is legible and easy to read.
  4. Fill out the form completely: Make sure to fill out every section of Form N-400 completely. If a section does not apply to you, write “N/A” or “not applicable.”
  5. Be honest: When filling out Form N-400, it is important to be honest. Any false statements or misrepresentations can result in your application being denied.
  6. Sign and date the form: Make sure to sign and date your Form N-400 before submitting it. If you are using a preparer, they will also need to sign and date the form.
  7. Submit the correct fee: There is a fee associated with filing Form N-400. Make sure to submit the correct fee with your application.
  8. Provide Translations of your documents: You need to provide English translations of any documents which are in other languages.
  9. Keep a copy of the application: Make sure to keep a copy of your completed Form N-400 for your records. This will be helpful if you need to refer to the information on your application in the future.

By following these filing tips, you can ensure that your Form N-400 is processed quickly and smoothly, and that you have the best chance of becoming a U.S. citizen.

Get Start With Form N-400 to Obtain the Benefits of a U.S. Citizen

At this point, you might come to know the complete details of Form N-400. Start filing your Form N-400 and get all the U.S. citizen benefits like voting in elections, traveling with a U.S. passport etc., Use ImmigrationDirect’s online easy-to-use software with safe and secure to avoid mistakes in your application. Our software provides you an alert when your answer is wrong in the application. Based on your case you will get customized filing instructions. Happy filing!

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