USCIS updates the Application for Naturalization

United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is implementing an initiative to make their forms easier to use for immigrant applicants. It is releasing an updated version of the Application for Naturalization form, known as Form N-400. The revisions to the application were brought about by USCIS’s initiative to make their forms more understandable for immigrant applicants. The revised N-400 form will provide USCIS with additional tools to make decisions about the applicant’s eligibility for citizenship and present clearer instructions. New technology will also be included in the updated application process to improve efficiency as well as accuracy for both USCIS and applicants. Although the N-400 form is being revised, the eligibility requirements remain the same.

The revised verbiage on Form N-400 includes more questions to conform with the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act (IRTPA) of 2004 and Child Soldier Prevention Act of 2008. More specific instructions will be provided for applicants to help them complete each section of the naturalization application, as well as highlight general eligibility requirements.

The new technology being used with the N-400 form includes 2-D barcode technology at the bottom of each page that scans data more efficiently and inputs it directly into USCIS’s systems. Data quality is expected to improve with the use of this technology, as is the processing efficiency and overall integrity of the naturalization process.

Immigrants who apply for U.S. naturalization are permitted to continue to use the previous versionof all the documents USCIS is updating, including the Application for Naturalization for a 90-day transition period. As of May 5, 2014 however, USCIS will no longer accept the old versions of the forms, and those older versions will be returned to the applicant.