What is Form N-400?
Form N-400, also known as the “Application for Naturalization,” is a form used by lawful permanent residents (green card holders) of the United States to apply for U.S. citizenship. It is the official application form for individuals who meet the eligibility requirements and wish to become naturalized U.S. citizens.
When you submit Form N-400, you are requesting to undergo the naturalization process, which involves demonstrating your eligibility, meeting certain residency and physical presence requirements, passing an English language and civics test, and taking the Oath of Allegiance.
The naturalization process through Form N-400 includes the following steps:
Eligibility Determination: Before applying, you need to make sure you meet the eligibility requirements, including the length of time you have held lawful permanent resident status, your continuous residence and physical presence in the U.S., and other criteria.
Prepare Form N-400: Complete Form N-400 accurately and provide all required information, including personal details, immigration history, criminal history, and more.
Gather Supporting Documents: Collect the necessary supporting documents, such as copies of your green card, travel history, tax records, and any additional documentation related to your specific circumstances.
Pay Filing Fees: Pay the required filing fee for Form N-400. USCIS offers fee waivers for eligible applicants with financial difficulties.
Submit Application: Mail the completed Form N-400 along with the required supporting documents and filing fee to the appropriate USCIS lockbox facility.
Biometrics Appointment: After submitting your application, you will receive a notice for a biometrics appointment. At this appointment, your fingerprints, photograph, and signature will be collected for background checks.
English and Civics Test: If you’re between the ages of 18 and 65, you will need to take an English language and civics test during your naturalization interview. The tests assess your English proficiency and knowledge of U.S. history and government.
Naturalization Interview: Attend an interview with a USCIS officer. The officer will review your application, ask you questions about your background and application, and administer the English and civics tests.
Oath of Allegiance: If your application is approved, you will be scheduled to attend a naturalization ceremony where you will take the Oath of Allegiance to officially become a U.S. citizen.
Form N-400 is a crucial part of the naturalization process, and it’s important to complete it accurately and provide truthful information. Keep in mind that immigration policies and procedures can change, so it’s recommended to consult the official USCIS website or seek legal advice when applying for U.S. citizenship.
Who is eligible to apply for U.S. naturalization?
Eligibility for U.S. naturalization, which is the process of becoming a U.S. citizen, is based on several factors and requirements. To apply for U.S. naturalization, you generally need to meet the following criteria:
- Age: You must be at least 18 years old at the time of filing Form N-400, Application for Naturalization.
- Lawful Permanent Resident (Green Card) Status: You must have been a lawful permanent resident (green card holder) of the United States for a certain period of time, typically five years if you obtained your green card through marriage to a U.S. citizen, or three years if you are married to and living with the same U.S. citizen spouse during the entire three-year period.
- Continuous Residence: You must demonstrate continuous residence in the United States for the required period before applying for naturalization. This means you have maintained your primary residence in the U.S. and have not spent long periods of time outside the country.
- Physical Presence: You must have been physically present in the United States for at least half of the required residency period.
- Good Moral Character: You must have a record of good moral character during the five-year period (or three-year period for spouses of U.S. citizens) leading up to your application. This includes avoiding serious criminal convictions and demonstrating positive character traits.
- English Language Proficiency: You must be able to read, write, and speak basic English. Some applicants are exempt from this requirement based on age and length of residency.
- S. Government and History Knowledge: You must demonstrate knowledge and understanding of U.S. government and history. This is tested during the naturalization interview.
- Attachment to the Constitution: You must demonstrate an understanding and attachment to the principles of the U.S. Constitution and be willing to bear allegiance to the United States.
- Oath of Allegiance: You must be willing to take the Oath of Allegiance to the United States and renounce any allegiance to foreign governments.
It’s important to note that individual circumstances can affect eligibility, and there are exceptions and special considerations for certain categories of applicants, such as members of the U.S. military and veterans. Additionally, immigration laws and policies can change over time, so it’s recommended to consult the official U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website or seek legal advice when determining your eligibility and applying for U.S. naturalization. Read more “list your business in the” “free and paid submission to the” “add your site” statistics
What is the Form N-400 checklist of required documents?
The Form N-400, Application for Naturalization, requires various supporting documents and evidence to be submitted along with the application. While the specific documents you need to provide can vary based on your individual circumstances, here’s a general checklist of required documents that are commonly requested when applying for U.S. naturalization:
- Copy of Green Card (Front and Back): Include a photocopy of your current and valid green card (Permanent Resident Card, Form I-551).
- Passport Photos: Provide two passport-sized photos that meet the U.S. passport photo requirements. These photos will be used for your naturalization application and official documents.
- Filing Fee Payment: Include payment of the required filing fee. You can pay by check or money order, payable to “U.S. Department of Homeland Security,” or by credit card using Form G-1450.
- Form N-400 Application: Complete and sign Form N-400, making sure to answer all questions accurately and truthfully.
- Copy of Marriage Certificate (if applicable): If you obtained your green card through marriage to a U.S. citizen, include a copy of your marriage certificate as evidence of your marital relationship.
- Copies of Divorce Decrees (if applicable): If you have been married and divorced previously, provide copies of divorce decrees to demonstrate the termination of those marriages.
- Proof of Continuous Residence and Physical Presence: Provide evidence of your continuous residence and physical presence in the U.S. This can include tax returns, leases, utility bills, employment records, and other documents.
- Proof of Good Moral Character: Compile evidence of your good moral character over the past five years (or three years if married to a U.S. citizen). This can include police clearance certificates, court documents, and other relevant information.
- Proof of English Language Proficiency and U.S. Government Knowledge: If applicable, include documents showing your English language proficiency and knowledge of U.S. government and history. This might include certificates of completion from English and civics classes.
- Copies of Tax Returns: Provide copies of your tax returns for the most recent five years (or three years if married to a U.S. citizen).
- Selective Service Registration (for males): If you are a male between 18 and 26 years old and required to register with the Selective Service, provide evidence of your registration.
- Military Records (if applicable): If you have served in the U.S. military, include copies of your military records, discharge papers, and related documents.
- Additional Documents as Required: Depending on your specific circumstances and eligibility category, you may need to include additional documents. Review the USCIS instructions and guidelines for Form N-400 to determine any specific requirements.
Remember that USCIS requirements can change, and the checklist provided here is meant to be a general guide. Always refer to the official USCIS website or the Form N-400 instructions for the most up-to-date information on required documents and evidence. If you have any doubts or concerns, you might consider seeking advice from an immigration attorney.