If you have ever wondered how can you become a United States citizen, then you are at the right place. N 400 is a Form that is provided by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services to those who are eligible to apply for US citizenship if they satisfy the given criteria. The N400 application form is called the Application for Naturalization which can be used by green card holders to apply for US citizenship. In this article, we will take a look at the USCIS form n-400, USCIS processing times, and the n 400 processing time 2021.
- 1 N 400 Processing Time
- 1.1 Processing Times at USCIS and N 400 Processing Time
- 1.2 Applying for Citizenship – N 400 Processing Time
- 1.2.1 Documents Required
- 1.2.2 N-400 Filing Fee
- 1.2.3 Filling the Form
- 220.127.116.11 Part 1: Eligibility
- 18.104.22.168 Part 2: Information About Yourself
- 22.214.171.124 Part 3: Accommodations for Individuals with Disabilities or Impairments
- 126.96.36.199 Part 4: Information to Contact You
- 188.8.131.52 Part 5: Information About Your Residence
- 184.108.40.206 Part 6: Information About Your Parents
- 220.127.116.11 Part 7: Biographic Information
- 18.104.22.168 Part 8: Information About the Employment and Schools That You Have Attended
- 22.214.171.124 Part 9: the Time Spent Outside the US
- 126.96.36.199 Part 10: Information About the Marital History
- 188.8.131.52 Part 11: Information About Your Children
- 184.108.40.206 Part 12: Additional Information About You
- 220.127.116.11 Part 13: The Applicant’s Declaration and Signature
- 18.104.22.168 Part 14: Interpreter’s Contact Information
- 22.214.171.124 Part 15: Contact Information, Declaration, and Signature of the Person Who Prepared This Application, If Other Than the Applicant
- 1.3 N 400 Processing Time
- 1.4 Common Mistakes to Avoid While Filling the N 400 Application Form
- 1.5 Reasons for Denial of N400
- 1.6 Conclusion
- 2 Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ’s)
N 400 Processing Time
Form N-400 is an application form for Application of Naturalization. This form is most commonly used by green card holders to apply for US citizenship. The first step towards applying for a Naturalization is by ensuring that you have met all the required criteria and then fill the form.
So, what does naturalization means? This is a process in which a person makes the choice to become a United States citizen if they are not native to the USA. Naturalization is the longest process in achieving citizenship, and it is a common procedure through which a person becomes a US citizen. Although there are other ways through which one can become a US citizen, in this article, we will only take a look at the N-400 application processing.
Processing Times at USCIS and N 400 Processing Time
When it comes to the processing timing, there isn’t any designated timeline for the N-400 application. The processing times usually depend on the number of applications received, the service centers, and your accuracy in filling the application correctly. As per the reports given by USCIS, the N400 processing time in 2021 is 11.5 months. If you believe that your application is taking longer to be processed, then you can check the official USCIS processing check tool.
Here is the N 400 processing timeline:
- Receipt of Application: The receipt of application is received 2-3 weeks after the form is correctly submitted to the USCIS official address.
- Notice for Biometrics: After the application is filed, the biometric notice will be shared with you after a period of 3-6 weeks
- Biometric Appointment: You have to give the biometric appointment at the USCIS department 5-6 weeks after you receive the Biometric Notice
- Interview Appointment: After successful completion of the biometric fingerprinting, comes the Interview appointment which you will receive after 5-9 months of sending the application
- Interview Day: You will have to give the scheduled interview after 9-11 months of sending the application
- Oath Ceremony: The oath ceremony will take place after a 1-4 weeks of the interview if the interview is successful.
Applying for Citizenship – N 400 Processing Time
Before filling the N400 application form, you should first check your eligibility. Take a look at the general requirements and the additional requirements from the official USCIS website. In some cases, the entire eligibility criteria are not met. For such cases, you can take to your attorney or get help from any non-profit organization.
Once you are certain that you have fulfilled all the basic eligibility criteria, it’s time to gather the necessary documents:
- The alien registration number which can be found on your Green Card
- All the past home addresses along with the dates you changed the residence
- All the educational/employment details for the past 5 years
- Criminal background details
- Marital details
- Family details
- Information about any international trips
N-400 Filing Fee
The application filing fee is $640 and the biometric fee is $85. One should pay this fee while they are sending the N-400 application. There are two ways through which one can fill this application; online if they are within the USA or in paper format if they are outside the USA. Remember that the amount is not refundable.
Filling the Form
Part 1: Eligibility
In the first part, enter your alien number which can be found on your green card. Aside from this, you should also check the box that matches your eligibility status.
Part 2: Information About Yourself
You should fill in all your personal and professional details such as Name, DOB, Residence, Marital status, Children, etc.
- Write your complete Name. If there has been a change in your name due to any reason whatsoever, attach the legal documents that support the changes in your name
- For the USCIS Account Number, if you don’t have one, you can leave it blank
- If you have any physical disabilities than you can request USCIS for a waiver. Support your answer with a doctor’s report
Part 3: Accommodations for Individuals with Disabilities or Impairments
If you have any disability that restricts you from taking the naturalization exam, then you can request it in this section. For instance, you can ask for an interpreter, a short waiting time, etc.
Part 4: Information to Contact You
Enter your personal email address along with your phone number to help USCIS contact you. Make sure that the email address and the phone numbers are working.
Part 5: Information About Your Residence
In this part, you need to enter your current residential address. In the following sections, enter your residential address from the latest to all the former addresses that you lived in the past 5 years.
Part 6: Information About Your Parents
You need to fill in all the important details of your parents such as their citizenship, name, DOB, etc. This section is required as it helps USCIS to decide if you are already a US citizen if both or any one of your parents was a citizen during your birth. If you already are a US Citizen through your parent’s citizenship, then you do not have to fill the N-400 form.
Part 7: Biographic Information
This part asks for any biographical information such as ethnicity, race, criminal records, etc. Enter this information correctly as USCIS will verify every detail that you have mentioned in the entire form.
Part 8: Information About the Employment and Schools That You Have Attended
Enter the details about your employment or the educational institutes that you have gone to in the past 5 years. Even if you weren’t employed or did not go to school, list that information as well.
Part 9: the Time Spent Outside the US
In this section, you need to enter the amount of time that you have spent in the USA for the past 5 years. Make sure that the time spent in the USA exceeds the amount of time spent outside the USA. If you do not have the exact idea, then you can put APPROX right next to the number of days spent.
Part 10: Information About the Marital History
Enter your marital history such as how many marriages you have had, how many marriages your spouse has had, the immigration status of your spouse, etc. This section is used to determine if you have ever been married in the past or if any past marriages are ended. USCIS is not in favor of polygamous relationships which is why this section should be filled carefully.
Part 11: Information About Your Children
Include information about all your children which also includes the ones who are deceased, missing, and alive. If any of your children are missing from the application and USCIS finds out later, then you are under suspicion.
Part 12: Additional Information About You
These are a few additional questions that decide whether you are willing to be a US citizen or not. The questions asked in this section deal with your moral character and the amount of time that you spent in the USA. This section also asks if you were a part of any communist or a charitable club.
Part 13: The Applicant’s Declaration and Signature
In this section, you have to enter the signature and claim that you have understood all the legal procedures. If you cannot sign the document on your accord due to any disability, your legal guardian can sign for you.
Part 14: Interpreter’s Contact Information
If you took assistance from an interpreter to understand the document, then their details should be mentioned in this part. Name, contact details, and other information should be filled in.
Part 15: Contact Information, Declaration, and Signature of the Person Who Prepared This Application, If Other Than the Applicant
If the immigration attorney has helped you fill this application, then they should write down their details such s name, contact details, agency, etc.
Part 16, 17, and 18 should be left blank and should be not be completed unless and until you are required to do so by the USCIS officials.
N 400 Processing Time
There isn’t a specific N 400 processing time that is required to process your application. As per the details given on the USCIS page, the N 400 processing time is 11-12 months for the year 2021. Depending on your case, the N 400 processing time could be longer or shorter. However, if you have a feeling that USCIS is taking quite a lot of time, then check your USCIS case status online. You can also request an inquiry if needed.
Common Mistakes to Avoid While Filling the N 400 Application Form
The N400 form is one of the longest forms that you have to fill in order to achieve the benefits of becoming a US citizen. While filing this form, you have to be very accurate about the details that you decide to fill in, as USCIS will take a closer look at every detail you input. Here a some of the most common mistakes that you need to avoid if you want your application to be processed quickly without any further delay:
Not Attaching the Required Supporting Documents
You can only apply for naturalization if you possess a green card. Many folks fail to mention how they acquired their green card in the application form. While filing N400, you must have all the necessary supporting documents with you to help you fill the application precisely. Any mistakes can raise suspicion and that will not work in your favor.
The Background Check
During the biometrics, your fingerprints are used by the US law and Enforcement to determine if you have ever been convicted of any crimes. Major crimes such as felonies, murder, immigration frauds, etc., will restrict your entry into the US permanently. Other crimes can delay your application form from being processed. USCIS will take certain measures based on the level of crime that you have committed. According to the USCIS policies, if you possess a threat to the general public in any way, you will be denied entry into the US.
Satisfy Residence Criteria
Once you receive the green card, you can move internationally with the required documents. But if one chooses to change their status to naturalized citizen then they have to consider the continuous residence criteria that makes them eligible to apply for this status. If the international trip lasted for more than 6 months, then you might not be able to apply for naturalization. In the last five years, you should be available in the United States for about 30 months at least.
Reasons for Denial of N400
What are some reasons for the denial of US citizenship? Being a US citizen is a lifelong dream of many individuals. You do not become a US citizen in a single night. There are so many things that go into this process which is why it is necessary to have all your problems fixed before you send the N400 application form. There are many reasons why your application can get rejected. Some possible reasons for denial of the N-400 application form are:
Failed the English Test or the Civics Test
If you fail English or the civics interview on the first attempt, then you are asked to retake the test after a period of 2-3 months. You’ll only have to give the test on the part that you have failed. If you have failed the test for the second time, your N400 application will be canceled. Although most people pass the tests, you can give yourself good practice before you take the test. Remember to take a look at your USCIS application form as well as the interviewer might ask you to explain your answers written in the form.
A Fraudulent Application Form
While filing the application form, be consistent with every information that you provide on the form. If USCIS detects any fraudulent activity, your application will be rejected straightaway. Prove the information on your application form with all the necessary supporting documents. You also shouldn’t falsify any information on your application form. If USCIS detects the falsified information, they have the right to accuse you of immigration fraud.
Not Paying Taxes or Child Support
You should have paid all your pending taxes before you file for naturalization. Additionally, it is important to have your taxes paid along with the child support payments done in a timely order.
N 400 is a certificate that is issued to green card holders who want to become permanent citizens of the United States. You can only apply for a green card if you satisfy the eligibility criteria that are given by USCIS. Many people who do not have proper guidance on how to fill the application can have their forms rejected due to inconsistency in their forms. This is why USCIS recommends getting the assistance of an immigration attorney while dealing with the N 400 form.
N 400 processing time can range from 11-12 months. Although this is the specified timeline mentioned by USCIS, based on your case, the timeline might either be reduced or increased. Therefore, to get your application processed at the right time, it is important to fill it correctly.
Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ’s)
According to USCIS, the N 400 processing time is usually 11-11.5 months.
N 400 application fee is $725, i.e., $640 for the application form and $85 for the biometrics.
Some of the possible reasons which might have your application rejected are not filing the details properly, having a criminal record, not paying the taxes, not attaching the supporting documents, etc.