US citizenship means a lot to many Green Card holders and many other foreign nationals. Similarly, many people wish to get to the formal naturalization ceremony where foreign nationals take the Oath of Allegiance to the country. But they cannot just pledge allegiance to the country and become citizens, without undergoing the required paperwork, which is at times tiresome. Before you could take the oath of allegiance and obtain US citizenship, you will have to report for the naturalization interview and take few tests. This process is quite long and you may become a US citizen within six months from the date of your application, if you avoid all possible mistakes. But this process can be even longer if you tend to make mistakes, while completing your application.
Mistakes will lead to delays, hence you need to be heedful while completing your application. You may follow certain tips that will help you to complete Form N-400, US citizenship application, successfully, as this is the first step that you need to take to become a citizen of the United States.
Make sure that you meet the general and special eligibility requirements
You will have to see to that you meet all the eligibility requirements to become a naturalized US citizen. In some cases, you may not be required to take the English test and you may be permitted to take the civics test in your native language. Such exceptions apply to citizenship applicants above age 50 or 55, who had been living lawfully in the United States for more than 20 or 15 years. But do not send your application if you do not meet the key criteria and your application will returned and the filing fees may not be refunded, if you are ineligible.
Additional supporting documents
After the USCIS accepts your application, you will be required to report for an interview with a US immigration officer. And at that time, you need to take the civics and the English competency tests. You will have to take your original supporting documents to the interview. If those supporting documents are not sufficient to establish your eligibility, the immigration officer will request additional supporting documents and you will have to present those documents as soon as possible. Your application may be delayed if you fail to provide the required documents.
Check your application before filing
Many immigrants who file Form N-400, Application for Naturalization, to obtain US citizenship, are found to make few simple but costly mistakes, while completing their applications. Some forget to sign their applications after completing and some of them leave important columns blank. They prepare a lot for the naturalization test but they fail to concentrate on their applications. Hence make sure that you check your application before filing it and ensure that you had filled the form completely and honestly. Remember that you must not send cash and you must make the payment using a money order or a check.