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Understanding the American Citizenship Application

Form N-400, Application for Naturalization

The American Citizenship Application can be initiated with Form N-400. The requirements of the Form N-400 (American Citizenship Application) are:

  • The applicant’s age must be 18 years or above, and
  • The applicant must be a Green Card holder for the past 5 years.

Additionally, it has to be noted that the Green Card holder should have resided in the United States for a continuous period, prior to the filing of the American Citizenship Application (Form N-400). If the applicant is married to a US citizen, he or she should have resided in the United States as a Lawful Permanent Resident, for a continuous period of three years following admission to the United States.

Once you conform to the requirements, you are ready to get started with the American Citizenship Application.

Application for Naturalization (N-400) – the Procedure Involved:

The citizenship process can be broadly summarized as follows:

Preparing the Citizenship Application:

1. Prepare your application – Application for Naturalization (Form N- 400)

2. Get two identical passport style photographs.

3. Gather all the necessary supporting documents.

4. Make a copy of the documents that you are going to send to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

5. Mail the form, photos, fees and supporting documents to the USCIS.

Getting your bio-metric done:

6. Wait till you receive a letter of appointment from the USCIS.

7. Arrive at the fingerprinting location.

8. Have your fingerprints taken.

9. Wait for the USCIS to schedule your interview.

Getting Interviewed

10. Wait till you receive a letter of appointment from the USCIS.

11. Arrive at the location at the time and date specified.

12. The USCIS will send a letter (Notice of Action) to you, mentioning the date, time and location of the appointment. You will be required to take the Civics and English Language tests. This is done to test your basic knowledge of English Language and history of the US government.

If all goes well, you will be called to take the Oath.

Taking the Oath

13. USCIS will send you a letter stating the date, time, and location of the ceremony to take the Oath.

14. Check in at the ceremony.

15. Return your green card.

16. You will be asked to answer some questions regarding what you have done since you were interviewed.

17. Take the Oath.

18. Receive your Certificate of Naturalization.

The American Citizenship Application is subjected to a careful scrutiny and it is necessary that all details should be provided to the best of your knowledge. Providing incorrect data will lead to the rejection of your application, which in turn would delay the process.

Form N-445, which is the “Notice of Naturalization Oath Ceremony”, should be returned to your local USCIS office if you miss the Oath Ceremony. While returning the form, you should include a letter explaining why you were not able to make it to the ceremony.

The USCIS office that caters to your area will then reschedule your Oath Ceremony date and will mail you a new Form N-445 (Notice of Naturalization Oath Ceremony).

Completing the American Citizenship Application in the right manner is very important. A minor error or missing out on dates would mean re-doing the whole process again.

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