N-400: Application for Naturalization

What is N 400 Form?

Applicants can use USCIS N-400 Form to become a naturalized United States citizen. Before filing Form N 400, please check on USCIS.gov to see if you are already a U.S. citizen. If your biological or adoptive mother or father were U.S. citizens by birth or naturalized before you turned the age of 18, you may not need to be naturalized.

 

To file for Form N400, candidates must meet the following requirements:

  • Applicants must be 18 years or older
  • Applicants must have been permanent residents for 5 years. For applicants applying through marriage must have been married to a U.S. citizen for 3 years
  • Applicants must provide records of continuous residence for the past 5 years. For applicants applying through marriage must provide records of residence for the past 3 years.
  • Applicants must provide records of physical presence in the U.S. in the past 5 years. For applicants applying through marriage must provide records of physical presence for the past 3 years.
  • Applicants must demonstrate basic understanding of English
  • Applicants must demonstrate basic understanding of the U.S. history and government.
  • Applicant must be willing participants of the Oath of Allegiance.
  • Applicants must be a good character.

 

How do I file Form N 400?

The information that Form N 400 asks for are all personal and historic information. This includes parental history, residence, education and work history, marital status, criminal record, and travel history. There are also questions about your loyalty to the United States and if you ever participated in acts that would be seen as moves against the country.

Applicants under certain financial circumstances can file a fee waiver form (I-912) to waive the filing and biometric fees. An example of valid circumstance is an individual living at or below 150% of federal poverty guidelines.

Naturalization Testing

In addition to submitting Form N-400, all naturalized citizens must take a test to show their basic understanding of the English language and U.S. history and government processes. These are two separate tests and depending on your situation, you may or may not need to take both to become a citizen. There are some exceptions to this requirement including:

  • If you are at least 50 years old and have lived in the U.S. for at least 20 years, you need to take the civics test in any language of your choice but do not need to take the English language test.
  • If you are at least 55 years old and have lived in the U.S. for at least 15 years, you need to take the civics test in any language of your choice but do not need to take the English language test.
  • If you have a mental or physical impairment that has lasted or is expected to last 12 months or more, you may be eligible to be exempt from the English language test or the civics test or both. Please read Form N-648, Medical Certification for Disability Exceptions for further detail.
    • Answer “Yes” in Part 2, Item Number 12 of Form N-400 if you are submitting the request for exemption from the English and civics tests due to medical impairment. You must submit Form N-648 along with Form N-400.

 

What is required when you submit Form N-400

Supporting documents

  • The form will request specific supporting documents such as proof of employment or criminal records. You must provide all evidence and documentation requested when submitting form N 400
  • If documents are in a foreign language, they must be accompanied by translations by a certified language translator and proof that he or she can translate the foreign language to English.

Photocopies of supporting documents

  • Some parts of the form will request original official documentation. For all other questions, you may provide legible photocopies. USCIS may request you submit original documents but they will be returned to you once they are no longer needed in your application process
  • If documents are in a foreign language, they must be accompanied by translations by a certified language translator and proof that he or she can translate the foreign language to English.

Biometrics services appointment

  • You may be asked by USCIS to attend a biometrics services appointment at a Application Support Center or if you are abroad, a U.S. embassy or consulate. These appointments will consist of some or all of the following:
    • Interview
    • Fingerprint collection
    • Identity verification
    • Background check
    • Criminal history review

Filing fee

  • Form N-400 requires a fee of $640 and if a biometric appointment is request, that costs an additional $85. The form fee must be submitted at the time of the application.

Signature

  • Each form submission must be completely and accurately filled, signed, and filed. Handwritten signatures are the only ones that the USCIS will accept. For mentally incompetent persons, a legal guardian may sign on his or her behalf.