Form N-400

Form N-400, Application for Naturalization is the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) form that is used to apply for citizenship in the U.S. You can become a U.S. citizen at birth or after birth. But you will need to meet some requirements.

In order to become a U.S. citizen at birth, you must be born in the U.S. or in a U.S. territory. You will also be a U.S. citizen if you were born in an outlying possession of the U.S. subject to the country’s jurisdiction.

You will be a U.S. citizen at birth if your parent or both your parents were U.S. citizens when you were born. This applies even if you were born abroad. However, there are other requirements that need to be met.

If you were born abroad to U.S. citizen parent or parents, you will not be granted citizenship automatically. To obtain citizenship, you must apply to acquire or derive citizenship from your parents. If you cannot acquire or derive citizenship from your parents and if you were not born on U.S. soil, you can apply for U.S. citizenship through naturalization for which you will need to file Form N-400.

Naturalization Eligibility Requirements

There are certain requirements that you need to meet to apply for citizenship in the U.S. Following are the general eligibility requirements for naturalization.

  • Being 18 years of age or above is mandatory. You cannot file an application for naturalization if you are below age 18.
  • You must hold a permanent resident card (green card)* for five or three years. You generally will have a three-year wait if you received your green card based on marriage and you will have to wait for five years if you received your permanent resident status through some other category.
  • You must have lived in the state or the USCIS district where you are filing for naturalization for at 3 months prior to filing your N-400 application.
  • You must meet the physical presence requirement.
  • You must meet the continuous residence requirement.
  • Show that you have not committed crimes and are a person with good moral character
  • Demonstrate an attachment to the U.S. Constitution’s principles and ideals.
  • You must be able to speak, write and understand basic English. You must have knowledge of the country’s history and government.
  • You must be willing to take the Oath of Allegiance to the U.S. You may also be allowed to take a modified oath.

The Naturalization Test

One of the important steps in the U.S. citizenship process is the naturalization test and interview. Your ability to read, write, understand and speak English will be tested. You will have to also take the civics test to demonstrate your understanding of the country’s history and government. However, not everyone will have to take the test and there are some exemptions to it.

Exemptions to the English Test

You may not be required to take the English language test if you meet one of the following requirements.

  • You are 50 years of age or older at the time of filing your Form N-400. This will apply to you if you have lived in the U.S. for at least 20 years as a green card holder. In this case, you will be allowed to take the civics test in the language of your choice.
  • You are 55 years of age or older at the time of filing your naturalization application. You will not be required to take the English language exam if you have lived in the U.S. as a legal resident for a 15 year period. However, you will be required to take the civics test but in a language of your choice.
  • You are 65 years of age or older at the time of filing your application for naturalization. You will not be required to take the English test but must take the civics test in a language of your choice. You will need to establish that you have lived in the U.S. as a legal resident for periods totaling a minimum of 20 years.

*Remember to answer “Yes” to at least one question in Part 2 of Form N-400 for question number 13.

Medical Exception to the Naturalization Test

If you have a physical or a developmental disability or mental impairment that prevents you from taking the test, you may not be required to take the English and/or the civics test. You will be granted an exception if the disability has lasted for 12 months or is expected to last for 12 months or more. You can check the form filing instructions that come with Form N-648, Medical Certification for Disability Exceptions, for instructions on applying for an exception.

NOTE: If you are requesting an exception to the English language and civics tests based on medical grounds, you will need to answer “Yes” in Part 2., Item Number 12 of the N-400 application. To request an exception, you will have to file a completed Form N-648, along with your Form N-400.

Don’t file Form N-400 if

1. You believe that you have not met the eligibility requirements for naturalization.

2. You are eligible to acquire or derive U.S. citizenship from your parent or parents. (If you are eligible to acquire or derive citizenship, you will need to file Form N-600, Application for Certificate of Citizenship)

3. You are eligible for U.S. citizenship under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) 322. (In this case, you will need to file Form N-600K, Application for Citizenship and Issuance of Certificate Under Section 322.)

The Value of Citizenship

It is well-known that the U.S. has a long history of welcoming immigrants from across the globe and it is a very popular destination among immigrants. The country values the contributions that the immigrants have made and are making.

It is not always an easy decision to become a U.S. citizen and it could be one of the most important decisions in your life. If you decide to become a citizen of the U.S., you must be willing to show your commitment to the U.S. Constitution. The U.S. will in-turn reward you by granting you all the rights and privileges granted to the citizens of the country.

However, the hardest and most nerve-wracking part in the whole citizenship process perhaps is the application filing process. That is because you may not know how things work and what is going to happen with the application filing process.

You may have all the required documents but you may have difficulty completing the application. That is because the form instructions are not simple. Even if you answer just one question wrong, your application could be rejected. And you might have to file your application again. Sometimes, you feel that you have filed your application correctly and it will not be rejected or denied only to find out that things did not run smoothly.

This is one reason why many prefer to file their applications with the help of a lawyer or an online service just like ours because such services help people make sure that their applications are filled out completely and that they have attached all the required supporting documents.

Moreover, our immigration software is user-friendly and it makes the form completion process simple and easy. It is important to file the application correctly because applying for citizenship is a huge step. Even small mistakes could be costly. It can be wise to spend a few extra dollars on services that help you complete your application because it can help make the process easier. Likewise, this will help you reduce your stress and complete the application correctly.

People often hire lawyers to help them with their application process, particularly if they have committed crimes or if there are other complications. In such cases, lawyers can help them complete their applications and help them get the required supporting documents. Those services, however, cost hundreds and even thousands of dollars. We have worked hard to build a software that allows you to work through your application on your own if hiring a lawyer is not the best option for you. Our online software helps simplify the form completion process step by step and make the form filing process really simple. Only spend thousands of dollars if you absolutely have to. Otherwise, consider using our easy-to-use services at a fraction of the cost.

Where to File Form N-400?

USCIS allows naturalization applicants to file their N-400 application online and also lets them file the paper form by mail. Remember, you cannot file the form online if you are applying for citizenship based on your military service or applying while you are outside the U.S. You cannot file the form online if you are applying for a fee waiver.

If you are not a military applicant and if you are not applying for a fee waiver, you can file the form online. You can create an account online on the USCIS website to file your form online.

With this online account, you can pay your filing fee, check the status of your case, receive updates on your case and respond to requests of evidence. This online account will also help you to manage your contact and update other personal information including your address. You will also receive personalized case completion date estimates.

Filing Form N-400 by Mail

If you live Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Micronesia, Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Kansas, Mariana, Islands, Montana, North Dakota, Nebraska, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington or Wyoming, you will need to mail your form to one of the following addresses.

For U.S. Postal Service:
USCIS
P.O. Box 21251
Phoenix, AZ 85036

For FedEx, UPS, and DHL deliveries:
USCIS
Attn: N-400
1820 E. Skyharbor Circle S
Suite 100
Phoenix, AZ 85034

If you live in Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, District. Of Columbia, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, Mississippi, North Carolina, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oklahoma, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Virgin Islands, Vermont or West Virginia, mail your completed form to one of the below mentioned addresses.

For U.S. Postal Service:
USCIS
P.O. Box 660060
Dallas, TX 75266

For FedEx, UPS, and DHL deliveries:
USCIS
Attn: N-400
2501 S State Hwy 121 Business
Suite 400
Lewisville, TX 75067

Send your N-400 application to one of the below addresses if you live in Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Missouri or Pennsylvania.

For U.S. Postal Service:
USCIS
P.O. Box 4380
Chicago, IL 60680-4380

For FedEx, UPS, and DHL deliveries:
USCIS
Attn: N-400
131 S. Dearborn, 3rd Floor
Chicago, IL 60603-5517

Once you file your paper Form N-400 and once it is accepted by the USCIS, you will receive the USCIS Account Acceptance Notice. This notice will have instructions on how to create an online account to track and manage your case online. USCIS will send you notifications about your case even if you do not create an online account but the agency encourages applicants to create an online account.

If you are a member of the U.S. military and applying for citizenship based on your military status, you will need to file your application at the below-mentioned location.

For U.S. Postal Service
USCIS
P.O. Box 4446
Chicago, IL 60680-4446

For FedEx, UPS, or DHL deliveries
USCIS
Attn: Military N-400
131 S. Dearborn, 3rd Floor
Chicago, IL 60603-5517

Form Filing Fee

You will have to pay a $640 filing fee along with the $85 fee for biometrics at the time of filing your N-400 application.

Pay the fee with a money order, personal check (payable to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security) or a credit card, if you file the N-400 paper form. If you file the form online, you can pay the fee online. Remember, if you use your credit card to file the fee, you will need to file Form G-1450, Authorization for Credit Card Transactions.

Exceptions

If you are above age 75, you just need to pay the form filing fee of $640 and need not pay the biometrics fee. Likewise, if you are a military applicant filing under section 328 or 329 of the INA, you need not pay the form filing fee.