N400 Step by Step

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This article will guide you step by step from checking your eligibility to completing your N400 application for Naturalization. These steps should be followed as a guidelines and NOT as specific requirements for any given case. Every case may be unique and should follow some or all steps according to your case. This process may take many months or even over a year to complete from the initial filing until becoming naturalized (US Citizen) but it is important to know what steps will be required.

Step 1.

Check if you are eligible to apply for US Citizenship/Naturalization.

Step 2.

Download and save the latest version N-400 Form (Application for Naturalization). Alternatively, create an online account with USCIS and apply on the web.

Fill the application, check and recheck for errors and sign your name at the end.

n400 file online

Step 3.

Collect the required documents that goes with your N-400 form using following document checklist:

Follow these assembly instructions. All supporting documents must be in English or be translated as noted here.

Include Required Payment: Use a personal check or money order for both the application and biometrics fee (if required). Make sure the check or money order is made out to: U.S. Department of Homeland Security. While filing online you have an option to pay the required fees with your credit/debit card or other supported forms of payments.

Completed, signed and dated N-400 Form: Be sure that the form is completed and correct to the best of your knowledge. Print, sign and date as required.

The filing fee for the Naturalization is: $640

The biometric service fee is: $85

Total Fee: $725

  • A photocopy of both sides of your Permanent Resident Card (formerly known as the Alien Registration Card or ‘Green Card’). If you have lost the card, submit a photocopy of the receipt of your Form I-90.
  • Two identical color photographs, with your name and A-number written lightly in pencil on the back of each photo. For details about the photo requirements, follow the following specifications: Do not wear eyeglasses or earrings for the photo. If your religion requires you to wear a head covering, your facial features must still be exposed in the photo for purposes of identification.
  • A check or money order for the correct application fee and the biometric services fee for fingerprinting. (Applicants 75 years of age or older are exempted from fingerprinting and the biometrics services fee). Write your ‘A-number’ on the back of the check or money order. OR
  • A completed and signed copy of form i-912 (Request for Fee Waiver) with all supporting documents such as proof of benefit or proof of school or proof of financial hardship etc. 

A completed original Form G-28, ‘Notice of Entry of Appearance as Attorney or Representative.

The document(s) that legally changed your name (marriage certificate, divorce decree, or court document).

i. Evidence that your spouse has been a U.S. citizen for the last three years. Supporting documents may include:
-Birth certificate (if your spouse never lost citizenship since birth), or
-Naturalization certificate, or
-Certificate of Citizenship, or
-The inside of the front cover and signature page of your spouse’s current U.S. passport, or
-Form FS-240, ‘Report of Birth Abroad of a Citizen of the United States of America’.

ii. Your current marriage certificate.

iii. Proof of termination of all prior marriages of your spouse-divorce decree(s), annulment(s), or death certificate(s) if applicable.

iv. Documents referring to you and your spouse, such as:
– Tax returns, bank accounts, leases, mortgages, or birth certificates of children, or
– Internal Revenue Service (IRS)-certified copies of the income tax forms that you both filed for the past three years, or
– An IRS tax return transcript for the last three years.

A completed original Form G-325B, ‘Biographic Information’.

Send evidence that you (and your family) continued to live, work and/or keep ties to the United States, such as:

• An IRS tax return ‘transcript’ or an IRS-certified tax return listing tax information for the last five years (or for the last three years if you are applying on the basis of marriage to a U.S. citizen).
• Rent or mortgage payments and pay stubs.

Any court or government order to provide financial support; and Evidence of your financial support (including evidence that you have complied with any court or government order), such as:

i. Cancelled checks,
ii. Money and receipts,
iii. A court or agency printout of child support payments,
iv. Evidence of wage garnishments,
v. A letter from the parent or guardian who cares for your children.

An original official statement by the arresting agency or applicant court confirming that no charges were filed.

An original or court-certified copy of the complete arrest record and disposition for each incident (dismissal order, conviction record or acquittal order).

1. An original or court-certified copy of the sentencing record for each incident, and

2. Evidence that you completed your sentence:
• An original or certified copy of your probation or parole record; or

• Evidence that you completed an alternative sentencing program or rehabilitative program.

An original or court-certified copy of the court order vacating, setting aside, sealing, expunging or otherwise removing the arrest or conviction, or an original statement from the court that no record exists of your arrest or conviction.

NOTE: If you have been arrested or convicted of a crime, you may send any countervailing evidence or evidence in your favor concerning the circumstances of your arrest and/or conviction that you would like USCIS to consider.

All correspondence with the IRS regarding your failure to file.

1. A signed agreement from the IRS or state or local tax office showing that you have filed a tax return and arranged to pay the taxes you owe; and

2. Documentation from the IRS or state or local tax office showing the current status of your repayment program.

NOTE: You may obtain copies of tax documents and tax information by contacting your local IRS offices, using the Blue Pages of your telephone directory, or through its website at www.irs.gov.

An original Form N-648, ‘Medical Certification for Disability Exceptions,’ completed less than six months ago by a licensed medical or osteopathic doctor or licensed clinical psychologist.

If you are:
(1) male,

(2) 26 years old or older, and

(3) lived in the United States in a status other than as a lawful nonimmigrant between the ages of 18 and 26, send:

A ‘Status Information Letter’ from the Selective Service (Call 1-847-688-8888 for more information).

Step 4.

Determine your filing location based on where you live. Mail your application with USPS or UPS.

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