For those who want to become a US Citizen then you will need to fill out the N-400 form, which is the application for naturalization. Naturalization is the process to become a U.S. citizen if you were born outside of the US. If you meet certain requirements, then you may become a U.S. citizen.
What is an Application for Naturalization?
The Immigration Form N-400, Application for Naturalization, is a government form used for current green card holders who are applying to become a US Citizen. Filling out this form is the first step of “naturalization”, which is the process of becoming a United States Citizen.
Do I Need the N-400 Form?
If you are a green card (permanent resident) holder of the US and you meet the requirements to become a US citizen then you will be required to fill out the N-400 form. The N-400 form is for anyone ready to become a US citizen.
Requirements for the N-400 Form
To become a US Citizen, there are a number of factors that will depend on your eligibility.
- Be at least 18 years of age at the time you file the application;
- Have been a lawful permanent resident for the past three or five years (depending on which naturalization category you are applying under);
- Have continuous residence and physical presence in the United States;
- Be able to read, write, and speak basic English;
- Demonstrate good moral character;
- Demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of U.S. history and government;
- Demonstrate a loyalty to the principles of the U.S. Constitution; and
- Be willing to take the Oath of Allegiance.
The table below will help show when you are eligible to apply for US Citizenship.
|If you are a…||Minimum Time Lived in the US||When You Can Apply|
|Member of the military with any period of wartime service||0 years||Now|
|Widow or widower of a U.S. citizen who died while honorably serving in the military||0 years||Now|
|Green Card holder with at least 1 year of peacetime military service||0 years||While in active duty or within 6 months of honorably separating from the military|
|Green card holder who is married to a U.S. citizen||18 months||After 3 years|
|Green card holder with less than 1 year of peacetime military service||30 months||After 5 years|
|Green card holder with at least 1 year of peacetime military service and honorably discharged more than 6 months ago||30 months||After 5 years|
|Green card holder with no special circumstances||30 months||After 5 years|
Required Documents for N-400 Form
When you’re applying for naturalization you will be required to provide supporting documents. If you’re applying online then you can provide those documents b a digital copy.
The following are required documents when applying for US Citizenship:
- Your current green card (both sides if digital)
- The N-400 application fee
Some applicants may be required to provide additional documents depending on their particular case, such as:
- Proof of marital status such as a marriage certificate or divorce papers
- If you’re living abroad you may be requried to provide 2 inch by 2 inch passport photos
- Form N-426 for those applying based on their military service
- Form N-648 for those looking to be exempt from the U.S. Citizenship test based on a qualifying medical condition
Learn more about the US Citizenship test, required to pass to become a US Citizen.
What Happens After You File the Form N-400
Once your application has been received by the USCIS, you will receive:
- Receipt notice confirming we received your application;
- Biometric services notice, if applicable;
- Notice to appear for an interview, if required; and
- Notice of our decision.
Form N-400 FAQ
How Much Does the N-400 Cost?
$640. (Add the $85 biometric fee for a total of $725, where applicable.) The legal advice for applying for US Citizenship may cost an immigration consultant fee.
What is the Processing Time for the N-400 Form?
Once you’ve submitted the N-400 form and all the supporting documents, it should only take anywhere from 8 to 12 months.
Can You Travel While Your N-400 is Pending?
You will continue to be a permanent resident until you have received a response from your application. You can travel as you did before as a green card holder.
What Happens if my N-400 is Denied?
If you have been denied then you can appeal the decision on your N-400. Typically, if someone has been denied on their N-400 application it means that the application was submitted incorrectly or it was missing information. Hiring an immigration lawyer will help avoid any of these situations.
Can I Renew my Green Card if my Citizenship is Denied?
Yes. If you have been denied citizenship or your green card is about to expire while waiting for citizenship, you will need to renew your green card status.
USCIS N-400 Online Printable Form