What Is Form N-400?

Posted by in Immigrants | Updated on August 24, 2022

Form N-400 is the one-stop form to be filed by green card holders to complete their naturalization process to attain citizenship in the United States. The government officially calls it the Application of Naturalization. This form is issued by the United States Citizenship and Immigration service and asks for basic biographical information about the applicant to determine whether they meet the required criteria to become citizens of the United States of America.

What Is the Purpose of Form N-400?

Submitting form N-400 is the first step to becoming a fully realized U.S. citizen. The form is used to gather all required biographical details of the person applying for citizenship and verify their eligibility. The form contains 18 sections, with each section focusing on different aspects of the applicant. Sections 1 through 12 include a total of 50 questions and some with sub-questions. The answers to these questions will determine an applicant’s ability to become a U.S. citizen.

Who Is Eligible to Use Form N-400?

The eligibility requirements for filing form N-400 are pretty simple. There are only two requirements, you should be at least 18 years of age on the date of application, and you should have been a green card holder for at least the last five years. If you are married to a U.S. citizen, you only need to be a green card holder for the last three years. The age requirement (18-years-old) is compulsory in all cases.

However, if you do not satisfy the naturalization conditions, you cannot file form N-400. Also, if you have acquired or derived U.S. citizenship through at least one U.S. citizen parent or are a child of a U.S. citizen living abroad, this is not the correct form for your naturalization process.

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How to Fill Out Form N-400

There are two ways to file form N-400:

  1. Online application process
  2. Mail-in application process

The questions and requirements on both forms are precisely the same, and you should choose the option that is easiest for you based on your location and the status of your green card.

The form contains 50 questions (some with sub-questions) asking a range of information about you and your situation. Finally, you would have to declare that you understood the form and are willing to give the oath of allegiance to the United States.

Where to File Form N-400

Depending on your mode of application, there are different places to file your N-400 form.

Online Application

To apply online, you must first create an account with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services on their website and sign your application electronically.

However, this process is only possible for those already living in the U.S. Therefore, if you are applying from abroad, you cannot use the online method and must resort to the mail-in option instead. Also, if you are applying for a fee reduction or waiver, you will again have to choose the mail-in option even though you may be living in the U.S.

Mail-In Application

If you choose to go for a mail-in application, you would first have to download the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services form for the N-400 and manually fill out the details.

Depending on your address, there are several locations in the United States to mail form N-400. There are different locations based on your choice of postal carrier. Also, if you are applying based on your or any of your family members’ military service, then all such applications are to be sent to entirely different locations, also differing on your choice of postal service.

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services lists all such locations under the “where to file” tab. You must open the tab and check the nearest location to where you reside.

Form N-400 Costs

Currently, the fee to submit form N-400 is $725. This includes both your processing fees and biometric fees. However, downloading the form to print it and mail it out is free. The fee is charged only when you submit the form in the designated locations.

This is a universal fee and is charged to everyone. However, certain applicants can ask for a fee reduction or a fee waiver. The eligibility for such applicants is available on the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services website.

Processing Time for Form N-400

As of June 2021, the average processing time for form N-400 is about 12 months. However, this can vary based on the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services field office handling your application. You can get a head start of up to 90 days on your application by filing early on your end of a three- or five-year wait period from the date on which your green card was issued.

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Conclusion

Form N-400 is issued by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services to begin the naturalization process of any individual. There are two ways you can choose to apply, the online method and the mail-in method. For the mail-in method, there are several locations for you to send your application, depending on where you reside. The form contains questions about your eligibility and biographical details and asks you to take your oath of allegiance for the country.


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