Filing Form N-400: Five Tips

Need Help Filing Form N-400?

So you’ve been a permanent resident for a while, and now you’re thinking that you want to apply for U.S. citizenship. Are you wondering where to start? Filing Form N-400 would be a good place. That is the proper United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) form to begin the citizenship application process.

With such an important first step, though, you might be nervous about filling it out correctly. Don’t worry, though, just make sure to follow these five tips when filing Form N-400 and you’re already off to a great start:
Filing Form N-400

1. Honesty is  Always the Best Policy

There’s a reason this is a common turn of phrase in U.S. grade schools. It matters especially when you’re filing Form N-400 (or any government form, for that matter). It can be a matter of not just being approved of denied citizenship, but of being deported as well.

What do you do if you do not know an answer? Don’t try guessing. It is the best course of action to take the time needed to look up the proper information and be certain your application is honest. If you think providing certain information might hurt your application, it is best to speak to an immigration attorney or other knowledgeable authority about the best course of action.

2. Carefully Read the Instructions. Don’t Skip Any Steps.

Don’t let your pride get in the way of your perfect application. The USCIS provides instructions for you to print out so filing Form N-400 should be a step-by-step process if your case is straightforward. The instructions will not only tell you how to fill out the form, but also what documents to provide with it and how much to enclose for your fees.

3. Pay Close Attention to the Questions

  • Name Change–Part I, Question D. Since your swearing-in often happens in court, during the swearing in ceremony, you may be given the opportunity to change your name no matter the reason.
  • Part 3, Question C. Are you unsure of the day you became a legal permanent resident? Look on your physical green card, it is listed there.
  • Part 3, Questions D and E. If you were born in one country and gave up citizenship in that country for citizenship in another country, that is your nationality. Your country of birth and nationality are not necessarily the same, though they can be.
  • Part 3, Questions H and I. Certain mental or physical disabilities may qualify you for a waiver of some parts of the application, or have the interview done in your own language. If your condition is poor enough, the USCIS may agree to visit your home to conduct the citizenship interview.
  • Part 7, Time Outside the United States. As part of the citizenship requirement, you must have resided in the United States for a certain period of time. Since this can determine the passing or rejecting of your application, it is important to get this right. If you’re not sure about the dates you’ve been outside the country, provide as much information as you can and mark the dates as “approximate”.
  • Part 8, Question G. Your current marriage is counted in the number of times that your spouse has been married. If your spouse has been married once before then write “2”

4. Gather Supporting Documents and Information

After reading the instructions provided by the USCIS, gather all of the supporting documents requested. Make sure that these documents are both accurate and up-to-date.

5. Get a Second Opinion

After completing your application and you have checked it over for accuracy, have a trusted family member or friend look it over. With something as important as your citizenship application, it can never hurt to be overly careful. Having a second set of eyes review your application may also help you spot any errors that you may have missed when you looked it over yourself.

Are you or anyone you know in need of any assistance in filing for citizenship application? Road to Status’ N-400 filing assistance can be found here. If your case is more complex and you’d like to speak to a licensed immigration attorney, schedule a consultation and we’d be happy to help you with any questions or concerns you may have.


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