USCIS now allows online filing for citizenship applications!

If you are in the process of filing your citizenship application, you now are able to file your application online or through the mail. The requirements for you to file the application online are the same. To qualify to naturalize to a US citizen, a green holder has the burden of showing that they are a person of good moral character. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will review the past five (5) years of the applicant’s record or the past three (3) years of their record if they are married to a US citizen. The Immigration and Naturalization Act lists a number of acts, if committed, that makes an applicant ineligible for naturalization. A common barrier to citizenship is an individual’s criminal record. Where the applicant has been convicted of multiple crimes and sentenced to for than five (5) years, or where the applicant has committed a Crime of Moral Turpitude or an aggravated Felony, their application will be closely examined and most likely denied.

To be able to file your application online, you will need access to a computer and internet. You download the Form N-400 in PDF form from the USCIS website. Check the date of the application at the bottom of the page, it has to be edition dated 12/23/16. No previous editions will be accepted. You can find the edition date at the bottom of the page on the Form and Instructions. This form has 20 pages and 18 pages of instructions. It is in your best interest to read the instructions first before proceeding to fill the application. It is also advantageous to save the form as PDF on your computer so whatever you type will stay in the form and you wouldn’t have to retype it. This will also allow you to come bac to the application and finish it at a later time if necessary.

Please note that if you are applying based on your military service, are applying from outside of the U.S., or are applying for a fee waiver or reduced fee, you CANNOT file your form N-400 online. You would have to file it by mail.

If you qualify to file your citizenship application online, go online to you have to create an account with USCIS using your e-mail address and a password. Once you create an account, you will be available to (1) track your application (2) check the status of your case (3) view personalized case completion date estimates (4) respond to requests for evidence and (5) manager your contact information, including updating your address. USCIS encourages its applicants to create an account online so you can check any activity on your case.

The filing fee for this application is $640 plus $85 for the biometrics), for a total of $725. If you are using a credit card payment, use form G-1450, Authorization for Credit Card Transactions. Biometrics refers to the submission to a photograph and signature process at any of the Application Support Centers (ASC) designated by USCIS. This photograph will be later placed digitally in your Certificate of Naturalization so wear business attire when you attend this appointment. You will be notified of this appointment. It pays to be a senior citizen in this case, because applicants 75 years or older do not need to pay the $85 biometrics fee, only the $640 filing fee. If you are a member of the military, you will not be required to pay the $85.You will get an email from USCIS requesting the physical passport photographs after you have already filed your form N-400 with instructions on how to submit them.

The advantage of filing your application online is that you can fill your Form N-400 any time of the day or night from the convenience of your own home, as long as you have a computer with Internet access. You can download the form to your computer once it is filled out completely and keep a copy for your records. You can pay with a credit card: more time for you to pay! You can monitor the entire process from your home computer once you establish an account with USCIS. You will be notified of any future appointments and be reminded of them by your computer.

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