Which INS form(s) will I need to apply for citizenship in the United States?

Every application to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is riddled with a series of forms and procedures. The main form that you will need to apply for naturalization is the Form N-400. If you have a child under eighteen years of age that you want to apply for citizenship, you would use Form N-600. If you had a relative that applied a few years back, do not simply accept a copy of the form they used. Periodically, the USCIS will update their forms. Their website posts which versions of the form they will accept. If you submit your application on a Form N-400 that is out-of-date, or too old, your application will be rejected. The current filing fee for naturalization is $680.00. Each time you submit your application, even if it is denied, you must also submit a new application fee; it is worth the effort to find and use the correct form.

Don't Forget the Necessary Attachments

Locating the proper version of the Form N-400 is only the first step you will take. If you submit the form without the proper attachments, your application could be rejected or denied. The items you will be required to attach will vary depending on your personal situation. As a general rule, if you have had any major life changes prior to filing your application, you will probably have to submit additional documents. Major life changes can include: marriage, divorce, name change, joining the military, or an arrest for a criminal offense. If you are applying for exceptions during the application process based on a disability, you will also need to complete Form-685 and include it with your application.

Other U.S. Citizenship Application Requirements

Change of Address: If you change your address after you have applied for naturalization and your application is still pending, you are required to notify the USCIS within 10 days of your move. You notify them of this change by submitting Form AR-11. 

English Translation: If you submit any documents with your application that are in a foreign language, you must also include a certified English translation. The certified translation is an English translation of your foreign language document with another document attached by the translator that they are certified to make the translation.

USCIS Office: Once you have completed your application and assembled the necessary attachments, you must submit your application to the proper USCIS office that services your area. Failure to send your application to the right office could result in delays.  

Most forms are straightforward. However, sometimes situations overlap that make applying the forms to your life more complicated. If you have any questions regarding how to complete the naturalization application or which forms to attach, you should consult with an immigration law attorney.

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