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Don’t Make these 10 Common Mistakes when filling out the N-400, Application for Naturalization

Updated: Mar 28, 2019



Don’t file too early


You have to wait a full 5 years of having a lawful permanent resident status before you can file for naturalization. If you’re married to a US citizen, then you can apply after 3 years. The law does allow you to apply 90 days early. Make sure that you don’t send it in too early, or you’re going to waste your time and your money on that postage fee.


Gather all the information


Depending on the facts of your case, you will need to collect documents before filling out the form in order to answer the questions accurately. For example, you are going to need your birth certificate, driver’s license, green card, and all your other identifying documents.


Read each question carefully


It’s really important that you look at each question, think about it, and answer it correctly and accurately. When in doubt, obtain the necessary information or consult with an immigration attorney.


Always tell the truth


U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) takes your application seriously and so should you. You are certifying that all the information provided in the form is accurate and complete. If you are concerned or ashamed of your past, this is not the time to withhold or avoid telling immigration authorities the truth.


Be neat


Using black or blue ink; write legibly. If you prefer to type your application, USCIS has a downloadable form on their website: https://www.uscis.gov/n-400. It is important that immigration authorities are able to read and understand the information provided in your application.


Keep a copy of your submitted application


You want to make sure that you have a record of what you submitted to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. How can you respond to any potential requests for further evidence or any questions at the interview without knowledge of the information that you provided on the application?


Double-check and then triple check that application


Get an extra set of eyes to review your application and make sure that there are no spelling errors and no missing or inaccurate information.


Failing to pay the correct filing fee


Make sure to read the instruction sheet to the N-400 application. In addition, read “Where to File” on the USCIS.gov website under N-400, Application for Naturalization. When in doubt, use the USCIS fee calculator on their website in order to determine the correct filing fee.


Failing to submit translations or supporting evidence


Any documents in a foreign language are required to be translated into English before submitting them to USCIS. Also, any documentation in response to the application’s questions should be submitted. Do not send original documents; instead, send only copies of these documents.


Refiling without determining errors

If your N-400 application is denied, do not immediately refile your application without first determining the reasons for the denial. If you are unable to understand the reasons for the denial, contact an immigration attorney immediately to review your denied application.


This article provides general information only. It is based on law, regulations and policy that are subject to change. Do not consider it as legal advice for any individual case or situation. Each case is different and case examples do not constitute a prediction or guarantee of success or failure in any other case. The sharing or receipt of this information does not create an attorney-client relationship.


If you are ready to apply for citizenship, please call us at 201-379-4040 to speak with one of our immigration attorneys. Our immigration law office is located in Ridgewood, New Jersey. Please call Curbelo Law at 201-379-4040 to set up a consultation.