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  • US Naturalization (N-400) Step-by-Step Guide
    These steps should be followed as a guideline and not as specific requirements for any given case. Every case is unique and this does not address that uniqueness.

    Please review the Naturalization Process
    This process may take many months or even over a year to complete from the initial filing until becoming naturalized (a US Citizen) but it is important to know what steps will be required.

    Step 1: Check the requirements to qualify for US naturalization

    Step 2: Download and save the N-400 Naturalization Form

    Step 3: Assemble the US Naturalization (N-400) package using the following checklist:

    US Naturalization (N-400) Package Checklist
    Follow these assembly instructions. All supporting documents must be in English or be translated as noted here.

    Include Required Payment:

    Use a personal check or money order for both the application and biometrics fee (if required).
    Make sure the check or money order is made out to: U.S. Department of Homeland Security

    Completed, signed and dated N-400 Form:

    Be sure that the form is completed and correct to the best of your knowledge. Print, sign and date as required.

    All applicants must send the following three items with their N-400 application:

    1.A photocopy of both sides of your Permanent Resident Card (formerly known as the Alien Registration Card or 'Green Card'). If you have lost the card, submit a photocopy of the receipt of your Form I-90, 'Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card'; and
    2.Two identical color photographs, with your name and A-number written lightly in pencil on the back of each photo. For details about the photo requirements, see this specification. Do not wear eyeglasses or earrings for the photo. If your religion requires you to wear a head covering, your facial features must still be exposed in the photo for purposes of identification; and
    3.A check or money order for the correct application fee and the biometric services fee for fingerprinting. (Applicants 75 years of age or older are exempted from fingerprinting and the biometrics services fee). Write your 'A-number' on the back of the check or money order.

    Only if required, send copies of the following documents (the USCIS will request originals if needed):

    If an attorney or accredited representative is acting on your behalf, send:
    A completed original Form G-28, 'Notice of Entry of Appearance as Attorney or Representative.'

    If your current legal name is different from the name on your Permanent Resident Card, send:
    The document(s) that legally changed your name (marriage certificate, divorce decree, or court document).

    If you are applying for naturalization on the basis of marriage to a U.S. citizen, send the following four items:
    1. Evidence that your spouse has been a U.S. citizen for the last three years:
    Birth certificate (if your spouse never lost citizenship since birth), or
    Naturalization certificate, or
    Certificate of Citizenship, or
    The inside of the front cover and signature page of your spouse's current U.S. passport, or
    Form FS-240, 'Report of Birth Abroad of a Citizen of the United States of America', and

    2. Your current marriage certificate; and

    3. Proof of termination of all prior marriages of your spouse-divorce decree(s), annulment(s), or death certificate(s); and

    4. Documents referring to you and your spouse:
    Tax returns, bank accounts, leases, mortgages, or birth certificates of children, or
    Internal Revenue Service (IRS)-certified copies of the income tax forms that you both filed for the past three years, or
    An IRS tax return transcript for the last three years.

    If you were married before, send:
    Proof that all earlier marriages ended-divorce decree(s), annulments, or death certificates(s);

    If you were previously in the U.S. military service, send:
    A completed original Form G-325B, 'Biographic Information.'

    If you are currently in the U.S. military service and are seeking citizenship based on that service, send:
    A completed original Form N-426, 'Request for Certification of Military or Naval Service'; and A completed original Form G-325B, 'Biographic Information.'

    If you have taken any trip outside the United States that lasted six months or more since becoming a Permanent Resident, send evidence that you (and your family) continued to live, work and/or keep ties to the United States, such as:
    An IRS tax return 'transcript' or an IRS-certified tax return listing tax information for the last five years (or for the last three years if you are applying on the basis of marriage to a U.S. citizen).
    Rent or mortgage payments and pay stubs.

    If you have a dependent spouse or children who do not live with you, send:
    Any court or government order to provide financial support; and Evidence of your financial support (including evidence that you have complied with any court or government order), such as:
    Cancelled checks,
    Money and receipts,
    A court or agency printout of child support payments,
    Evidence of wage garnishments,
    A letter from the parent or guardian who cares for your children.

    If you answer 'Yes' to any of Questions 1 through 44 in Part 12 of form N-400, send:
    A written explanation on a separate sheet of paper.

    If you answer 'No' to any of Questions 45 through 50 in Part 12 of form N-400, send:
    A written explanation on a separate sheet of paper.

    If you have ever been arrested or detained by any law enforcement officer for any reason, and no charges were filed, send:
    An original official statement by the arresting agency or applicant court confirming that no charges were filed.

    If you have ever been arrested or detained by any law enforcement officer for any reason, and charges were filed, send:
    An original or court-certified copy of the complete arrest record and disposition for each incident (dismissal order, conviction record or acquittal order).

    If you have ever been convicted or placed in an alternative sentencing program or rehabilitative program (such as a drug treatment or community service program), send:
    1. An original or court-certified copy of the sentencing record for each incident; and
    2. Evidence that you completed your sentence:
    An original or certified copy of your probation or parole record; or
    Evidence that you completed an alternative sentencing program or rehabilitative program.

    If you have ever had any arrest or conviction vacated, set aside, sealed, expunged or otherwise removed from your record, send:
    An original or court-certified copy of the court order vacating, setting aside, sealing, expunging or otherwise removing the arrest or conviction, or an original statement from the court that no record exists of your arrest or conviction.

    NOTE: If you have been arrested or convicted of a crime, you may send any countervailing evidence or evidence in your favor concerning the circumstances of your arrest and/or conviction that you would like USCIS to consider.

    If you have ever failed to file an income tax return since you became a Permanent Resident, send:
    All correspondence with the IRS regarding your failure to file.

    If you have any federal, state or local taxes that are overdue, send:
    1. A signed agreement from the IRS or state or local tax office showing that you have filed a tax return and arranged to pay the taxes you owe; and
    2. Documentation from the IRS or state or local tax office showing the current status of your repayment program. NOTE: You may obtain copies of tax documents and tax information by contacting your local IRS offices, using the Blue Pages of your telephone directory, or through its website at www.irs.gov.

    If you are applying for a disability exception to the testing requirement, send:
    An original Form N-648, 'Medical Certification for Disability Exceptions,' completed less than six months ago by a licensed medical or osteopathic doctor or licensed clinical psychologist.

    If you did not register with the Selective Service and you (1) are male, (2) are 26 years old or older, and (3) lived in the United States in a status other than as a lawful nonimmigrant between the ages of 18 and 26, send:
    A 'Status Information Letter' from the Selective Service (Call 1-847-688-8888 for more information).

    Step 4: Determine your filing location based on where you live:

    Check the USCIS N-400 Information Page for the current filing location based on where you live.

    Step 5: Attach "E-Notification" Form (Optional):

    Clip a completed G-1145 (E-Notification of Application/Petition Acceptance), to the first page of your application (on top of the cover page). By completing this form and attaching it, USCIS will send you an email and/or text message to alert you when your application was received.

    Step 6: Mail the package with return receipt requested / delivery confirmation. Send via USPS:

    Make TWO copies of the entire package before you send it in. This includes money orders or checks too. You want to have a perfect replica of the package you are sending in. All Forms that you submit must be originals with original signatures. Supporting Evidence that you submit may be photocopies. Retain ALL original supporting Evidence since the USCIS has the right to check them by issuing an RFE (Request For Evidence). If you receive an RFE, follow the direction exactly, and make two copies of what you sent back. During any future interviews the USCIS may also want to examine the original supporting evidence.

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