November 16, 2011 § 3 Comments
The naturalization interview is a very important phase in the naturalization process and it is strongly advised not to miss your interview. If you cannot make it, ensure that you write the office where your interview is to be conducted as soon as possible and request to have your interview rescheduled.
Rescheduling an interview may add to the naturalization process, resulting in a delay in getting your citizenship certificate. So make sure not to change your original interview date. If you do not attend the interview without notifying USCIS, they will “administratively close” your case. If you do not contact them to schedule a new interview within one year after the USCIS closes your case, they will deny your application.
Also make sure the USCIS has your most current address. If they don’t have it, you may not receive any important information from them. It may not be possible for them to notify you about the date and time of your naturalization interview or about additional supporting documents you may be required to send or bring.
If you move to another address after filing your naturalization application, call the USCIS at their toll free telephone number 1-800-375-5283 to change your address on your pending application. Every time you move, it is mandatory by law to inform the USCIS of your new address. To do this, you should file an “Alien’s Change of Address Card” (Form AR-11), apart form calling Customer Service. An important factor to keep in mind is that you should file the Form AR-11 within 10 days of you having moved. However, there is filing fee for this form. Adding to this, you should also keep the U.S. Postal Service aware of your new address to ensure that any mail to you may be forwarded to the new address.
You will become a full fledged US citizen as soon as you take the Oath of Allegiance to the US in a formal naturalization ceremony. Under certain circumstances, you can take the Oath the same day as your interview. If you are not left with that option, or if you choose to have the ceremony at a later date, USCIS will keep you posted of the ceremony date with a Form N-445, Notice of Naturalization Oath Ceremony”.
If you are not able to go to the oath ceremony on the said date, you will have to return the “Notice of Naturalization Oath Ceremony” (Form N-445) you received to the local USCIS office. Enclose a letter mentioning the reasons as to why you cannot attend the ceremony. Remember to keep a copy of the notice and your letter before you send them to USCIS. On receiving your letter, the USCIS office will reschedule the date and send you a new “Notice of Naturalization Oath Ceremony” (Form N-445) that will have the re scheduled date.
Not all applications will be approved. If your case is rejected and you think that USCIS was wrong in rejecting the application, you have the right to request a hearing with an immigration officer. The letter the USCIS sends will have the details as to how to request a hearing and will include the form you need. Form N-336, Request for Hearing on a Decision in Naturalization Proceedings under Section 336 of the INA” is the form for filing an appeal. You have to file this form, along with the required fee to USCIS within 30 days of having received the denial letter.
September 21, 2011 § 1 Comment
While applying for American citizenship, one of the requirements is that you have to establish an understanding of English language and prove that you can speak, write and read words in normal usage. It is also required that you have basic knowledge and understanding of fundamentals of US history. The citizenship test comprises of these both.
Some applicants, because of their age and other medically determinable physical or mental impairment are exempted from taking these tests. If you fall under this category and want an exception from the English and US civics test because of your physical or age-linked disability or mental deficiency, you have to file Form N-648 with the USCIS. It is mandatory that a licensed medical doctor or licensed clinical psychologist complete and sign this form. This form has to be filed along with the citizenship form, N-400. Finally,it is up to the USCIS to make a decision if you qualify for an exception to the tests.
A few provisions are there in the Rehabilitation act of 1973 and if you fall under those, you need not file Form N-648. Sign language interpreters, time extension for testing and off site testing come under the provisions. But note that illiteracy will not be considered while requesting an exception from the English and Civics tests. You have to fill Part three of the Form N-400 while applying for American Citizenship, indicating your request.
“Medical doctors, doctors of osteopathy, or clinical psychologists licensed to practice in US including territories like Guam, Puerto Rico, territories of CNMI and the Virgin Islands” are the ones authorized to fill the N-648 form. While filling the form, the medical professional takes up the responsibility for the genuineness of the information entered in the form. The medical professional has to certify all parts of the Form N-648 except for the applicant attestation and interpreter’s certification.
In addition, the medical professional should also ensure that the form is complete and accurate as the USCIS will reject incomplete forms. The information in the form has to be in such a manner that it is easily understood even by a lay man. The medical professional filling this form has to submit a lengthy assessment of the applicant’s physical and developmental disability or mental impairment. Medical diagnostic report or records have to be included in the application package.
As mentioned above, the medical professional and the applicant both have to attest the Form N-648, taking full responsibility for the genuineness of the information given in the form. There is no submission fee and it has to be mailed along with the Naturalization application. If there is any false information provided in the form, affidavit or other supporting documents or if the applicant presents any such document, he/she will be fined or imprisoned for not more than 10 years or both.
April 8, 2011 § 1 Comment
All eligible green card holders applying for American Citizenship have to file Form N-400, Application for Naturalization with the USCIS.
You can download N400 form at the government website www(dot)uscis(dot)gov . All the basic forms are free on the USCIS website. There are other private companies who specialize in the preparation and completion of the US Immigration forms and they provide you with services similar to those of an immigration lawyer.
The USCIS filing process at times is long, complicated, and confusing. US immigration laws keep changing constantly. Things that are true today might be wrong tomorrow. By filling out USCIS forms without professional assistance, applicants do face the risk of completing their forms incorrectly. This might lead to higher filing costs of additional forms or even having their application delayed or completely rejected by USCIS. In many cases, the USCIS does not give applicants a second chance to file.
After I Download N400 Form, What Next?
When you download N400 form, you can also download the instructions along with it. The instructions page will have all detailed information about the supporting documents that one needs to send with the application. Additionally, information about the mailing address and the appropriate fee will also be found in the instructions page.
Any application that is not signed or accompanied by the appropriate fee will be rejected with a notice that the Form N-400 is deficient. You may correct the deficiency and submit the application again. Until accepted by USCIS, an application or petition is not considered properly filed.
Once the application has been received, it will be checked for completeness, including submission of the required initial evidence. If the applicant does not completely fill out the form, or file it without required initial evidence, he/she will not establish a basis for eligibility and the USCIS may deny your Form N-400. Additionally, the USCIS may request more information or evidence, or may request that you appear at a USCIS office for an interview. They might also request that the applicant submit certain original documents. They will return the originals when they are no longer required.
Finally, the decision on the application involves a determination of whether the applicant has established eligibility for the requested benefit. All applicants will be notified of the decision in writing.
The submission fee for Form N-400 is $595.00. However, all naturalization applicants filing under the military provisions, Section 328 or 329 of the INA need not pay the filing fee.
Apart from the submission fee, a biometric fee of $85.00 is required when filing the Naturalization application. After you submit Form N-400, the USCIS will keep you informed about when and where to go for biometric services. However, applicants above 75 years of age are exempted from biometric services fee.
Applicants may pay through one check or money order for both the application and biometric fees, for a total of $680.00. The check or money order should be drawn on a bank or other financial institution located in the United States and should be payable in U.S. Currency.