The process to obtain US citizenship can take between 6 months and 2 years, or even longer. This includes waiting for the following:
- receipt and notification from USCIS,
- a biometric appointment (fingerprints),
- the USCIS interview and test, and
- the naturalization ceremony to take the oath.
To see how long, the process takes in your area, check the USCIS processing times. In “Form”, click “N-400”. Under “Local Office,” select the office that is near you.
Can I see the status of my application?
Yes, you can see the progress of the citizenship application. After applying to USCIS, you will receive a notification in the mail. The notification will let you know that your application has been received and will give you a receipt number. With the receipt number, you will be able to view the status of the USCIS case online.
Note on COVID-19: The pandemic has caused delays in everything. Many offices are closed. Interviews and ceremonies to take the oath have been postponed or cancelled. USCIS is taking more time to review applications and schedule appointments and ceremonies.
Cost and payment of the naturalization process for citizenship
The naturalization application fee that is processed with Form N-400 is $640. Plus, the $85 paid for biometric services, they make a total of $725.
However, it has been reported that this procedure will have an increase of 83%, which means that it would go from $640 to $1,170.
You can pay online or by personal check, money order, cashier’s check, or by credit card using Form G-1450. Check payments must be made payable to the US Department of Homeland Security.
Here are some of the most asked questions on the subject:
What if I can’t go to my scheduled interview?
It is important not to miss your interview to obtain US citizenship. However, if you must reschedule the appointment, please contact the office where it will be held as soon as possible. This can add months to the process.
Keep in mind that if you do not attend, your case is administratively closed. Unless you contact me within 1 year of USCIS closing your case, your application will be denied.
If I naturalize, can I change my name?
USCIS has no legal authority to do so and there are only 2 ways you can issue a certificate of naturalization under a new name:
- If your present proof of having changed your name following the legal requirements applicable in your state.
- If you are taking the oath of allegiance at a court naturalization ceremony, you can ask the court to change your name. If the court accepts the petition, your new name will appear on your certificate.
What do I do if USCIS denies my application?
If you think you were denied by mistake, you can request a hearing with an immigration officer. You will have more details about the process in the denial letter.
To file an appeal, you can do so with Form N-336. You must do so within 30 days of receiving the denial letter. It must also include the corresponding fee. Ultimately you could also apply with the US District Court.
Is it possible to reapply for naturalization if USCIS denies my application?
In many cases, you can reapply. You must do it with a new Form N-400 and the payment of the corresponding fee. They will also have to take your biometric data again.
If happens that your application is rejected again, the same rejection letter indicates the date on which you could reapply for the certificate to obtain US citizenship.