Form N-400 is used to apply for U.S. citizenship through the naturalization process. It generally takes anywhere between 1 year to 2 years to become a U.S. citizen. The timeline of events that may happen to you after you apply for citizenship is given below to help you be informed about what to expect during the waiting period.
Receipt of Your U.S. Citizenship Application
After you apply for citizenship there are three scenarios that could happen within the first 4 weeks.
- If you filed your application properly then a receipt notice will be mailed to you which confirms the acceptance of your application. The receipt notice is called Form I-797C, Notice of Action.
- If there were issues in your application and it is rejected you will also receive the Notice of Action form informing you about your application.
- If there were missing supporting documents then a Request for Evidence notification will be sent to you.
The last 2 scenarios will significantly delay your application. Hence it is important to prepare your citizenship application properly. Use our service to properly prepare and submit your U.S. citizenship application.
Biometrics Appointment Notice
You should receive your biometrics appointment notice 2 to 4 weeks after your application was accepted. This notice will carry the biometrics appointment date, time, and location which will most likely be an Application Support center near to you.
You are required to be fingerprinted to run background checks and so make sure to visit the place at the right time and on the right date. Instructions are given in the notice itself so make sure to follow them properly.
Biometrics Appointment Date
Usually, the biometrics appointment will be within 2 to 4 weeks after you receive your biometrics appointment notice. But due to COVID-19, the exact timeline can vary.
Appointment Notice for Citizenship Test and Interview
After your biometrics appointment, USCIS will send another appointment notice to inform you about the data, time, and location for your citizenship test and interview. The appointment notice may arrive 2 to 5 months after your biometrics appointment. Due to COVID-19, the timeline might vary and it most likely is beyond 5 months.
The citizenship test and interview is a part of the naturalization process and there are options to get an exemption from it. If you are not exempted from taking the test and interview then you need to make sure you prepare well for the interview.
Citizenship Test and Interview
The Citizenship test and interview is conducted to test your English language skills, and civics knowledge and also review your citizenship application. There are few exemptions provided to people and also rescheduling is an option. Typically it takes place after 3 or 4 months from the date of your appointment notice. Due to COVID-19, this timeline is also affected and so the actual time before you attend your interview can vary drastically.
If you fail the citizenship test you will be given a second chance and it could take another 3 to 5 weeks before you attend your interview.
If you pass the citizenship test and interview then the next step is the Oath Ceremony. If you pass the citizenship test and interview there is a chance that your Oath ceremony can take place on the same day. This may happen only if you pass the test and also provide all necessary documents to the USCIS officer during your interview and the officer approves your application.
If some documents are missing or the approval was not given it may take longer. If you were approved and the Oath ceremony is not on the same day then you will receive another notice with the date, time, and place where the Oath ceremony will be conducted.
After the Oath ceremony, you will become a U.S. citizen.
From applying for U.S. citizenship to actually become a U.S. citizen, it could take anywhere between 6 months to 2 years. Currently, due to COVID-19, there is a huge backlog of cases so the later timeframe will most likely fit your case.