If you are wondering what happens after you file your Naturalization Application, Form N-400, here is a general timeline provided which gives you an idea about the procedures involved in the naturalization process. However, the time factor varies for each individual applicant, depending on any kind of errors or omissions you may have in the application, or the caseloads in the USCIS office you have filed.
It generally takes anywhere between 6 months to a year for a Naturalization Application to be processed by the USCIS. After you file the application, here’s what to expect of the Naturalization process.
Receipt of Application: In around 2 to 3 weeks of submitting the application, you will receive a receipt from the USCIS acknowledging that your application has been received. This is called Notice of Action, Form I-797C. You can use the 10 digit number listed on the receipt to check the status of your application.
Appointment Notice for Biometrics: Around 3 to 5 weeks after submitting the Citizenship application, you will receive a notice with an appointment for biometrics, where you will be fingerprinted, photographed and your digital signature will be taken for identity purpose and background verification.
Biometrics Appointment: After 5 to 8 weeks, you will have to got to the local USCIS office mentioned in the appointment notice. You will have to carry your identification documents when you appear for the biometrics.
Appointment Notice for Naturalization Interview: After 3 to 5 months after submitting the Naturalization application, you will receive a notice with an appointment for your naturalization interview. You should be prepared to face the interview by then, basic English language skills and history and civics of the U.S.
Naturalization Interview: Around 4 to 6 months after filing the application, you will have your naturalization interview at your local USCIS office. At the interview you will have a test of your language skills, and your knowledge of basic U.S history and civics. The USCIS officer will also review your application and ask you questions from the application. At the end of the interview, you will receive the result of your tests. You may be granted - you have passed the test and are eligible for naturalization, continued - you have failed to provide sufficient documents to support your application and you may re- submit the application again or denied - you are not eligible for naturalization.
Notice of Oath Ceremony: After a week to up to 4 weeks after attending the naturalization interview, you will receive a notice giving you the date and time of your Oath Ceremony.
Oath of Allegiance Ceremony: After 5 to 8 months after you file the application, you will be attending the Oath Ceremony, where you will take the Oath of Allegiance to the United States. At this ceremony, you will surrender your Green card and you will receive a Certificate of Naturalization and you will formally become a citizen of the United States.