6 Common Mistakes When Completing N 400 Naturalization Form

What are some tips to consider when filling in the N-400 naturalization application? Hi, I’m Jim Hacking,

Hi, I’m Jim Hacking, immigration lawyer, practicing law throughout the United States out of our office here in St. Louis, Missouri. We’ve been filling and filing a lot of N-400s lately. This is the application that you complete in order to apply for citizenship or naturalization. In doing so, we came across some tips and some suggestions for you that we think are really helpful.

Hi, I’m Jim Hacking, immigration lawyer, practicing law throughout the United States out of our office here in St. Louis, Missouri. We’ve been filling and filing a lot of N-400s lately. This is the application that you complete in order to apply for citizenship or naturalization. In doing so, we came across some tips and some suggestions for you that we think are really helpful.

Number one is definitely take your time. You don’t want to be rushing through it. You don’t want to be making mistakes and filling it out haphazardly. You want to make sure that all the information provided is correct.

One way to do that is another tip, which is to gather all the documents ahead of time that you’re going to need. You’re going to need our birth certificate, your driver’s license, your green card, all your other identifying documents. Marriage certificates, any other documents. There’s going to be information on there. Your passport. All these things are the kinds of information that you’re going to need in order to prepare an N-400 correctly.

Another tip is to read each question carefully. I know it sounds simple, but you have to keep in mind that once you get past the basic biographic information, that you’re answering questions that are all designed to determine whether or not you might not be eligible for naturalization. There are a lot of what we would call silly questions, or strange questions, or questions that people think the answers are obvious. You may get in the habit of just clicking no, no, no, no, no. Or boxing out no, no, no in answering each of the questions. It’s really important that you look at each question, think about it, and you answer it correctly and accurately.

One place we see this is the question that the ask about citations or arrests. Immigration treats traffic citations as a citation. Any kind of interaction with law enforcement, you’re going to want to make sure to get those records and to do that ahead of time. If you don’t bring them to your interview, your case is going to get delayed. You want to be able to provide accurate information about what the disposition was of any traffic or criminal matters.

The N-400 itself looks pretty simple, although it has now grown to over 20 pages and there are a lot and lot of questions on there. It would be easy to get into a rhythm of just answering the questions no all the time. You don’t want to do that. You want to take your time and make sure to examine each one carefully.

Another thing that you want to keep in mind is that you want to make it as neat as possible. You should do it on the computer if possible. You also want to keep a copy of the N-400. You want to make sure that you have a record of what you submitted to the Immigration Service.

When you’re done completing your N-400, you’re going to want to definitely send it by some kind of trackable mail. You’re going to want to make sure that you send it by Federal Express, or UPS, or the postal service with a tracking number so that you can confirm that it was, in fact, received by the Immigration Service.

Another mistake people sometimes make is they file too early. Make sure that you don’t file too early. You have to wait a full 5 years of having a lawful permanent resident status. Unless you’re married to a US citizen, then you can apply after 3 years. The law does allow you to apply 90 days early. Make sure that you don’t send it in too early, or you’re going to get it sent back and you’re not going to be able to … You’re going to waste your time and your money on that postage fee.

These are some tips to consider with your N-400. Remember and keep in mind that each of the questions is important and is designed to determine whether or not you are eligible to become a US citizen. If you’ve had a green card interview, you’ve been through the process, you sort of know how it is. If you haven’t been through a green card interview, then the Immigration Service is going to look at this as your one chance to really inquire as to whether or not you deserve to be in the United States and whether or not you get to be a US citizen. Make sure to take it very seriously. Don’t make mistakes.

If you have any questions about filling out the form, we don’t fill out forms here at the office, but we will be happy to help you and represent you in the N-400 naturalization context. In our experience, it’d be foolish to file an N-400 on your own if you have any kind of yeses, if you have a lot of yeses on the criminal issues, or multiple marriages, of your immigration status was questionable at times.

You want to make sure to consult a knowledgeable immigration attorney, whether that’s us or someone else. That’s up to you. You definitely don’t want to go into that thing alone because there’s a reason that we go to law school. There’s a reason that we study immigration law. You want to make sure that you put yourself in the best position possible. If you have any questions about this, give us a call at 314-961-8200. Or you can email us, jim@hackinglawpractice.com. If you liked this video, be sure to click the like button below and to sign up as subscriber to our YouTube channel. Thanks a lot. We’ll see you later.