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Tips for Filing Form N-400, Application for Naturalization

On February 4, 2014, we published a revised Form N-400, Application for Naturalization. When you fill out your Form N-400, you must complete every section and answer every question as completely as you can. Also, please note that, as of May 5, 2014, we will only accept the Form N-400 that has a revision date of 9/13/13.  The revision date is printed on the lower left corner of the form.

To help you understand the naturalization process, we developed A Guide to Naturalization (M-476). This publication provides information on eligibility requirements and naturalization procedures. For more information on naturalization eligibility requirements, including USCIS policies, please check out our USCIS Policy Manual.

To ensure you submit a complete and correct N-400, please follow these filing tips.

General Instructions

  • Read the Form N-400 Instructions carefully.
  • Use the revised version of Form N-400 which is posted on our website at www.uscis.gov/n-400. If you can, fill out your Form N-400 on a computer.  When you use a computer to complete this form, the data you type is stored in the barcode at the bottom of each page. This improves accuracy and efficiency of processing.
  • We will accept N-400 forms that do not have the barcode on the bottom.
  • Do not damage or write on the 2D barcode located at the bottom of each page.
  • If you can’t use a computer to fill out this form, that’s okay.  We still accept hand-written applications.  Use a black pen when you fill out the form by hand.
  • Do not highlight or cross out text on the form or write outside the blank spaces provided for your answers. Answer every question.  If a question does not apply to you, answer with “N/A.” If your answer to a question is “none,” answer with “none.”
  • If you cannot answer a question because you do not have the information or you don’t know the answer, include a written explanation on a separate piece of paper.
  • If you do not have an Alien Registration Number (A-Number), leave that space blank.
  • Enter dates in month/day/year format (like this MM/DD/YYYY). If you cannot provide an exact date, leave that space blank and provide a written explanation on a separate piece of paper.
  • If you need more space to answer a question, attach another sheet of paper. Make sure you include the following information on each additional sheet of paper you submit:
    • Your Alien Registration Number (A-Number);
    • Any applicable dates;
    • Application Part and Item number; and
    • Your signature. 
  • The application you submit must have all pages included, even if the pages are blank.
  • The application you submit must have an original signature.  We will not accept a photocopy or a scan of your signature. 
  • When you submit your application, you must include the correct fee ($680.00) or a fee waiver request.  If you do not pay the correct fee, we will reject your application.  Applicants 75 years of age or older do not pay a biometric fee so the total fee is $595.  Also, military applicants filing under Sections 328 and 329 of the INA do not have to pay any fee. 
  • For other important filing tips, and more information on fees and customer service, visit our Lockbox Filing Tips webpage.
  • Please note the following common technical tip:

Part 2. Information About You

  • Item 3: List all names that you have ever used. Do not list your current legal name, but do include nicknames, aliases, and maiden name.

Part 4. Information About Your Residence

  • If your address includes a space or a lot number, enter this information in the “Street Number and Name” field.
  • If you have been living at a shelter, you do not have to provide that address if it is confidential.  You can provide another address where you can receive mail or say the address is confidential, and provide only the city and state.
  • If you lived somewhere that did not have a formal postal address, list the address the best way you can.
  • If you do not know your ZIP code plus the extra 4 numbers, leave this space blank.

Part 5. Information About Your Parents

Part 7. Information About Your Employment

  • If you are or were unemployed, enter “Unemployed” in the “Your Occupation” field and enter dates of unemployment.  Enter “N/A” in all other fields.

Part 8. Time Outside of the United States

  • If you have travelled outside the United States for more than one year since becoming a permanent resident, refer to the USCIS Policy Manual and Guide to Naturalization to determine if you are eligible for naturalization before you submit Form N-400.
  • In Items 1-3, list your travel (trips lasting 24 hours or longer) outside of the United States during the last 5 years.
  • During your interview, we may ask for more information about your travel beyond the past 5 years. 
  • If you cannot provide your exact travel details, use estimates.
  • If you travel outside of the United States frequently, include a written statement explaining where you travel and how often.  Be sure to include the estimated number of days you were outside of the United States.

Part 9. Information About Your Marital History

  • Check “Separated” only if you are legally separated from your spouse.

Part 11. Additional Information

  • You must answer all questions on this form honestly and completely.  If you answer “Yes” to any of the questions in this section, you must include a written explanation on a separate sheet of paper and provide any evidence to support your answer. Answering “Yes” does not automatically affect your eligibility for naturalization.
  • Item 7: If you did not file a tax return since you became a lawful permanent resident, even if you were not required to file based on your income, check “Yes” and provide a written explanation.
  • Item 14. A-F: If you were the victim of one of these crimes, you can answer “No.”  Answer “Yes” if you ever committed one of the acts listed.  Also answer “Yes” if any action you took, even if under duress, contributed or enabled another person to carry out these acts against others.
  • Item 28.B: If you were detained in jail less than 24 hours, enter “1” in the “Days” field.  On a separate sheet of paper, provide a written explanation that includes the actual number of hours you were detained.
  • Item 30.I: If you have made any misrepresentation, such as lying or omitting information, to obtain a public benefit, regardless of whether you intended to misrepresent yourself, answer “Yes” and provide a written explanation on a separate sheet of paper.
  • Item 46.C.2:
    • If you answered “Yes” and:
      • You are more than 31 years old when you apply OR
      • You are over age 29 and applying based on marriage to a U.S. citizen
        • you do not need to submit a status information letter from the Selective Service or a written statement explaining why you did not register 
    • If you are:
      • between 26 and 31 years old when you apply OR
      • between ages 26-29 and applying based on marriage to a U.S. citizen AND
      • you did not register for Selective Service
        • you must provide a status information letter from the Selective Service
        • you can send it with your application, or you can bring it with you to your interview
Last Reviewed/Updated: 06/11/2014