Instructions for Applicants Receiving Assistance at Group Processing Events
Generally, if someone helps complete a USCIS application, petition or request, either as an interpreter or a preparer, that person must provide his or her name, address and contact information, and sign and date the form.
For applicants who receive help completing their Form N-400 at a group processing event (such as a citizenship workshop or fair), instead of the actual preparer or interpreter information, the sponsoring organization may provide its name, address and contact information in Part 14 (for interpreters) and Part 15 (for preparers). If the sponsoring organization does provide its information, rather than that of the actual preparer or interpreter, the sponsoring organization must also provide the name of the organization representative responsible for managing the event, and that representative must sign and date the completed Form N-400.
The organization representative’s signature must be handwritten (a photocopy of an original handwritten signature is acceptable, but a stamped signature is not acceptable). USCIS no longer accepts stamps or stickers in the preparer and interpreter sections. The organization representative who signs may be required to later provide additional information or answer questions about the event and procedures.
Why doesn’t USCIS allow the use of stamps or stickers with all required information?
- The Form N-400 instructions state that if a preparer or interpreter assists an applicant with the Form N-400, the preparer/interpreter sections of the form should be fully completed and signed.
- Our intake process involves scanning forms and the use of technology that specifically pulls data from certain form fields. If the required data is not found within the form fields, the benefits of automated processing are reduced, as the application must be routed to an operator for manual keying, adding processing delays and costs.
Who can sign as a preparer during a group processing event?
- The organization representative (when signing on behalf of the interpreter, the organization representative is certifying that the interpreter was fluent in the necessary language to competently complete the form. If contacted by the U.S. government, the organization representative must be prepared to address how the organization verifies that interpreters working at their events are competent to interpret for applicants), , or
- A pro bono attorney or other volunteer who prepared the application (who must include his or her name and contact information in the appropriate section in case he or she is asked to respond to subsequent questions from the U.S. government)
Who can sign as an interpreter during a group processing event?
- The organization representative, or
- The actual interpreter (who must include his or her name and contact information in the appropriate section in case he or she is asked to respond to subsequent questions from the U.S. government)
- The sponsoring organization is the organization, or group of organizations (i.e. collaborative, partnership, network, etc.), that is responsible for coordinating the citizenship workshop or fair. Because the organization representative may be contacted about the event and procedures, the name of the collaborative, partnership or network cannot be used where a group of organizations is involved in the event. The group should identify a lead organization and only one organization name with an associated address and contact information should be listed. It is acceptable to include the name of the group of organizations (i.e. collaborative, partnership, network, etc.) in parenthesis after the organization name. The organization representative should be affiliated with the lead organization.
- The organization representative, designated by the sponsoring organization, is the individual responsible for managing the citizenship workshop or fair. This individual does not need to be responsible for completing applications on the day of the event. It is up to the sponsoring organization to designate an appropriate individual to serve in this role. The organization representative may be required to provide information or answer questions from the U.S. government about his or her organization’s group processing procedures in the future; thus a short-term volunteer is not an appropriate designated representative. It is acceptable to include a description of the event, such as ‘workshop’ or ‘fair,’ after the organization representative’s name to designate that the application was prepared at a group processing event.
- Only the signature should be in the signature block.
- A scanned, faxed or photocopied original signature is acceptable. A scan, fax or photocopy of an already scanned, faxed or photocopied original signature is not acceptable.
When filing Form N-400, Application for Naturalization, remember to fill out the application completely and provide all required information with the initial filing.
For information on how to complete Form N-400, visit www.uscis.gov/n-400. For eligibility requirements, refer to our Guide to Naturalization and USCIS Policy Manual, Volume 12, Citizenship & Naturalization.