A significant part of the US naturalization process is filing Form N-400, Application for Naturalization. Form N-400 consists of 21 pages, asking general information about your background. Form N-400 naturalization application can be filed online or by postal mail. Once N-400 form is accepted, USCIS will schedule all other naturalization processes.

Before Filing Form N-400

Be sure that you are filing the correct version of Form N-400. N-400 forms that do not have a barcode at the bottom of each page will not be accepted. You can find and download the correct version on the USCIS website.

Before getting started on filing Form N-400 naturalization application, you should have the following prepared.

  • Alien Registration Number (found on your green card)
  • Addresses and dates of past residences
  • Education and employment history for the past five years
  • Criminal history (if applicable)
  • Marital history of you and your spouse (if applicable)
  • Dates and locations of trips outside the United States in the past five years
  • Basic information about your parents (country and date of birth)

Tips for Completing Form N-400

Keep the following in mind when filling out Form N-400 naturalization application.

  • If you are sending a paper application by mail, be sure you either type or write clearly in black ink.
  • If you need more space to answer questions, include your Alien Registration Number, or A Number, date, application part and item (e.g. Part 2, Item 4), and signature on any additional pieces of paper you submit with your application.
  • If a question does not apply to you, answer with "N/A" or "none."
  • Print your A Number in the top right corner of each application page.
  • Do not write on the 2D barcode that appears at the bottom of each page.
  • Write dates using a month/day/year (MM/DD/YYYY) format.

Part 1: Eligibility

In the first section, you must indicate how you are eligible for naturalization and write your A Number (if applicable).

Part 2: About You

This section asks for basic information about you. This includes your current name, the name printed on your green card, any other names you have used since birth, and a preferred name (if you would like to legally change it); your birth date, country of birth, date you became a permanent resident, and any disabilities that may exempt you from the English language and civics test.

Part 3: Contact Information

Simply provide one or more telephone numbers and an email address (if available) where you can be reached.

Part 4: Residences

In this section, you will list your current address (and mailing address, if different) and all other past residences in the last five years. It's okay if you don't have an exact address for all past residences; just describe the location as best you can.

Part 5: Parents

This section asks basic information about your parents. If you have derived US citizenship from one or both of your parents, you are not required to file Form N-400.

Part 6: Criminal Records

Simply check all boxes that describe your ethnicity and physical features. Make sure height is in feet and inches, and that weight is in pounds.

Part 7: School and Work

Here you will list where you have worked and/or gone to school, both full-time and part-time, for the past five years. Write "self-employed" if you worked for yourself and "unemployed" if you weren't working.

Part 8: Trips Outside the United States

Any travel outside the United States in the past five years must be listed in this section, including departure and return dates, countries visited, and total time outside the U.S. Travel lasting less than 24 hours does not need to be listed.

Part 9: Marital History

Describe your marital status as it is (or will be) on the date you file Form N-400. In addition to your current marriage (if applicable), you will need to provide information about any past marriages or annulments. Also, you will indicate whether your current spouse is a US citizen and information about your current spouse's prior marriage(s), including names and dates.

Part 10: Children

List any children you may have, including any who are deceased or missing, and their dates of birth, place of birth, and A Number (if applicable).

Part 11: Additional Information

This section (which is more than five pages) consists mostly of yes or no questions about your involvement in elections, special status in your country of origin, whether you owe back taxes, payment of alimony, involvement in organizations considered counter to US interests, crimes committed, and other relevant information.

Part 12: Your Signature

You must sign your Form N-400 in order for it to be considered valid. You may simply sign "X" if you cannot write.

Part 13: Preparer's Signature

If someone other than you prepared this form, then they must sign it and provide their contact information.

Part 14: Statement of Interpreter Services

If you used an interpreter to complete Form N-400 form, you must indicate which language was used and provide a signature to confirm that you fully understood each question.

You can find more information about N-400 Form, including Form N-400 instructions, by visiting Form N-400, Application for Naturalization on the USCIS website.