On Friday, May 31st, we are hosting a Facebook Live on the N-400, Application for Naturalization, and citizenship. In preparation for that event, today we are covering the documents you are usually required to submit with your N-400 application.
Legal Permanent Resident Card
The first thing you will need is a copy of your legal permanent resident card or green card. Your copy must have the front and the back of the card. In addition, your card must be current and not expired.
Name Change Documentation
If your name changed from what was on your legal permanent resident card, you must send a marriage certificate, divorce decree, or other court document that proves your name changed.
You can also change your name at this time to whatever name you would like.
Passport & Passport Photos
You will need to send in a copy of your passport that shows the entry/exit stamp from when you entered the U.S.
You will also need to send in two passport sized head shots of yourself. These photos are usually in a 2×2 size. Your facial features must be clearly visible in each photo. If you do not have copies, you can go to a local Walgreens, Walmart, or CVS to have them taken.
Residency and physical presence is very important for citizenship.
To show physical presence, if you traveled outside the U.S in the time you were a legal permanent resident, and your trip lasted 6 months or more, you must prove that you continued to keep your ties to the U.S. while you were away.
Documents accepted as proof of continued ties include:
-Mortgage or rent payments/pay stubs
-An IRS-certified tax return that lists information for the last 5 years (3 years for marriage-based filings)
-An IRS tax return “transcript”
-Bank or credit statements
Criminal History Documentation
If you were ever arrested, detained, convicted, or sentenced or had a conviction or sentence removed, you should provide documentation of the incident and disposition. In almost every case, the original file of the document is required.
If no charges were filed
You are required to send the official statement(s) by the arresting entity or court that confirms no charges were filed against you.
If charges were filed
You must send the complete arrest record and explanation for the arrest. This can include a dismissal order, conviction record, or acquittal order. If you do not have access to the original file, a court-certified copy will be sufficient.
If you were convicted and sentenced
You are required to send the sentencing record for every incident, your probation or parole record, and/or evidence that you completed a rehab or alternative sentencing program. If you do not have the original file, a court-certified copy will be sufficient.
If your conviction was removed
You must send the official court order that set aside, vacated, sealed, expunged, or removed your conviction. A court-certified copy will also work.
You can also send the original court statement saying there is no record of your arrest or conviction.
For male applicants, you must register with the Selective Service.
If you did not register and you are 26 years old or older, have lived in the U.S. in an immigrant status of some kind, you must send a “Status Information Letter” from the Selective Service.
If you are filing based on marriage
There are several documents required specifically if you are filing based on marriage. In each case, copies of the documentation are required unless otherwise requested by USCIS.
Evidence of a Relationship
You must send documentation proving that there is a relationship between you and your spouse. Most documents in this category need to have both of your and your spouse’s names and signatures on them.
Documents accepted as proof of a relationship include:
-Tax returns filed by both you and your spouse
-Birth certificates of your children
You must send a copy of your marriage certificate proving that you and your spouse are currently married.
Divorce Decree(s), Annulment(s), or Death Certificate(s)
If you and/or your spouse were previously married, you must prove that each previous marriage has been legally dissolved either through a divorce decree, an annulment, or death certificate. Send copies of whichever documentation you have available to you proving the dissolution of the marriage(s).
Evidence that your spouse is a U.S. citizen
Along with proving you and your spouse are married, you must also prove that your spouse has been a U.S. citizen for at least the last 3 years. Copies are sufficient for each document listed below.
Documents accepted as proof include:
-your spouse’s birth certificate (if they were born a U.S. citizen or never lost citizenship since their birth)
-Certificate of naturalization
-Certificate of citizenship
-The signature page and inside front cover of your spouse’s U.S. passport
-Form FS-240, Report of Birth Abroad of a Citizen of the United States of America
Copies of your federal and state tax returns for the last 3 years are required. If you did not file tax returns and needed to correspond with the IRS regarding you tax returns you must also send in a copy of
-a signed agreement showing your repayment plan with the IRS
-documents from the IRS showing the current status of your repayment plan
If you are filing based on military service
If you are filing based on military service, you must also send the original of Form N-426, Request for Certification of Military of Naval Service, in addition to the other documents required.
If an attorney or representative is filing on your behalf
If a third-party attorney or representative is filing on your behalf, in addition to the documents above, you must send the original of Form G-28, Notice of Entry of Appearance as Attorney or Representative.
The USCIS website is the best source of information for all immigration matters, including the N-400 and naturalization.
For specifics on the N-400 and naturalization, visit the following pages for more information.
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Disclaimer: Nothing in relation to the enclosed information should be construed and or considered as legal advice for any individual, entity, case, or situation. The following information is prepared for advertisement use only. The information is intended ONLY to be general and should not be relied upon for any specific situation. For legal advice on your specific situation, we encourage you to consult an attorney experienced in the area of Immigration Law.