The N-400 form, officially known as the “Application for Naturalization,” is a crucial step in the journey towards becoming a United States citizen. This essential document is filed by immigrants who meet the eligibility criteria for U.S. naturalization. It is the gateway to acquiring the rights, privileges, and responsibilities that come with American citizenship. The N-400 form plays a pivotal role in the naturalization process, making it important for applicants to complete it accurately and comprehensively.
In this article, we will focus on a specific section of the N-400 form, namely Part 4: Information to Contact You. Part 4 holds critical information that the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) requires to communicate with applicants during the naturalization process. This section is located on page 3 of the N-400 form and is of utmost significance as it ensures that USCIS can reach out to you regarding your application, schedule interviews, and provide updates on your case status. Let’s delve into the details of Part 4: Information to Contact You and understand its significance in the naturalization process.
Part 4: Information to Contact You is situated on page 3 of the N-400 form, and it is one of the fundamental sections that applicants must complete accurately. This section is designed to gather various contact details to enable USCIS to get in touch with you promptly.
Applicants must provide the following information in this section:
- Daytime Telephone Number: This is a contact number where you can be reached during regular business hours. It’s essential to provide a number that you can access easily during the day as USCIS might need to contact you for interviews or to provide important updates. Double-check the accuracy of this number, as USCIS may use it to schedule appointments or provide essential information.
- Work Telephone Number (if any): If you are currently employed and have a work phone, you should include it in this section. USCIS understands that applicants may have different schedules, and providing a work telephone number, if applicable, allows them to reach you during your working hours. Ensure that the work telephone number is accurate, as USCIS might use it to coordinate with your employer if needed.
- Evening Telephone Number: The evening telephone number should be a contact number where you can be reached during the evening hours. This is particularly important for communication outside of regular business hours. Make sure that the evening telephone number you provide is functional, as USCIS might use it for notifications or updates that occur after business hours.
- Mobile Telephone Number (if any): In the modern age of mobile communication, having a mobile telephone number is common. If you have a mobile phone, include this number in the N-400 form. Mobile numbers are often used for urgent communication, and having one on file can help USCIS reach you promptly when necessary. Ensure that the mobile telephone number is accurate and in active use.
- Email Address (if any): Email has become a primary mode of communication, and many official notifications are sent electronically. If you have an email address, it is advisable to provide it in this section. USCIS may use your email address to send important updates, appointment confirmations, and interview notices. Verify the accuracy of your email address, and regularly check your email for USCIS correspondence.
Accurately filling out this information is crucial, as USCIS will use these contact details to schedule interviews, send notifications, and provide updates on the status of your application. It’s essential that the contact information provided is current and regularly monitored to ensure that you receive important communication from USCIS without delays.
III. Example Persona
A. Introduce a fictional persona from Vietnam:
To illustrate the importance of Part 4: Information to Contact You and how it applies in real-world scenarios, let’s introduce a fictional persona named Mai Trinh. Mai is a Vietnamese national who aspires to become a U.S. citizen. She is currently residing in the United States as a lawful permanent resident (green card holder) and is in the process of completing her N-400 form to initiate her journey towards naturalization.
B. Include the persona’s details in Part 4: Information to Contact You:
In the Part 4: Information to Contact You section of her N-400 form, Mai Trinh diligently provides the following contact information to ensure effective communication with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS):
- Daytime Telephone Number: Mai enters her primary contact number, which is her cell phone, as her daytime telephone number. This ensures that USCIS can reach her during regular business hours. +84-24-12345.
- Work Telephone Number (if any): Since Mai is employed as a software engineer, she includes her work telephone number as a secondary contact method. This allows USCIS to reach her during her working hours if needed. 87-654-3210.
- Evening Telephone Number: To be accessible during the evening hours, Mai provides her home landline number as her evening telephone number, which is particularly helpful for appointments or notifications after business hours. +84-24-98765
- Mobile Telephone Number (if any): Mai includes her mobile phone number in this section, as she uses it for both personal and work-related communication. This ensures that she can be reached promptly on her mobile device. +84-90-876543
- Email Address (if any): Recognizing the importance of email communication, Mai includes her primary email address. This allows USCIS to send her electronic notifications, appointment confirmations, and application updates. email@example.com
By providing this comprehensive and accurate contact information, Mai Trinh ensures that USCIS can effectively communicate with her throughout the naturalization process. This example persona emphasizes the practical importance of the contact information provided in Part 4: Information to Contact You and demonstrates how it applies to an actual applicant’s situation.
IV. Filing Fees
A. Understanding the Fees
- $640 Filing Fee: When applying for U.S. naturalization using the N-400 form, a standard filing fee of $640 is required. This fee covers administrative costs associated with processing the application.
- Additional $85 Biometric Fee: In some cases, an extra $85 biometric fee may apply. This fee covers the cost of collecting biometric data, such as fingerprints and photographs, for background checks. It’s important to determine if this fee applies to your situation.
B. Payment Methods
- Online Submission: If you opt for online submission of your N-400 form, you have the convenience of making the payment online, providing a secure and efficient method.
- Paper Submission: If you choose to submit a paper N-400 form by mail, you have multiple payment options:
- Money Order: You can pay using a money order, a secure and widely accepted payment method.
- Personal Check: Personal checks are also accepted; ensure they are drawn from a U.S. bank account and have sufficient funds.
- Cashier’s Check: A cashier’s check is another secure payment method.
- Credit Card with Form G-1450: If you prefer to use a credit card, Form G-1450, Authorization for Credit Card Transactions, can be used to complete the transaction. Ensure the form is accurately filled out and your credit card is valid.
- Payable to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security: Regardless of the payment method chosen, make sure the payment is made payable to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and that the payee is correctly indicated.
C. Non-Refundable Fees
It’s essential to recognize that both filing and biometric service fees are non-refundable. Once the payment is submitted to USCIS, it cannot be refunded, irrespective of the subsequent actions taken on your application or if you decide to withdraw your request. Therefore, it’s crucial to be certain about your eligibility and readiness to proceed with the naturalization process before submitting your fees.
D. Exceptions to Filing Fees
There are exceptions to the filing fees for specific categories of applicants:
- Applicants Aged 75 or Older: Applicants who are 75 years of age or older are exempt from the biometric fee and only need to pay the $640 filing fee.
- Military Applicants under INA Sections: Military applicants eligible to apply for naturalization under sections 328 or 329 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) are not required to pay filing or biometric fees. These INA sections provide special provisions for members of the U.S. armed forces and their families.
Understanding the fees, payment methods, and potential exceptions is crucial for a smooth N-400 form application process, ensuring you are financially prepared for your naturalization journey.