Naturalization Process - How long does it take?

Unfortunately, answer to this question is “it depends”. Whenever my clients ask me questions involving “when” and “how long”, the answer is almost never specific. ( naturalization process ) Well there is a reason for that. It’s not like I enjoy torturing my clients with unpredictability.

The reason is the unpredictable nature of administrative proceedings. Meaning “it’s not me, it’s them”. Almost everything with immigration is an administrative proceeding. Every form filed before USCIS, even immigration court proceedings are administrative in nature. As the saying goes “When there is governing, there is bureaucracy” (By the way I just made that up).

Naturalization process starts with a petition before USCIS. As USCIS procedures are named after the form that is being filed, naturalization is usually called N-400 application. N-400 is the form to apply for naturalization.

USCIS conducts an interview and determines an applicant’s eligibility [1] for citizenship. If USCIS finds the applicant eligible, the N-400 application is approved and the applicant is scheduled to attend a naturalization ceremony to take the oath of allegiance [2].

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That’s pretty straight forward, right? I can hear you asking “ok, but how long does this process of naturalization take?” The answer depends first and foremost on where you live. Which USCIS Field Office will process your application and interview you is determined according to your address.

As of the date of this article, the processing time of a N-400 application at the USCIS Newark Field Office is 9 to 15 months. For the USCIS New York City Field Office it is 13.5 to 25.5 months. I know this may seem somewhat predictable. Unfortunately that is not the case. Because naturalization applicants do not complete their interviews within these time frames.

Processing times announced by the USCIS [3], reflect the time frame in which an application will be processed. This means that naturalization applicants before USCIS Newark Field Office will get their interview date within 9 to 15 months or within 13.5 to 25.5 months before USCIS New York City Field Office.

Your next question could be “How much does the naturalization process cost?” As of the date of this post, the filing fee for N-400 Application for Naturalization is $640.

If you’d like to find out if you are eligible to file for citizenship, please do not hesitate to contact us to schedule a consultation.

Don’t forget your immigration adventure is only complete when you become a U.S. citizen.

  1. https://www.uscis.gov/us-citizenship/citizenship-through-naturalization/path-us-citizenship
  2. https://www.uscis.gov/us-citizenship/naturalization-ceremonies
  3. https://egov.uscis.gov/processing-times/

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