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The 5 Most Common Mistakes People Make When Applying for Citizenship

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Video transcript:

VOICE: Becoming a naturalized citizen can be one of the most important milestones in an immigrant’s life. But it’s not always easy. There’s lots of paperwork to fill out, appointments to keep and tests to pass.

The following are the five most common mistakes people make when applying for citizenship. By avoiding these you’ll be able to save money, time and perhaps most importantly, stress.

Mistake number 1, sending the application without double checking it.

OFFICER: One common thing that we do notice is that when an applicant files for naturalization they do focus a lot on the 100 civic questions, the 100 civic questions that need to be studied for that portion of the test, but rarely do they go over the entire N-400 application that was more than likely completed by somebody else.

VOICE: Mistake number 2, forgetting to provide proof of spouse’s citizenship.

OFFICER: The application needs to be submitted with a copy of the spouse’s proof of citizenship as well as a marriage certificate.

VOICE: Mistake number 3, failing to send the application fee or sending the wrong amount.

Applications submitted without the fee or with the wrong amount will be rejected. The applicant is asked to resubmit the application with the correct fee.

VOICE: Mistake number 4, Neglecting to send additional documents in a timely manner.

OFFICER: It is important that the applicant returns the documents within the specified amount of time and that when they resubmit the documents, that they are being resubmitted with the letter that was given to them during the time of the interview. This will help the paperwork arrived to the file a lot faster.

VOICE: Mistake number 5, submitting an application before meeting certain requirements.

VOICE: When the person applying for citizenship wants to take the civic portion of the test in his or her native language, the applicant must satisfy the age and residency requirements at the time the application is submitted. Failure to do so might result in the application being rejected and the application fee lost.

This video was produced by and the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services.

Learn more about avoiding mistakes when applying for citizenship.