[Federal Register: November 16, 2001 (Volume 66, Number 222)]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
Immigration and Naturalization Service
[INS No. 2154-01]
Implementation of Revised Application for Naturalization, Form N-
AGENCY: Immigration and Naturalization Service, Justice.
SUMMARY: This notice announces the implementation of a revised
Application for Naturalization, Form N-400, which is used by applicants
to obtain United States citizenship. The revised form includes recent
legislative changes, streamlines the data collection process, clarifies
the information required, and eliminates some obsolete questions. This
notice advises the public that the revised Form N-400 is available for
filing purposes and as of January 1, 2002, will become the only edition
acceptable for filing.
EFFECTIVE DATES: The revised Form N-400, bearing an edition date of May
31, 2001, became acceptable for filing purposes on August 1, 2001. No
earlier editions of Form N-400 will be accepted for filing after
December 31, 2001.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Gerard Casale, Business process and
Reengineering Division, Immigration and Naturalization Service, 801 I
Street, NW., Washington, DC 20536, telephone (202) 514-0788.
This is the first significant revision of the Application for
Naturalization, Form N-400, since 1991. The need for an updated
naturalization application was a key finding of a naturalization
reengineering project begun in 1997. Immigration and Naturalization
Service (Service) staff, applicant focus groups, and community-based
organizations contributed to redesigning the form to incorporate recent
naturalization requirements and benefits while at the same time making
the application more understandable and streamlining the naturalization
process. The Service published several Federal Register notices to
exhibit various drafts of the revised Form N-400 and to solicit public
comments. The notices appeared in the Federal Register on: October 16,
1998, at 63 FR 55643; June 28, 2000, at 65 FR 39926; January 8, 1999,
at 64 FR 1219, and on October 26, 2000, at 65 FR 64239. The Service
received written comments from over 20 organizations and individuals,
as well as comments from Service personnel and congressional staff. All
of the comments were considered in the process of revising the form.
What Additional Statutory Provisions Are Incorporated Into the
Revised Form N-400?
The Application for Naturalization, Form N-400, has been revised to
incorporate various statutory provisions that either were not
integrated into the previous application form or were enacted after the
last major edition of the Form N-400 in 1991. These revision include:
Section 322 of the Act amendments: Removing the need for
children under age 18 to file the Form N-400 to obtain citizenship.
Section 334 of the Act: Provisions for early filing by
certain applicants under sections 316(a) and 319(a) of the Act.
Provisions for requesting disability accommodations as
permitted by the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.
Section 312(b) of the Act: Provisions for disability
Questions relating to terrorism and persecution under
amended sections 219 and 212(a)(3)(B) of the Act.
Questions relating to applicants in rescission and removal
Questions relating to illegal voting or registration to
vote, and false claims to U.S. citizenship.
Provisions for waiving the Oath of Allegiance in cases of
physical or developmental disability or mental impairment (Pub. L. 106-
448 enacted on November 6, 2000).
How Has the New Form N-400 Improved the Data Collection Process?
The new Form N-400 consolidates and facilitates the collection of
information that previously was being captured elsewhere in the
process. For example, applicants seeking a name change as part of
naturalization can now enter that request directly on Part 1.D. of the
Form N-400. There also is a new section (Part 5) that captures
biometric data required for criminal records search requests sent to
the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), thus saving time and
avoiding the necessity of having to collect this information later at
an Application Support Center. Other changes in the revised Form N-400
include space for a 2-D (two dimensional) bar code and space for the
applicant's A number on every page, which will facilitate the Service's
processing of the Form N-400 and ensure that every page of the
application is identified.
The revised Form N-400 incorporates additional categories of
information that were previously being collected by the Service through
separate attachments assembled by the applicants themselves. Such
categories include information regarding marital history, children,
travel outside the United States, and criminal offenses and arrests.
The new Form N-400 captures more of the necessary information on the
form at the beginning of the application process, thus making the data
collection more efficient and timely.
Lastly, the Service has revised Form N-400 to help naturalization
applicants better understand the requirements for filing the form, as
well as the kinds of information the Service requires applicants to
submit to determine their eligibility for naturalization.
How Has the Structure of the Application for Naturalization
Smoother Flow. To make it easier to complete the Form N-
400, related information (such as the applicant's current name, name of
the Permanent Resident Card, and ``other'' names) is grouped together.
The format follows the sequence of a normal naturalization interview
Adjustments in content. As previously mentioned, some
items implementing recent legislation have been added. In addition,
obsolete material has been removed, e.g., regarding the naturalization
Why Does the New Edition Have More Pages Than the Previous Form N-
Better Instructions. The new Form N-400 Instructions
address more topics and have been simplified to make the application
easier to complete. Readers seeking more details also can now refer to
the new companion document, A Guide to Naturalization, which is
included in every new Form N-400 packet. The Guide is now available in
the following languages: English, Spanish, Chinese, Vietnamese, and
Space provided for up-front collection of information.
Additional space has been provided for the orderly capture of
information previously collected elsewhere. As a result the total
number of pages increased. However, the changes will improve quality
and timeliness in data collection, and reduce continuances to obtain
missing information, thus leading to better decisions being made.
New eligibility and benefits items. Another factor
increasing the length of the application was the addition of
legislatively mandated elements mentioned above.
More precise questions. The revised application clarifies
issues by reorganizing the topic headings and by breaking up lengthy
and complex questions into several simpler and more direct ones.
Where Can the New Edition of the Application for Naturalization,
Form N-400, Be Obtained?
Applicants can obtain a revised edition of Form N-400 by calling
the Service Forms Line at 1-800-870-3676. The new edition also can be
viewed, filled, and printed on the Service web Site at http://
What Is the Service Policy Regarding Processing Older Editions of
the Form N-400:
Beginning January 1, 2002, only the May 31, 2001 edition of Form N-
400 will be valid for filing an application for naturalization, and all
prior editions will become obsolete. Any prior editions that Service
Centers receive on or after January 1, 2002 will not be processed for
Stocks of the new May 31, 2001, edition of Form N-400 have been
printed and are being made available to the public. To prevent
applicants from mistakenly submitting earlier editions after they
become obsolete, any pre-
2001 editions on hand should be discarded and replaced with the new May
31, 2001, edition.
However, the Service will continue to process prior editions of the
Form N-400 until December 31, 2001, to allow more time for the public
to obtain the new May 31, 2001, edition of the Form N-400. It must be
noted that earlier editions of the Form N-400 will be processed only if
they were filed prior to January 1, 2002.
Dated: October 5, 2001.
James W. Ziglar,
Commissioner, Immigration and Naturalization Service.
[FR Doc. 01-28755 Filed 11-15-01; 8:45 am]
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