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< Back to current issue of Immigration Daily < Back to current issue of Immigrant's Weekly

[Federal Register: November 16, 2001 (Volume 66, Number 222)]
[Page 57737-57739]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access []

Immigration and Naturalization Service

[INS No. 2154-01]

Implementation of Revised Application for Naturalization, Form N-

AGENCY: Immigration and Naturalization Service, Justice.

ACTION: Notice.
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.

[[Page 57738]]

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 
wherever practicable.
     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 
of children.

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-

[[Page 57739]]

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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