The United States Citizenship & Immigration Service (USCIS) has revised the Form N-400, Application for Naturalization. The new version of the Form N-400 is now available on the USCIS website. USCIS will accept certain editions of the old naturalization form until Friday, May 2, 2014 but starting May 5, 2014, USCIS will only accept the current edition.
The new version of the form incorporates 2D Barcode Technology. Applicants completing the new version of the form on a computer will automatically have their entered data captured using this technology. Upon receipt of the form, USCIS will decode the information from the barcode and will extract the data from the form. This new technology will improve data quality and will reduce errors. To avail benefit of this new technology USCIS encourages applicants to fill the form electronically. USCIS also requests to avoid damaging the 2D barcode by actions like writing on it, puncturing it, stapling it, etc.
The revision to the form is expected to benefit both the adjudicators and the applicants. The revised form makes it easier for the adjudicators to determine applicant’s eligibility while at the same time presenting applicants with clearer instructions on how to complete the form to determine their eligibility. This new version of the form also includes additional questions regarding applicant’s eligibility related to national security and good moral character.
The USCIS has also released a short video that highlights changes to the form and provides helpful hints for completing it. One of the highlights of the new form is the fact that it no longer requires applicants to list all trips outside the U.S. since they became Lawful Permanent Resident – the new form only requests for all trips that the applicant has taken outside the United States during the last five years. While the applicants will have to spend more time to complete the new longer N-400, we feel the new form will, at the same time, make it easier to complete it as it now contains a clearer and more comprehensive instruction that highlights general eligibility requirements.