US Citizenship Process - Paperwork

I will try to be as detailed as possible how I did my paperwork. To start off, I am married to a US Citizen for seven years now. I started my research on my fifth year as a permanent resident on how to apply for US Citizenship through U.S Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website. Make sure to go directly to their website www.uscis.gov for anything because most of the time, when you google this topic it will lead you to different website that will ask for $fee$ for them to do the work for you. If you were able to do on your own the green card process and all the paperwork it entails, you won't need someone or a lawyer to do this for you unless yours is a special case. 

December of 2016 I started to gather all the information I will need just to get organize and know how much exactly it will cost us. I just want to give an advice. Make sure to always check the USCIS website before sending all your paperwork if 
1. there's any changes to filling fees and 2. to confirm address of lock box facility where you are going to send your application. I send in my application 2017 but I have 2016 information, I didn't check so mine got sent back to me. I'll let you know more about that. 

that's where you can always check the updates. Just click drop down arrow.


As I said mine is not a special case so I did everything on my own but with some "oopsies" moments along the way. 😂 I made it special in my own gaga way.  

Here are the things I did:-

  1. I downloaded N-400 form and the instruction. 
    just click it and it will automatically download as a PDF file
  2. I read the instruction/s
  3. Requested Tax Return Transcript through IRS Website. https://www.irs.gov/individuals/get-transcript
  4. Answered the N-400 - If you want to change your name this will be the best time to do it because it will be for FREE. That will be on Part 2 no.4
  5. After I recheck my N-400 form for bazillion times and drove my husband crazy, I then started compiling all the documents to support my N-400 application. 
  6. Made copies of all the needed supporting documents. (my cover letter indicates all the supporting documents I submitted)
  7. I made a Cover Letter (I have two different versions but this is the version when my application was accepted without issues) 
    feel free to use this as a guide 
  8. Visited nearest post office to look for the right envelope for all my documents. Fortunately, the Flat Rate Envelope worked. 
  9. Printed Postage through my USPS account. It's cheaper when you print it online. Make sure pay extra for "signature required" so you'll have a record that they received it. 
  10. February 2017 sent my application.
  11. Waiting period.
  12. March 08 received a notice that my application are being returned because 1. incorrect fee - I wrote a check for $680 but they changed their fee for 2017 to $725 and 2. I downloaded the outdated N-400 version. All the forms I downloaded are from December 2016. Yup! Be sure to always check the USCIS website.
  13. Re-submitted everything on July 2017 with updated edition / version of N-400 and correct filling fee but this time I submitted G-1450 form authorization for credit card instead of writing them a check. 
  14. July 20, 2017 received a notice from USCIS that they received my application and it is being processed.
  15. July 28, 2017 received a notice from USCIS that I need to appear on 08/18/17 to their Application Support Center. Here is the funny part. I just scheme through the notice and didn't realize that it is just for bio metrics. As you know the second part of the US Citizenship process is you have to pass the interview and the oral examination about US government and history. I thought this was that next part of the process then I'll be US Citizen. So, 08/18/17 came. I was a nervous wreck because I know that my interview is that day and my husband thought so too because I told him so. I am ready though. I studied everything -my N-400 I reviewed all my answers and all questions that the officer will ask regarding US history and government. I went to the Application Support Center super nervous. I went in and the Immigration officer greeted me. Verified my information. We did the finger scan and took my photo then after he gave me a booklet, looked to me and told me to enjoy the rest of my day. I said thank you then I got so confused. I went back to his desk and asked him where will I wait for my interview? He was surprised. He was like oh that wouldn't be today. If you are ready now, you'll ace your interview. He then continue to say that I will receive a separate notice for that. It was hilarious! and get this! the booklet he gave me was a review book which I already studied for. 😅👌
  16. Finally the real thing! October 5, 2017 was my interview. 
  17. November 17, 2017 I am officially US Citizen.

For the breakdown of the costs:-

Filling Fee + Biometrics: $725
Postage:                          $9.10 x 2 = $18.20

Total Amount:                 $743.20


Again, make sure to always check USCIS website for any updates and read thoroughly all the notices you'll get in the mail from USCIS. Yup mine is not a special case but I made it into one.  

Hope you find this helpful. 

Xoxo, Hannah Michael

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