By Edward Shulman (506 words)
Posted in Immigration Law on May 27, 2014

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The USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Service) have updated the Form N-400 which applicants must submit for naturalization in an effort to enhance the quality of the experience for those using the form. It should be noted the eligibility requirements for naturalization have not been altered and most of the information on the form is the same.

But the revised form does possess several new features. First, the instructions and formatting have been improved.  The instructions should be easier to read in a single column format. These instructions highlight the eligibility requirements so that those important mandates can be reviewed with greater ease. The “Required Documents” section of the form now lists the documents that an applicant must submit with the form and those which must be brought to the subsequent interview. The form also includes clearly-designated fields so that users will be able to complete the form without confusion.   

Second, the form includes new questions reflecting recent changes in the law. These questions involve matters of national security and the moral character of the applicant. It also contains an expanded section for those people assisting the applicant in the preparation of the form as well as a statement for applicants who relied on an interpreter to aid in such preparation. The new version the form also contains a section whereby the applicant can attest to renunciation of foreign titles.

Third, the most noticeable change to the form is the 2-D barcode at the bottom of each page of the form. The code will be modified as data is typed in to the form. The presence of this barcode will enable the USCIS to upload the information directly in to the Service’s databanks as the code is scanned. This innovation is intended to speed the collection of the data needed by the Service and to reduce errors. But it will only apply to those who fill out the form electronically. (It will still be possible to complete the form manually but it must be done by using black ink only.)

It is important to note that, while the form was issued back on February 4, 2014, its use at that point was merely optional. Now it will be mandatory, as of May 5, 2014, that the updated version be used.                       

The Shulman Law Group endeavors to ensure its clients be kept abreast of all significant developments relating to the process of naturalization to the United States. Edward Shulman, Esq, founder of The Shulman Law Group, LLC is a national speaker for the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA).  AILA is the national association of immigration lawyers established to promote justice, advocate for fair and reasonable immigration law and policy, and to advance the quality of immigration and nationality law and practice.  In the course of Mr. Shulman's involvement with AILA, he has been dedicated to educating other immigration attorneys about the import of helping intending immigrants to navigate a new cultural system.

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