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Q: US citizenship (naturalization) processing time ( Answered 4 out of 5 stars,   0 Comments )
Subject: US citizenship (naturalization) processing time
Category: Miscellaneous
Asked by: sampai-ga
List Price: $20.00
Posted: 05 Jul 2006 14:37 PDT
Expires: 04 Aug 2006 14:37 PDT
Question ID: 743620
I will be applying for US citizenship by filing my N-400 form in
November 2006. I live in the Seattle area. How long will the process
likely take, from applying to taking the citizenship oath?
Subject: Re: US citizenship (naturalization) processing time
Answered By: hummer-ga on 05 Jul 2006 17:33 PDT
Rated:4 out of 5 stars
Hi sampai,

There are four services centers which process naturalization
applications. Washington residents are instructed to use the Nebraska
Service Center.

Washington residents seeking Naturalization status should send
completed N-400 forms to the following address:
USINS Nebraska Service Center
Attention N-400 Unit
P.O. Box 87400
Lincoln, NE 68501-7400

The following web page explains what to expect. See instructions for
assembling your application, they are very important for keeping the
processing time to a minimum.

USCIS Service Centers: National Information  The information below
applies to processing at all four USCIS Service Centers.
How We Process Your Application at a Service Center:
Normal Processing:
"The first step is the receipt of mail. Mail is generally opened
within twenty-four hours of receipt. The majority of mail arrives on
Monday (40%) and Friday (20%). The other three days of the week share
an equal amount of mail. Because of the volume of mail arriving on the
two busiest days, sending a case via express mail to arrive on either
of those days does not ensure faster processing. The lower volume of
mail arriving on Tuesdays means that the mail is usually opened by
Tuesday evening.
Applications are stamped with the time and date of physical receipt,
not the time and date they are actually opened. Mail with fees
enclosed is routed immediately to mail assembly. Cases that are filed
prematurely (before the applicant was eligible or met the legal
criteria) or that were filed on an outdated form are prepared for
manual rejection at this point. Cases lacking proper signature or
correct fee are identified for system rejection.
Mail without a fee enclosed is considered correspondence and is sorted
by type, if the appropriate destination can be quickly determined. If
mailroom personnel are unsure as to the routing, the material is sent
to the Customer Contact Services unit where it is read and either
responded to or routed to the appropriate division for action.
Properly filed cases and cases flagged for system rejections are then
forwarded to the Data Entry unit. In the Data Entry unit, information
is keyed into the USCIS computer system and fees processed.
The Data Entry unit collects the appropriate fee or when necessary,
rejects the case if the fee is incorrect or the form is not signed. If
a case is not clearly acceptable, it is immediately passed to our Case
Resolution unit for review. If they are unable to overcome the
obstacle to processing, the case is returned to the
applicant/petitioner for correction. Receipt or rejection notices are
generated during Data Entry and mailed no later than the next morning.
Fee receipts are printed and mailed after the electronic record is
created. This means the date on the fee receipt may be different from
the date the mail was received for priority date purposes.
Once the fee has been properly receipted and the electronic records
created, cases are routed to the Work Distribution unit to await a
call for work by the Product Line or Field Office.
If the application will be adjudicated at the Service Center, an
Adjudications Officer will review the case; the appropriate data
(including cable requests) will be noted on a processing sheet and
forwarded with the application/petition to the clerical section. The
system is then updated, and the completed application or petition is
sent to the file room, consulate or other appropriate office, and
original documents are returned as required.
The Center makes every effort to process each application/petition
without returning it for further information. Applications that are
well prepared take less time to process, thereby facilitating faster
processing of all cases. Therefore, to help applicants better prepare
cases and applications before sending them to us, please refer to our
General Tips on Assembling Applications for Mailing. Following these
procedures will help us to serve applicants better and faster."

Even though you will send your application to Nebraska, your local
Seattle office is the "destination office" and therefore Seattle's
processing time is what's important. Right now, they are processing
February's applications of 6 months ago. If those times hold steady, a
November application should be ready around June 2007, your interview
some time in the summer and perhaps a Labor Day ceremony (ofcourse,
there are so many variables, but I think Labor Day is possible if all
goes well).

Seattle WA Processing Dates
N-400 February 13, 2006

18. If USCIS grants me naturalization, when will I become a citizen?
"You become a citizen as soon as you take the Oath of Allegiance to
the United States. In some places, you can choose to take the Oath the
same day as your interview. If that option is not available or if you
prefer a ceremony at a later date, USCIS will notify you of the
ceremony date with a "Notice of Naturalization Oath Ceremony" (Form

Citizenship/Naturalization Ceremonies:
"The Seattle District performs administrative ceremonies at USCIS
District office located at 12500 Tukwila International Boulevard
Family members of those being naturalized are welcome to attend the
ceremony. Seating is limited and available on a first-come,
first-served basis."

Don't forget, to save a bit of time, you can send in your application
up to 90 days before you meet your continuous residency requirement.

"If you are applying based on 5 years as a Permanent Resident or 3
years as a Permanent Resident married to a U.S. citizen, you may file
for naturalization up to 90 days before you meet the ?continuous
residence? requirement."

Congratulations! If you have any questions, please post a
clarification request and wait for me to respond before closing/rating
my answer.

Thank you,

I used my own knowledge and bookmarks plus searched the USCIS website
to find the appropriate links.
sampai-ga rated this answer:4 out of 5 stars
Great research, but could have used some anecdotal information from
actual applications.

There are no comments at this time.

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