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USCIS News: Third Gender Option Added to Naturalization Form Explained

If you want to officially become a U.S. citizen after being a green card holder, you may be up-to-date with what has been going on with form N-400, otherwise known as the naturalization form. This is a form that immigrants have to fill out to be considered by the USCIS, and it has recently undergone a few changes. In this article, we will be discussing the addition of a third gender option to the application for naturalization form and what this means for applicants.

Form N-400 Update

Traditionally, the USCIS has only provided two gender options when it comes to the USCIS naturalization application form. This year, it has made an update to form N-400 that provides an option X, which stands for another gender identity. It is the first form so far to include a third option outside of the traditional male and female options.

The addition of a third option for the immigration naturalization form has been provided for those who identify outside of the male and female genders. Specifically, it provides an inclusive option for those who are transgender or nonbinary.

Supporting Documentation

A common concern that many have had about this update to the naturalization application process is the documentation that is required. The good news is that no supporting documents are required for those who select the third gender option. Your other immigration documents also do not need to match your gender preference in case you have either male or female on your birth certificate, passport, or drivers license.

How to Fill Out Form N-400

The process of applying for naturalization has not changed greatly despite having an updated gender option. Those who wish to fill out this form must be at least 18 years old and have had a green card for five years, with the exception of those who are married to a U.S. citizen, allowing them to apply after three years.

The most important part of the naturalization form is providing all of the documentation that the USCIS requires, such as:

  • Proof of residency, such as a green card.
  • Two identical photos if you are not currently in the U.S.
  • Payment for form N-400 fees.

There are also additional supporting documents that you can provide depending on your specific situation. For instance, if you are applying based on your marriage to a U.S. citizen, you should provide a marriage certificate, documents that include you and your spouse’s information, joint tax returns, etc.

Once you provide the required documentation, you will need to carefully fill out form N-400, providing up-to-date and accurate answers. It is highly advisable that you hire an immigration attorney to help you do this to ensure everything is done thoroughly and correctly to avoid running into issues later on. They can also help you submit your application, which can be done online or through the mail.

After filing this form, you will receive a notice with the date, time, and location of your biometrics appointment to have your fingerprints and photographs taken. You will also need to schedule an in-person interview with a USCIS officer, which will include your U.S. immigration civics test. If everything goes smoothly and you are approved, you will then attend a formal oath ceremony to become an official citizen.

How Much Does it Cost to File Form N-400?

The costs associated with USCIS forms changes year to year and recently underwent a significant increase but as of April 1, 2024, the filing fee for N-400 is $760. Keep in mind that this is just the price for filing this form, it doesn’t include any other costs you may have to cover such as legal assistance, translation services, or mailing costs.

Some applicants may be eligible for a reduction or waiver of these fees, so this is something that is worth looking into if you cannot afford the $760.

Application For Naturalization Processing Time

Most naturalization applicants can expect this process to take around eight months before being approved. This is significantly shorter than past approval times, but it is very dependent on how busy the USCIS field office is currently. The best way to ensure that your application gets through quickly is to hire an immigration attorney to help you complete the steps of this process correctly to avoid delays.

Can You Update Your Form N-400?

Because this update to the form N-400 has only been initiated recently, there may be many people who want to change their gender option to the third option provided. The good news is that you can still do this if your form is pending by writing a letter to the USCIS explaining your request. You can do this if you receive a request for evidence, or you can bring it up during your citizenship interview.

If you applied online, you could upload a letter as new evidence to your pending naturalization form. If you applied through the mail, you can email the USCIS at USCIS-updategenderinfo@uscis.dhs.gov.

Why Is This Update Important?

Even though the naturalization form is the only USCIS form to include a third gender option as of right now, it is still a huge leap for equality. This allows individuals to identify themselves in a way that feels right for them if they do not fall into traditional male or female categories.

This change is especially important for transgender or non-binary individuals who do not want to identify themselves as male or female. Although option X does not provide a specific option for all gender identities, it does provide a more inclusive option that can provide applicants with greater recognition and dignity. It also paves the way for similar updates to the other USCIS documents.

Hire an Immigration Attorney Today

Are you ready to fill out your citizen naturalization form to become a legal U.S. citizen? Contact us today at U.S. Immigration Law Counsel by filling out our online form or contacting us directly at 800-666-4996 to speak with one of our immigration attorneys. Our immigration lawyers will deal with the government, so you don’t have to!

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