When a lawful permanent resident applies for naturalization, or U.S. citizenship, he or she must attend an interview and examination with a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) officer at a local USCIS office. Naturalization applicants should be aware of a recent trend occurring at USCIS interviews, which is causing errors and confusion.
When USCIS receives a Form N-400, Application for Naturalization, it is automatically scanned and entered into their electronic system. Many times, the scanners do not pick up all the information in the original form. This means that the applications reviewed by the interviewing officer may not have the correct information originally listed on the application. The scanned versions often leave some areas blank, and other areas are filled in with erroneous information.
Naturalization applicants should be aware and prepared to correct any errors the officer mentions during the course of the interview. During the interview, the officer allows the applicant the chance to correct these errors and sign off on the changes at the end. These changes, however, are noted as errors even when the information was correctly listed on the original application filed. For this reason, it is imperative that applicants carefully review their application before attending their interview, and take a copy of the original application submitted to the interview, along with all other relevant documents. It is important to point out to the officer that the information is erroneous based on USCIS error.
We recommend that all naturalization applicants be accompanied by an attorney to any USCIS interview. If you have an upcoming naturalization interview and would like to speak to an attorney, please contact an immigration attorney at Minsky, McCormick & Hallagan, P.C.