This article was prepared with the assistance of ABIL, the Alliance of Business Immigration Lawyers, of which Laura Danielson is an active member.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) informed its stakeholder list on September 22, 2016, that all Form N-400 (Application for Naturalization) applicants, except those who reside overseas, no longer need to submit two passport-style photographs. USCIS now captures photographs when applicants appear at the Application Support Center (ASC) for their biometrics appointment. Applicants will be scheduled for a biometric service appointment at a local ASC for collection of their fingerprints, photos, and signature, regardless of their age.
USCIS noted that formerly, the agency waived the fingerprint requirement for applicants 75 years of age or older, which meant they were not required to appear at an ASC. However, now that the N-400 is processed electronically, those applicants do need to appear at an ASC, USCIS said. Applicants 75 and older do not need to pay the biometrics fee. The agency also noted that improved technology allows fingerprints to be captured for applicants of all ages. USCIS said it can make special arrangements to accommodate the needs of applicants who are homebound or hospitalized, known as “homebound processing.”
The agency said it will update the form’s instructions, and the Policy Manual and Guide to Naturalization, as soon as possible.