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How Does COVID-19 Affect My Citizenship Application?

Pat Malone • September 02, 2020

COVID-19 has created difficulty and delays in almost every way, including the citizenship application process. These are the challenges you may experience:

It's harder to get in-person legal help. Many legal offices are not holding in-person information sessions, workshops, or appointments with legal experts. You may have to wait longer to meet with a lawyer or DOJ representative. Note: If you are using Citizenshipworks, we have always been set-up to connect you online or by phone to the legal help you need.

It's harder to get legal documents and records. If you have to get court or other records to send with your citizenship application, it may take longer. You'll need more time to find out how to make the request and get the documents. Some courts and other agencies are closed to the public, or have limited availability.

The USCIS (government) process is slower and less convenient. Not as many people are working in-person at the USCIS, to review applications and schedule appointments. Some offices are closed. Check here to find out if your local USCIS office is closed. Appointments and interviews have to be spread out so that no one is crowded in a waiting room or office. This causes delays at every step, including:

  • reviewing your application and sending you notices,
  • scheduling fingerprint appointments,
  • scheduling the interview and test, and
  • holding the oath ceremony.

Here are three ways to be prepared and informed during COVID-19:

1. Learn how long it takes to get citizenship. Check USCIS Processing Times. Under “Form,” scroll down and click "N-400." Under “Field Office,” pick the office near you.

2. Check your progress. After you send the application to the USCIS, you will get a notice and a Receipt Number. Use the Receipt Number to check your USCIS Case Status Online.

3. Know what to expect for appointments and ceremonies at USCIS updates, including:

  • If you have to wear a mask
  • If anyone can come with you
  • Other instructions for safety

To learn more about how COVID-19 has affected the USCIS, go to https://www.uscis.gov/about-us/uscis-response-to-covid-19.

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