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  1. #1

    Default Required documents for Citizenship Interview?


    I have Citizenship Interview slated in June first week. What are the required documents i need to collect and prepare for the interview.
    In the Interview letter they just mentioned only to bring my passports , Greencard & Photo identity. But when i follow the forums every one saying to collect Tax returns, previous employer details, trafic tickets info like that..

    Can some one please advice me what are the required documents i need to collect for my interview without a delay.

    I got my Greencard Via my employer and after completing 5 years i am applying my Citizenship.

    Interview: Sanjose , CA

    I will be a great help for me

  2. #2


    What they have mentioned are the mandatory documents.

    What others are talking about are the optional documents that may be helpful in some cases.
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2009


    Quote Originally Posted by bestbuddy View Post

    I have Citizenship Interview slated in June first week. What are the required documents i need to collect and prepare for the interview.
    In the Interview letter they just mentioned only to bring my passports , Greencard & Photo identity. But when i follow the forums every one saying to collect Tax returns, previous employer details, trafic tickets info like that..

    Can some one please advice me what are the required documents i need to collect for my interview without a delay.

    I got my Greencard Via my employer and after completing 5 years i am applying my Citizenship.

    Interview: Sanjose , CA

    I will be a great help for me
    In my opinion, you will have to carry whole bunch of different documents just to be on the safer side. As you have read many threads regarding documents to carry, YES, carry all the documents as mentioned in different threads & do not neglect (or else it might cost you not approval).

  4. #4


    Documents and preparation for Naturalization Interview:

    It's highly recommended that applicants for naturalization should take with them ALL the documents listed below at their interview even if their 'Interview Appointment Notice' may not include any (or some) of them. And it should also be known that an 'Appointment Notice' is just a generic/computerized/general-wording letter in most cases. So it could be possible that it may not contain a list of ALL required documents pertaining to someone's specific situation/case. For example, in one of the immigration forums, a woman received an appointment notice for her naturalization interview wherein she was asked to bring a Selective Service Letter despite of the fact that she was a female, and everyone knows that females are not required to register with Selective Service as per the law.

    Thus, it is beyond anyone's imagination as to why she was even asked to bring Selective Service letter when ONLY males are required to register with Selective Service. So keep it in mind that an appointment letter is just a generic/computerized letter in most cases. Also clerks are the ones who send out the appointment letter and not the assigned adjudication officers. And clerks always make mistakes as you may already know this by now. So, make sure to bring ALL the documents mentioned below even if you are not asked for them in your appointment letter. I'm not saying that you must be asked for all the documents listed here, but you will definately be asked some of them. And God knows which one they would ask for at the interview.

    And do NOT ever assume that your interview experience would be the same as others...meaning if someone was asked only this and that documents then it doesn't mean that you will be asked the same documents/questions. I see many people say that they were asked only this and that documents and it's unnecessary to carry all other documents. But those who say this don't realize that each officer is an individual, unique and different. The officer who has had interviewed some of these people would not necessarily be involved in interviewing you. So you don't know which document an individual officer might ask for. INS can ask for any documents that pertains to applicant's immigration journey and background. Thus it's better to have all the documents being proactive than some of them.

    [1] Interview appointment letter: It will be required to get inside the INS building since security guard at the front door of the office will ask to see it. And obviously, local district office would need it to pull your file up in order to interview you. However, you might not need this if you are going into a very small INS office wherein only 3-4 applicants altogether would hardly be there such as the INS office in Vermont which is just a little larger than a telephone booth. Because then that small office would already know who is scheduled to be interviewed at that day even if someone won't have this letter handy. Also, appointment letter is not needed by those who would be asked over the phone to appear for an interview as sometimes INS tries to accommodate some applicants just in a last moment which makes them to call the applicant over the phone to come to the interview. So obviously, these people won't need an appointment letter then.

    [2] Passport: It's required mainly to verify applicant's absence from the United States as it contains the record of ALL the trips that an applicant has taken outside the United States which could determine applicant's eligibility for naturalization as to his/her continuous presence in the United States. And it's also required to verify applicant's citizenship/nationality. Officer does retains the right to ask for it as it is relevant to the information on the application. Plus, it's also used to establish applicant's identity which is very important at the time of naturalization. You should bring all the passports (even the expired ones) that you might have carried. Also, it is better to take the photocopy of the first page of the passport wherein biodata is as it has been noticed that some people are recently asked for it. If a passport is recently expired, then it is not a problem because adjudication officers like to see the passport to verify the trips taken outside the US than the validity of the passport.

    [3] Driver License or State Issued Non Driving ID: Officers will always ask for this during the interview to verify whether or not applicant lives in their jurisdiction. It's because applicant must need to be living in the State where s/he will appear for an interview, otherwise that particular office won’t have any jurisdiction on the applicant's case to adjudicate his/her application. It’s relevant to the information that applicant provides on his/her citizenship application about his/her address. Hence, officer retains the right to verify his/her residence information. Also, driving license verifies applicants' identity as a person who s/he claims to be especially when it is a govt. issued picture ID like green card.

    [4] Tax returns for the last 5 yrs: Whether or not applicants are specifically asked on their interview letter to bring their tax returns, they should ALWAYS take their tax returns for the last 5 yrs with them to their interview, no matter what. And it's so important for applicants in NY district office because interviewing officers in NY district office do ask for it in 99.99%of the time. It's my advise that applicants should request tax transcripts from IRS to show to USCIS than tax returns because as per USCIS interim memo to adjudication officers, officers should demand to see tax transcript than copy of tax returns. Why? Because tax transcripts are official record, which means USCIS cannot doubt about the authencity of them unlike tax returns unless you would have certified copies of your tax returns which might cost you a lot of money and time to get them.

    I would also like to point it out why tax returns are so important to USCIS. Tax returns are asked particularly to verify or to find out- (a) applicants' current and previous address(s), (b) their current and previous marital status, (c) whether or not they have any children, (d) where and what kind of job applicants have been doing for the last 5 yrs, (e) whether or not they owe any money to IRS, (f) whether or not they have paid the REQUIRED taxes, (g) whether or not they are in violation of any IRS laws, because if they were single but filed their taxes under married status at any time, then USCIS will deny their citizenship application under the clause of having bad character. Because it will then prove that they are in a violation of IRS laws and also a person of a bad character because of cheating.

    And if applicants did not pay any of the required taxes then USCIS will deny your application unless you will submit an agreement letter from IRS, State, and local tax offices showing that you have filed a tax return or have arranged to pay the taxes you owe. And whenever you would have an arrangement with IRS for the payment of owed taxes then you MUST need to bring documentation from IRS, State and local tax offices showing the current status of your repayment program. Actually, tax returns are required for many reasons at the time of naturalization.

    Tax transcripts is also know as Form 1722. It takes only a few days to get all these in the mail if you would request these documents over the phone with them at 1-800-829-1040 or thru their website wherein you would need to fill out Form 4506-T. If you would prefer to get it within a few minutes then IRS can even fax them to you right away if you would provide them a fax number over the phone.

    It's is very important to know that you should take both- federal and state tax returns with you...Again, both (state and federal) tax returns.

    Tax returns are relevant to the information that applicants provide on their citizenship application; thereby officer retains the right to demand these documents to verify those information.

    If someone has not filed any tax return because of having no income or earning a little income, then it would still be alright so long s/he could explain it to the officer as to why s/he did not file the tax return or why s/he wasn't required to file the tax returns. And even if someone has received public assistant or is on welfare, yet still it not a problem. But if someone is unemployed, then s/he must be prepared to show/explain to INS how s/he has been supporting himself/herself without the means of any visisble income; otherwise officer might deny their case in presuming that such person is being involved in some kind of shady/illegal activities. Submitting an affidavit from someone about being supported would do the trick.

    [5] Divorce/Annulment decrees: It's required if applicant was previously married. Must be a certified copy. It's also relevant to the information because N-400 asks about all the previous marrages. Thus, officer retains the right to ask this document as s/he may prefer.

    [6] Marriage certificate: It is advisable to have it even if a citizenship application is not filed based upon 3 yrs rule of being married to a USC. Recently I came to know that some officers are asking for this just to update the information on citizenship application if applicant has gotton married after filing the application. And sometimes officers do want to verify whom applicants are married to if applicants are currently married. Besides it is also relevant to the information that applicants provide on their citizenship application about their marital history. So, officer retains the right to ask for this document.

    [7] Court's disposition on any arrest, charge, and citation (including traffic citations): If applicants don't wish their application to be delayed or denied, then they MUST need to take ALL the documents petaining to them about any arrest, charge, citation (even traffic ones) to their interview. It must be a certified copy from a court/arresting authority about complete record of arrest, charges, conviction and dismissal of case. The application for naturalization will be denied without a doubt if a criminal case is not completely disposed yet.

    As far as traffic citation is concerned, then applicants don’t need to worry about anything so long those citations have nothing to do with DUI or reckless driving. But applicants MUST need to DISCLOSE them in their application and should try their best to bring some kind of proof of paying all those traffic tickets because traffic tickets are also part of court's record. Pay attention-traffic tickets MUST need to be reported on the application. As a matter of fact, INS does state on the instructions for N-400 that ALL citations must need to be disclosed. However, they don't need applicants to show a proof of payment wherein fine was under $500. So, what INS is saying is that applicants don't need to submit proof of payment for those traffic citations wherein fine was imposed less than $500, but they do require all citations to be disclosed.

    I know there have always been controversies over traffic tickets/citations as to whether they should be disclosed on N-400 or not, but what people don't seem to understand is that INS requires a full disclosure of ALL citations/tickets regardless of those citiations would have any impact on the decision or not. Some people have said that people should not disclose about it as it will open a worm of can with INS, but by not reporting these citiations applicants might risk being accused of concealing an information and not being truthful on N-400 as required, which might use as a ground for INS to deny N-400 or revoke the citizenship many years later on even though this might be a trival matter. I know many people might argue that not disclosing this kind of information cannot be a ground for the deportation, but they are wrong...INS can revoke anyone's citizenship and deport them if s/he was not truthful on the naturalization application regardless of how trivial that information might seem because not disclosing any required information on the N-400 AND not telling to the officer at the time of interview means concealing and misrepresenting to govt. officials under oath and penalty of perjury which is a crime in itself and lying to govt. official is a ground in itself to deny the immigration benefit. There is a lifetime bar on misrepresenting/lying to the immigration officials. So, don't be surprised if even govt. tries to revoke your citizenship in the future for not disclosing ANY required information to them at the time of citizenship.

    What people don't understand is that traffic tickets are citations, and according to N-400 all citiations must need to be reported, minor or major regardless...That's a different fact that INS doesn't want you to send proof of paying those tickets which were fined for less than $500 but it doesn't say that you don't need to disclose them. It's very clearly indicated there to mention if someone ever been cited....If I were you, I wouldn't choose myself as to what I should disclose and what is not; instead I would follow the intructions on to report all citations regardless of how trival it is...This way I don't want to get accused in the future about concealing this information if ever INS finds that out somehow...even many years later of obtaining the citizenship. I better to be truthful than being sorry many years later and being deported for being untruthful on my application. I don't care what some IOs have said on this over the phone because you can NEVER rely on these officers anyway since they are known to give wrong and contradictory inforation all the time anyway, instead I would follow the instructions and guidelines what INS has stated about reporting citations. Instructions on N-400 don't say that people can choose by their own which tickets should be disclosed and which don't, nor it states anywhere on the instructions that people can determine by their own, or even based upon what some officers say over the phone, as to which tickets are serious and which are not in order to determine the impact on them on a citizenship application. It's sad that most people determing by themselves which ones to disclose and which don't even though instructions clearly state to disclose all citations.

    Most folks don't know that if someone has received too many traffic tickets, whether those are for speeding, parking, changing lanes wrongly, turning on no U turn zone and etc, then some officers may deny your application. Because recently a case has come into light wherein an officer denied a naturalization application to a person who had received so many tickets. Officer noted that applicant failed to obey the local traffic laws so many times, which obviously proves that applicant has a bad character by showing no regard to US local laws. Applicant appealed, but applicant's appeal got denied. So, it is also recommended to contact an immigration attorney before filing naturalization application if someone falls under this kind of situation. But I hope people would understand the difference between speaking with every other immigration attorney and speaking with good and aggressive immigration attorneys.

    It's also advised to take with you a full record of restraining order too if someone has obtained a restraining order against you at anytime. You WILL NOT be denied citizenship based upon traffic citations or a restraining order, but officer MAY ask you about it and/or may demand you to submit some kind of documents in relation to these stuffs. Don’t assume that if you were never been convicted, arrested, fingerprinted, detained or violated a restraining order then it means USCIS won’t know anything about those activities. USCIS is actually now checking up public court records too. It has nothing to do with financial civil matter; instead it has to do with family court for restraining order and traffic court for traffic citations.

  5. #5


    [8] Social security card: In some recent cases, USCIS has asked applicants to show their Social Security Card to verify their social security number that applicants put it on their application. Again, officer does retain the right to ask for it since it is one of the information that applicants provide on their Naturalization application.

    [9] Four Identical Colored Pictures: It’s always advisable to take 4 additional photos with you because sometimes officers do ask for new pictures again even though you have already submitted them along with your application. The reason for them to ask for it again could be that the photos that you have submitted with your application might have either lost, damaged or don’t look proper/current to the adjudication officer (every officer has his/her own discretion to accept the photo to be ok). Another reason for them to ask for pictures again during the interview is that USCIS prefers to have pictures taken within 6 months, and naturalization application can take longer than 6 months. So it is better to have it a few of new ones pics with you at the time of interview. If officers don't ask it during the interview then you can use those photos for applying the passport. Thus, those pics won't be a waste. Btw, pictures are part of the application and officer retains the right to demand it

    [10] Birth Certificate: In some recent cases officers have demanded the applicants to present birth certificate. It has anything to do with your children' birth certificate which is usually required if you have any children. Because if you have any children then you should carry their birth certificate with you anyway to prove that you have children as the information about your children is required on the application. But applicant's birth certificate is asked just to make sure about applicant's real name and date of birth if officer doubts soemthing or if there is any inconsistence to these information. A lot of people wonder on why officer/USCIS asks for birth certificate when USCIS has a copy of their birth certificate in their GC file. Actually each application is handled/dealt on it's own merit. So you cannot expect officer/INS to take some evidence from another case/file/application to adjudicate the application in hand. Again, it is also relevant to the information that applicants provide on the application about their full name and date of birth. So the officer retains the right to demand for it to check the accuracy of the information.

    [11] Employment letter: You should ask your employer to provide you this and should have it with you when you go to the interview. Including any W-2 or anything relevant to it. It is relevant to prove your employment information on the application. Some officers are known to have asked this.

    [12] Documents to prove your residency in your State: You must carry some kind of documents to prove your residency in the state where you live because applicants for naturalization must need to live at least 3 months in a place before filing naturalization application from that place. Those documents could be either utilities bills, rent/lease/mortgage papers, bank statements, other bills like credit cards and etc, or employment or school record if you work or go to school. It is also reported that some officers do ask for these documents to verify the accuracy of applicant's residence information mentioned on citizenship application. Also INS wants to make sure if they have any kind of jurisdiction over the applicant or not...

    [13] Pencil: In one of the immigration forums, an applicant was asked to sign the back of his photos with pencil, but he could not be able to find a pencil anywhere in the whole USCIS building, which made him to go out and come back some other time, which delayed his application. So it is advisable to carry it with you. It doesn't hurt to be over prepared, I guess.

    [14] Bring the copy of your I-140, or I-130, or I-360: Thru some recent cases, it has come to light that some officers have asked for a copy of approval notice of any of the above said petition, which was the basis for applicants to have obtained the green card. They have asked this because they were not able to receive the other file on the applicant at the time of interview from Service Center, and sometimes some officers would want to know how you have obtained your green card so that case could be resumed without waiting for other file to be arrived. Again, it is also relevant to the application as to applicant’s eligibility. If you won’t have this with you and officer doesn’t receive other file as well then the decision on your case could be delayed by many months or year.

    [15] Letter from Selective Service: If you are a male who is or was previously required to register with selective service, then you must bring a "Status Information Letter" with you to the interview, which you can easily obtain thru Selective Service. No need to explain to Selective Service why you failed to register if you did not register with them either now or previously. Because they don’t care why someone wasn't able to register; rather they could only give you a latter explaining whether you were required to register or not. That is.

    Your application for naturalization will be denied if you are a male and were in the United States between the ages of 18-26 and failed to register for selective service willfully and intentionally. But if you can convince INS officer that your failure was not willful then officer will be able to approve your application. So, it is better to bring an explanation letter (a notarized affidavit) with you at the interview, wherein you should explain very clearly that-[1] your failure was not willful; and [2] you were not aware of this obligation of registering with Selective Service; and [3] you did not receive any notification on this either from USCIS or Selective service.

    You should know that if you were in the United States between the ages of 18-26 under any status, even as an illegal, then you were required to register for selective service. The only exception to it- those men who were here on valid nonimmigrant visa. Men's age does play a very important role during the time of naturalization. Because if a male did not register with Selective Service when he was required to register, no matter for whatever reason, then officer may deny his application unless he reaches 31 of age. Once a male reaches to the age of 31, then 97% of times this issue becomes irrelevant. And after the age of 37, it is 100% irrelevant because then this Selective Service issue becomes completely mute and a non-issue even though a person had failed to register deliberately. You may call them at this number- 1-888-655-1825. You may check registration verification status on here-



    For more information, read the info here-



    [16] New application or a Separate piece of paper about Updated information: If there is any change occurred on any information after filing the naturalization application, including those which were forgotten to include on the application at the time of filing, then you must bring the relevant part of the application with updated information, or provide those updated information on a separate piece of papers. This way officers just attach that new updated information/application in applicant's file than correcting/updating those information manually on the application. Officers like when someone makes their job easy; otherwise they have to write manually everything on the application, which could be a hassle to some of them.

    [17] Review your whole application thoroughly: It’s highly advisable to have your whole application reviewed many times before appearing at interview since officer may ask you anything that you have mentioned on your application. Recently many naturalization applicants tell me that they were asked verbally about their height, weight, and address and some other information as well. Perhaps, officers wanted to make sure that applicant hasn't provided any wrong information on the application.

    [18] Green Card: You MUST be asked to present it at the time of interview. It is asked to verify the legal status and identity of the applicant. If you have lost it or misplaced it then you should get the stamp of it on your passport by going to a local INS office prior to appearing at your naturalization interview. Just show the stamp of your status on your passport or the receipt (NOA) about applying for its replacement.

    [19] Proof of financially supporting your minor children residing outside of your home: If you have minor children outside of your home, you need to bring evidence of your payment of financial support, such as cancelled checks, money order, receipts and bank drafts showing your payment record, along with copies of any court or government orders relating to the required payment. You may also take notarized affidavit from other spouse about telling that you have been paying timely child support. INS asks about this to determine the moral character of the applicant. Also be noted, and pay attention to it, you MUST take the birth certificate of ALL of your children to your interview as officers do like to verify children's birth information including the paternity of the children.

    [20] Ink or ball pen: It’s my advise to take this with you because if you belong to district offices wherein oath is administrated on the same day of approving naturalization interview, then officer might ask you to PRINT your name on the front of the photos for the purpose of affixing it on the naturalization certificate. Otherwise, you will be asked to print your name on Naturalization certificate at the time of oath ceremony.

    [21] Re-entry Permit: If an applicant carries a re-entry permit, then s/he must need to bring that one to his/her interview.

    [22] W-2: Recently (since 2008) many adjudication officers across the country have started asking applicant to show W-2s of the last 5 years' which should either be of applicant's or applicant's spouse. This document is being asked when an application is being filed based on 3 yrs rule for being married to a US citizen. The reason to ask this document could be to verify who is working or who has worked or who is making how much because tax transcript doesn't necessarily show all this when it comes individual income.

    It's better to read important information about Naturalization thru the following links-


    The following background checks INS does on Naturalization applicants-

    [1] IBIS: This check has validity of 35 days - this check is against IBIS (maintained by USCPC - Customs and Border Patrol) using applicant's full name and date of birth (without place or country of birth). This check is done by USCIS internally through a connection to IBIS. A no hit is termed "IBIS OK" in USCIS' jargon. An "IBIS DNR" (Does Not Relate) is when a match exists but does not relate to the applicant, which is a no hit as well. IBIS is exempt from FOIA requests, that is, a person cannot use FOIA to find out if his/her name is in IBIS.


    [2] FBI Fingerprint (FD258) Identification against NCIC database - This has a validity of 18 months. Any applicant can call FBI NCIC (Clarksburg, WV) to find out if his/her fingerprint result has been sent back to USCIS. Work through various voice prompts to talk to a live representative. The results of this check are normally returned within 24 hours for person with no criminal records or outstanding warrants. No hit is termed "NO IDENT" in FBI jargon. An FOIA request (with FD258/fingerprints) would reveal if a record exists or not.

    [3] FBI Name Check against Central Records System (CRS) - This check basically searches to see if the applicant has ever been a subject/target of any FBI investigation. There is no documented validity period for this check. This check can take anywhere from 1 day to 4 years. No hit is termed "NO RECORD" in FBI jargon. A FOIA request would reveal if a record exists or not. FBI may not disclose full details but will acknowledge if a record exists. Also, presence of a record does not mean that it is something negative.


    For more on background checks, read here-


    Naturalization Test:


  6. #6


    Thank you Sam for useful information

  7. #7

    Default Thanks and follow-up?


    THANK YOU Sam75 for providing very helpful information to us! If i can ask one thing, you mentioned that its better to bring these documents and present them the interview. But when applying initially (N-400, payment, pics, GC, etc...), is it OK to submit other supporting documents along with the initial required ones? For example, I have a re-entry permit, and im applying bcoz of eligibility based on M-476 Guideline regarding the 4 years and 1 day rule in pp.22-23, should i also submit copies of re-entry documents to support my case? Or should i just wait until USCIS asks me for them?

    THANK YOU again...

    By now im thinking you're already finished with the whole process...Congratulations if you are...
    Can you share with us your experience during the interview?

  8. #8


    I walked in with exactly what they asked for. Appointment, passport and driver's license. I guess I got lucky.

  9. #9

    Default Only bring what you are asked for...

    For any future readers looking for answers to his type of question, I would suggest you bring ONLY what they ask you for on the letter. Bringing other documents that were not required to the interview might just arise other questions and eventually you might need to supply other types of documents. If you have not travel outside the country, gotten married, divorced, moved or had any other type of changes in your situation, then the only documents you need to supply are green card, state ID and fee.

  10. #10

    Default Exactly!

    Quote Originally Posted by myopinion View Post
    For any future readers looking for answers to his type of question, I would suggest you bring ONLY what they ask you for on the letter. Bringing other documents that were not required to the interview might just arise other questions and eventually you might need to supply other types of documents. If you have not travel outside the country, gotten married, divorced, moved or had any other type of changes in your situation, then the only documents you need to supply are green card, state ID and fee.

    The long list is quite helpful BUT provide what is needed or asked for in the letter ONLY as said!!!!

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