Immigration is a process of long waits and precise paperwork, but those applying for naturalization still need to be on the lookout for the short appointments that are vital to becoming a citizen.
The biometrics step may be one of those moments. It generally takes less than an hour and not every applicant requires it. Anyone with an appointment ought to know what to expect leading up to it and after.
Before the biometrics
All applicants for naturalization work with the N-400 form. According to Road To Status, processing the N-400 may take up to 12 months or even longer. But once the government receives an N-400 application, and finds no initial reasons to send it back for revision, they schedule any necessary biometrics appointments.
As the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services details, it provides the date, time and location for a biometrics appointment. Applicants must bring said appointment notice, including any and all multiples of that notice, as well as a photo ID.
The biometrics taken include fingerprints, a photo and a signature. This allows the USCIS to run background checks and the signature attests, under penalty of perjury, that the applicant’s information is correct.
This is not an appointment to turn in any forms, nor is it a place to change a name or other personal information.
Missing the appointment or failing to bring the correct notices or ID may result in further delays of the application.
After the biometrics
Once the appointment is over, the next step is the interview. Wait times between the biometrics and interview vary depending on the processing.
Becoming a naturalized citizen of the United States takes time and the rewards are unique to each applicant. Filing everything correctly and arriving to appointments on time may reduce the time it takes to become one.