The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS LA) is responsible for processing immigration and naturalization applications as well as establishing policies regarding citizenship. USCIS receives enormous volumes of cases daily.
Because of this, it can take time for cases to be reviewed. To speed up processing, USCIS offers premium processing for some forms.
What to Expect
USCIS has a variety of tools to help you navigate the naturalization process. Learn more about the interview and test process, find free study tools, and explore exceptions and accommodations.
All adjustment of status applicants must attend an interview with a USCIS officer, unless the officer waives their appearance on a case-by-case basis. Family members of the principal applicant are required to attend the interview if they are filing an application to join that person in the United States.
During the interview, an officer will ask you questions about your background and history. You will also take an English and civics test. The English test has three components: reading, writing and speaking. The civics test covers important topics about U.S. history and government.
If you cannot attend your interview in person, you may request an interpreter to assist you. Please note that the interpreter must be a disinterested party, not an immediate family member.
USCIS requires you to attend a biometrics appointment. The office will take photos and your fingerprints, which are then sent to the FBI to check for any criminal records. The appointment is usually scheduled between 5-8 weeks after your package is filed. The person applying for citizenship must attend, but the sponsor is not required to go with them.
You need to make a daily request for an appointment by accessing CBP One(tm). The time to ask for an appointment runs from 11 a.m. CST through 10 a.m. CST the following day.
You can also use the CBP One(tm) system to make payments for the USCIS fees listed on your N-400 receipt notice (and Form I-907). However, you can only pay using an ACH bank account or debit card with a revolving credit line. Prepaid cards are not allowed. You can also visit a USCIS field office to make payment. USCIS does not accept cash or checks.
There are a number of fees associated with USCIS immigration applications and petitions. Some of these fees are paid directly to the government and others are payable to outside third parties, such as professional photography services or fingerprinting companies.
You can pay many of these fee at a USCIS field office using special self-service kiosks during the office’s open hours. Applicants must be accompanied by an attorney or accredited representative when using these kiosks.
Some of these fees can be quite expensive. For instance, it costs around $200 to have your medical exam done, and the cost of a background check or other specialized services can vary by provider. Fortunately, immigrant-based nonprofits and the government offer assistance to help cover these fees for those who qualify. There are also fee waivers available for those with lower incomes. Boundless is following closely the development of a new fee structure proposed by USCIS, and will provide further updates as we learn more.
USCIS offers a number of tools to help you manage your case. You can file any form available online, upload supporting evidence and pay fees if you have an account. You can also check case status and history, send secure messages and respond to Requests for Evidence through your account. Attorneys and accredited representatives can add eligible paper-filed cases to their account by using the Online Access Code on the Form G-28, Notice of Entry of Appearance as Attorney or Accredited Representative.
You can also find out how long it will take to process your form based on where it is filed. Just select the form and field office location.
Please note that federal law prohibits weapons, including pepper spray and knives, even with a permit, at all USCIS buildings. For this reason, you may be required to remove these items from your bag or purse before visiting a USCIS facility. Thank you for your cooperation.