My Journey to U.S. Citizenship – Step 2: Acceptance

May 10, 2012:
According to the delivery confirmation from U.S. Post Office, my N-400 application package was delivered early this morning to USCIS (P.O. Box in Phoenix, AZ).
May 11, 2012:
USCIS accepted my application and entered it into their system (as I later found out from the email notification I received).
May 15, 2012:
I received an email from USCIS notifying me that my application has been received and a receipt number has been assigned to my case. USCIS sends out notices by email only if the applicant completed Form G-1145, E-Notification of Application/Petition, which is optional.

Dear Applicant/Petitioner:

Your USCIS application/petition has been received and routed to the National Benefits Center for processing. Within 7-10 days by standard mail you will receive your official Receipt Notice (Form I-797) with your Receipt Number NBC*00269xxxx. With the official Receipt Notice (Form I-797) you may visit where you can check the status of your application using My Case Status. We suggest you wait until you have received your Form I-797 before checking My Case Status.

In addition to the email, I also received a text message on my mobile phone with essentially the same but shorter notice:

USCIS: Your application was received. Receipt # NBC*00269xxxx. Official Receipt Notice (Form I-797) to follow in mail. Msg & Data rates may apply. NO NOT REPLY.

Even though I haven’t received Form I-797, I was able to check the status of my application online using the receipt number included in the email above. Surprisingly, my case status is already at the Initial Review stage (not Acceptance as I was expecting).

On May 11, 2012, we received this N400 APPLICATION FOR NATURALIZATION, and mailed you a notice describing how we will process your case. Please follow any instructions on this notice. You will be notified by mail when a decision is made, or if the office needs something from you…
During this step, USCIS initiates the background checks of the applicant/petitioner and identifies issues that may need to be addressed either during an interview or by asking the applicant/petitioner to submit additional information or documentation. USCIS reviews the applicant’s/petitioner’s criminal history, determines if there are national security concerns that need to be addressed, and reviews the application/petition for fraud indicators.

Also on May 15, 2012, my check for the payment of $680 was cashed.

May 17, 2012:
Received Form I-797 via regular mail. The notice contains three dates:

  • Received Date: May 10, 2012
  • Priority Date: May 10, 2012
  • Notice Date: May 14, 2012

Entire N-400 Citizenship Application Process:

112 thoughts on “My Journey to U.S. Citizenship – Step 2: Acceptance

  • Got the initial letter. Checked the website and letter for fingerprinting was mailed. My question is this.. at what point will they deny, if they are going to deny? I noticed that I will not get my money back if denied, it goes to administrative fees and such….

    Any help out there?

  • If USCIS is going to deny your N-400, it is likely during/after your interview. Do you want your case denied instead??? You may look into withdrawal if that is the case.

  • To Tarik,

    Getting the email means your application is properly filed and has been accepted. Approval will come after background check, citizenship tests and interview.

  • No news from me. Still showing fingerprint notice sent on June 5. I was on vacation last week and was really hoping for a surprise when I got back, but nothing! 🙂

  • Since July 9th, when I was cleared after fingerprinting was done, I am waiting to be scheduled for the interview. I have never thought it will take that long to be scheduled for the interview. I am getting anxious. But when I check one number (NBC*####) before me and two after me they are scheduled for interview. I doubt that it goes by number, may be by location/office, as some offices are not that busy, others are. I guess I have to wait anxiously more. Best wishes for all.

  • Hi guys,

    Just a quick update that I received my interview notice today in the mail. But guess what, the online status never changed It is still Initial Review even at this moment. The interview is still a month away, and I’ll update the post (Step 4) when I’m done. Good luck to all.

  • Hello all; IR_Blog, I am in the same situation exactly, I received my appointment notice today, but the website still says you are in line to be scheduled for interview. This has been since July 9th, it seems my letter was mailed/stamped on August 13th, Also, my appointment is in a month from today. So it took a bit more than a month to be scheduled for the interview. Good luck to all.

  • Great. Happy for u guys.
    I’m way behind. I just took fingerprint on Friday the 24th . Any idea how long I’m gonna have to wait till the interview ?
    ( an agent who did my fingerprint told even I didn’t ask him. That I should b interviewed by November )

  • My wait from fingerprinting to interview is roughly three months. Others have reported shorter waiting time (1 – 2 months). It depends on your local USCIS office’s work load and how quickly they can finish your background checks. You can’t predict or have control over this process, so might as well relax and enjoy the ride. You’ll be fine 🙂

  • Just had the fingerprinting done this past Monday. I hope I get to interview before the elections… would love to vote for the first time…

  • If you’re luckier than me you will have a very good chance of finishing the interview before election, then it will depend on how long it takes your local office to schedule the oath ceremony. Here in San Diego it’s roughly a month, and there are usually hundreds of people taking the Oath together.

    However, as we move closer to election, hopefully USCIS will take it into consideration and accelerate the process so more people can vote 🙂 Good luck to you, Sharon.

  • Guys,

    I’m getting a little concerned, my status hasn’t changed since June 25th, where they have placed my application in line for interview. How is it looking for you guys?

  • You meant your status has been “in line for interview” since June 25? Have you contacted USCIS to see if/when the interview appointment was sent out? It seems a bit too long…

    In my case the status remained “biometric notice sent” for quite a while, even two weeks after I already received the interview notice in the mail. So I won’t be surprised if the case status isn’t updated in time. I’ll be taking the citizenship test in a couple weeks.

  • Charlie, I won’t worry about this online status, I got my interview notice when my online status was still “inline for interview scheduling” and was like that 2 weeks after receiving my interview notice. Don’t be surprised if you get your appointment notice soon. Good luck.

  • Dear All. I am glad to share with you that Yesterday Monday 9/17/2012 me and my wife passed the Civic test and interview, which did not last more than 15-20 min in total of which 10 min were just to review answers on the form we submitted for Naturalization. The funny thing was that I asked to read “When is Thanksgiving” and to write the answer (given by interviewer) “Thanksgiving is in November” and was asked the name of the president, Vice president, one of longest rivers in USA, when was declaration of independence, when I reached 6 questions he told me you passed. The good news is that once I arrived home after the interview somebody called me saying hey come to the oath ceremony Friday at 10 am, and bring in your Green Card. I am very happy it is over and wish all of you the best of luck. I will send in my application for passport later on Friday afternoon 🙂

  • Ahmed,


    I also passed the interview this morning 🙂 There is a Citizenship day oath ceremony tomorrow in San Diego but I was told I wouldn’t be able to make it. So more waiting.

  • congrats ahmed it was simple for you , i passed the test ,everything was good till officer suspected my continuous residency and then give me a letter with a check box A descion cannot yet be made about your application. i take 2 trips lasted for 11 months and 6 months in the last 7 years .i had not taken any trip outside USA for the last 3 and half years but officer was not satisfied with my answer .now i have no idea what to do .they said they will send me a letter in a month or two .they can accept or reject my citizenship . any idea ??

  • That is a pity. A trip lasting more than 6 months at a time does raise a flag, but doesn’t necessarily mean the case will be denied. It largely depends on the IO. Hopefully he’ll think about it, especially considering the fact that you haven’t left the country for more than three years, and eventually approves it. Good luck.

  • Hello guys; have you ever heard of this strange thing? me and my wife passed the interview on 9/17/2012 and after two hours I received a phone call to appear for oath ceremony on 9/21 @ 10 am, but my wife DID NOT RECEIVE ANY. I also received a note by mail couple of days after. My wife was very upset. So it seems there is also a WAITING time between passing interview and oath ceremony (1-2 weeks???) don’t do exactly, so another waiting for her, just wanted to share this with those who are applying with their spouses just in case so not to be surprised, hopefully it will not happen. Good luck to all of you.

  • A couple’s citizenship applications are not bundled together (unlike green card applications), so it is common that one is faster than the other. My wife and I applied on the same day, and she finished two months before me.

    As to taking the Oath, here in San Diego USCIS organizes a large ceremony once a month, typically (all?) on a Wednesday. So depending on when the interview is done, one may have to wait a week or a month. I’m waiting for my notice at this moment and hoping to get it done before the election.

  • Congrats all. At this point there is no need to worry, all should be well. Just keep praying as you did before.

  • How’s going with you all? I’m still waiting on my interview notice – it has been over 90 days since my status updated. Getting a little concerned here

  • Charlie, 90 days is much longer than normal. I suggest that you schedule an appointment with USCIS and inquire about it. It took about 6 weeks for me to be scheduled for interview, overall I initially applied on May 26 2012 and took oath 9/21/2012. Good luck Charlie and rest of you guys.

  • I Passed my interview on 16th of oct. 2012.I was told to wait outside for oath
    letter .After a while i was called and told to wait for a letter because i had some issues with the days that i had travelled .My stay outside the state has not crossed months though.
    i havent received any letter till date.

  • Don’t know what else you can do other than waiting. Maybe you can try to contact USCIS directly and check on their progress. Hope it is nothing major that is holding up you case. Good luck!

  • I have a 7:40 check in time at the Fairplex in Pamona. Some family want to go to the audience seats and want to know when the actual oath will be taken. The phone numbers and email addresses on the papers I was given dont work. Phone numbers are 7 digits and the phone number on the form only has 6 didgits. I have a disabled person to take with me and can’t contact anyone.

  • In San Diego the check-in time starts at 8am and the official ceremony at 10am. Not sure about Pamona, though. If none of the phone numbers works you could try go to the place where you did the interview and ask them in person. USCIS also has a customer service phone number 1-800-375-5283 that you can try, but I doubt they will be able to tell you anything other than be there on time (7:40am). Keep in mind that there may be a long line outside so you do want to get there well before the ceremony starts.

  • Just passed my test today. But officer said my application has to beapproved and.signed by his supervisor. So i guess i was denied. Anyway… good luck everybody

  • Not necessarily. Did the officer give you a piece of paper at the end of the interview? If it shows that the officer recommends approval then it will just a matter of formality before it is officially approved.

  • That is standard procedure – everyone’s application has to be approved after the test. As long as the officer recommends approval, you have nothing to worry about.

  • I had my finger print on sep15th and still waiting for interview letter .any idea why they didnt send me any interview letter yet? is about 3 month 🙁

  • My guess is that your background check is still pending. Unfortunately that process is almost like a black box to the applicant. Unless your case is outside the processing window (usually 5 months for naturalization, but you can find out the exact time for your local office), calling USCIS probably doesn’t help either. Here is more information on security checks while you wait for the result:

  • I have a unique situation. 4months ago at the interview i was asked to provide a proof of Selective service. Since i had only applied for it 5 days back i didnt have it. I passed the interview but was asked to mail the copy of SS when i receive it within a month. I did. but they didnt receive it within the 1 month time frame. I got a letter that said my application has been denied bcoz of the reason above.
    So i applied for N400 2nd time. Today i received a letter for a Oath ceremony but its from my 1st application which was denied when i check it online its showing ” oath ceremony” which is fine. but here is the trouble my 2nd application status is now showing “Testing and interview.” I called the office and they were surprised she asked me to go the oath ceremony and basically said just go there and find out. My Question is has this ever happened to anyone. Getting my money back for the 2nd application is not my concern i want to know if this sounds like something is wrong?

  • I had my fingerprints more than 2 months ago and I still haven’t received my interview yet the field office is in San Francisco any one has an idea why they take that long to schedule an interview appointment

  • Hi there!
    I am in phoenix,arizona. My wife and I applied for N400 for naturalization a month ago. Since then, we haven’t received any correspondance from immigration so we are a little bit worried. Any idea?

  • Did you receive a delivery confirmation from USPS or whatever carrier you used? Did USCIS cash your check? You can find out from your bank. If they did that is a good sign; otherwise something may be stuck. You can contact USCIS directly.

  • Thx IR_Blog. I haven’t received anything because I applied through refugee agency IRC and I also applied fee waiver at the same time. So Just paid agency fee and the agency mailed everything to them. But I am going to contact them as you suggest it seems a good idea.

  • @IR_Blog, you know what happened I called the USCIS they told me to call them back tomorrow, then I called the IRC to find out why since I applied, I haven’t received anything from immigration, then they checked and found out my application was not mailed to the USCIS so they’ve just come to mail it now. So I appreciate very much and say thanks for the idea you suggested me contact immediately both institutions. If I didn’t do that, my application could dwell their office months and months. Thx

  • I mailed my application on june 17th and it was received by uscis on the 18th according to the post office. I applied for a fee waiver and I am wondering how long does it usually take for them to approve or deny the fee waiver request. .Also I sent my application not to a p.o box but to the express/courier address instead because I used overnight shipping…now I’m wondering if I sent it to the correct address. ..

  • Please check USCIS processing reports on how long it would take. As to mailing address, you have to use a physical address (not PO Box) if you’re using express or courier deliveries, so as long as you sent it to the one specified for your case, you should be fine.

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