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Naturalization Q & A

Q. I passed my naturalization exam and am waiting for the oath ceremony. How long does it normally take from this point?

A. Usually you will receive a notice with a date, time and location of the oath ceremony within 60 days of passing the naturalization interview with the INS. Sometimes you will receive it only a few days before the actual event. The following oath ceremony dates for naturalization applicants in Los Angeles have been confirmed with the INS: February 18, 7,200 people; February 23, 12,000 people; March 9, 5,000 people; and March 10, 5,000 people. Most ceremonies are held at the Los Angeles Convention Center in downtown Los Angeles.

Q. I received a notice from the INS about my naturalization oath ceremony. Unfortunately I could not read the date and time so I missed the ceremony. What should I do.

A. The INS recently acknowledged that about 10,000 successful naturalization applicants in recent months received notices that were too faint to read, causing some to miss the oath ceremony. Anyone who has received an illegible notice may call an INS hotline (213) 894- 0422, or (213) 894-2802 to find out when and where to attend their scheduled oath-taking ceremony. Please note that those staffing the hotline are English-speaking only, so those with limited English ability should have someone with them to translate.

Q. My naturalization application has been pending with the INS for about 2 years. Is there anything I can do to follow-up with the case?

A. The public can inquire about naturalization applications in Room 1001 at the downtown INS building located at 300 North Los Angeles Street. Only 150 tickets are given out each day. Room 1001 opens at 6:30 am. Many people start lining up at 2 to 3 am.

Attorneys can follow up on naturalization applications without waiting in line at Room 1001. Currently, the INS will allow attorneys to follow-up on their client's cases if it is pending for more than 18 months.

Q.How much does it cost to apply for naturalization?

A. The INS application fee for naturalization was raised from $95 to $225 on January 15, 1999. In addition, applicants must pay an additional $25 to be scheduled for a fingerprint appointment with the INS. Therefore, the total fee is now $250.

Q.Where can I get INS forms without waiting in line at the INS building downtown?

A.Visit my forms page to print INS forms. You could also call the INS Forms Request Line at 1- 800-870-3676. The INS will mail you forms within 2 weeks. The form number is N-400.

Q.How long is it taking to become naturalized in Los Angeles these days?

A.It is currently taking up to 2 years for some people. The INS would like to decrease this time to about 6 months during the next few years.