N-400 applications: no need to send photos any more!

change starts immediately

USCIS has just published a notice about a change in the procedure for submitting a citizenship application. Here's a summary:

1. Starting right away, applicants don't need to send photos with their applications anymore. Photos will be taken at the fingerprint (biometrics) appointment from now on. 

2. Applicants who are 75 or older will now have to go for a fingerprint appointment like everyone else (in the past they didn't have to because fingerprinting was not required for elderly applicants). However, they still don't have to pay the $85 biometrics fee. So for those 75 and older, the fee right now is still $595 (instead of $680). 

USCIS is also reminding people that "homebound processing" is available for people who are hospitalized or unable to leave their homes to travel to a USCIS office.  Information on how to request homebound processing is below.

Here's the full announcement:

We would like to share two important updates to filing Form N-400, Application for Naturalization, now that it is processed electronically. All applicants (except those who reside overseas):

  • No longer need to submit two passport-style photographs. We will capture their photographs when they appear at the Application Support Center (ASC) for their biometrics appointment.
  • Will be scheduled for a biometric service appointment at a local ASC for collection of their fingerprints, photographs and signature, regardless of their age.

USCIS used to waive the fingerprint requirement for applicants 75 years or older, which meant they were not required to appear at an ASC. However, now that this form is processed electronically, those applicants do need to appear at an ASC. Our improved technology means we can capture fingerprints for applicants of all ages. This enhances our ability to confirm their identity and perform required background checks. We will update the form instructions, Policy Manual and Guide to Naturalization as soon as possible.  Applicants aged 75 and older do not have to pay the biometrics fee.

All domestic USCIS facilities are accessible to individuals with disabilities. However, USCIS can make special arrangements to accommodate the needs of the elderly and applicants with disabilities, who are homebound or hospitalized.  This is known as homebound processing. Applicants who need to request an accommodation for their appointment can submit a service request online or call the National Customer Service Center (NCSC) at any time at 800-375-5283 (TDD: 800-767-1833).