Yesterday the USCIS rolled out e-filing for its naturalization form for everyone except military members. But in doing so it hid the link to the N-400 form, making it fairly difficult to know what form is the correct one to use if you’re in the military (or don’t want to electronically file).
Here are direct links to these forms and then a longer explanation what seems to have happened:
USCIS Says You Should Only Use the Forms From its Website
For years USCIS has told people to only get their immigration forms from its website. In fact, one of the “scams” USCIS highlights on its website is third parties selling the forms that USCIS says are free to download on its website:
This is because scammers will sell people these free forms for hundreds of dollars, and unsuspecting victims who are trying to do the right thing end up paying it.
The N-400 Form Has Been Removed From the Website
Yesterday USCIS silently rolled out e-filing for the N-400 form, but not for everyone. On it’s “File Online” page it says you can file your N-400 electronically:
But then it directs you to the N-400 page for more information. When you get there, you now see a big blue button to lead you to e-filing. But buried in the Q&A section it makes clear that if you’re filing based on your military service you can’t file electronically (also, it appears so far that anyone else who doesn’t want to file electronically can still file a paper form).
So, let’s suppose you’re a member of the military and must use the pdf form. Where do you get it?
USCIS isn’t telling. They’ve removed the link to the form from their N-400 page. Lower down on the page it still says you should download the form from the USCIS website:
But without a link to the form on their page, folks who aren’t eligible to apply electronically (or who don’t want to file electronically) are going to have a seriously difficult time figuring out how to naturalize.