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  • Applying for Citizenship in another state

    Can you apply for your citizenship in a state other that the one in which you reside in order to reduce the turnaround time?

  • #2
    Can you apply for your citizenship in a state other that the one in which you reside in order to reduce the turnaround time?

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    • #3
      Simple answer is NO. You have to apply from the state you reside in. If you want to increase the turn around time for your citizenship application consider moving to a state where the processing time is lower than yours. I lived in PA where at the time the processing of an N-400 application was anywhere from 12 to 18 months. I moved to VT and completed everything in 4 months.

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      • #4
        What about your residency requirement?

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        • #5
          Adam you are talking about the 3 month residency requirement aren't you? Well I got round that by applying for my naturalization 3 weeks before I moved out of PA where I had already met the residency requirement. Moved to Vermont and had my case transferred to the District office in vermont. One thing I did find out though was the processing times you see for the N-400 for each individual district office on the USCIS website are misleading because the service centers do all the processing. When I left PA, I thought that I would have to go through the hassle of getting my case transferred from Philly to St.Albans but as I found out, my file had never left the service center because I had moved so soon after applying

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          • #6
            Paddy,
            How are those dates shown on the USCIS site misleading?

            I thought after the service center checks all the paperwork including eligibility they transfer the file to the local office for interview?

            The processing times on the USCIS site should imply that they are processing cases received from the service centers, but filed on the dates shown.

            How does your experience differ from this?

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            • #7
              Marasmus,
              I first got the impression that the processing times for all USCIS applications were a bit misleading when the processing date for my I-751 ended up being wrong by about 8 months.

              Marasmus said "I thought after the service center checks all the paperwork including eligibility they transfer the file to the local office for interview?The processing times on the USCIS site should imply that they are processing cases received from the service centers, but filed on the dates shown."

              This is exactly what I thought but from what I could gage, the only time the file leaves the service center is when everything has been completed including the FBI and name checks. The only thing that the district office actually does is to arrange and conduct your naturalization interview.

              Also, one of the immigration officers told me that it wasn't how long it took the USCIS to process your application that affected the wait but how long it took the FBI to do the background and name check. Consequently if you live in a high immigrant state, it is going to take longer to process your naturalization application as opposed to if you lived in a low immigrant state such as mine.........vermont.

              Yeah all this is b u l l s h i t to me but I'm still glad I moved to Vermont to take advantage of quicker processing times.

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              • #8
                Paddy,
                Thanks for the answers, seems totally different from what I thought happens.

                So when you say your processing times were 8 months off the actual, was actual processing taking longer than is shown on processing times or faster than shown on processing times?

                About FBI checks, I have heard they take a few days to come back from the FBI and that the actual delay in processing N-400 is at local offices. Dont trust those immigration officers; they are very skilled in lying especially to cover up how slow their district officers are.

                It would seem logical that if the delay in processing the N-400 was at the service centers, and since service centers cover many states, then the processing times for N-400s for district offices served by say VSC eg MA, NY, CT, VA, ME, and NH would have almost the same processing times for N-400, but if you look at the current reports:

                Boston, MA is processing N-400s received 9/3/04:
                Portland, Maine is processing N-400s received 10/8/04;
                New York, NY is processing N-400s received 3/3/04;
                St Albans VT, is processing N-400s received 11/15/04;
                Hartford, CT, is processing N-400s received 7/8/04;
                Manchester, NH,is processing N-400s received 11/15/04.

                Clearly, it seems that the delay is NOT at the service center, because otherwise, all the districts covered by the same service center would have approximately the same processing times.

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                • #9
                  Marasmus said "So when you say your processing times were 8 months off the actual, was actual processing taking longer than is shown on processing times or faster than shown on processing times?"

                  I remember when I first filed my I-751, I started to pay attention to the processing dates. At the time, the Vermont service center's processing dates seemed to be stuck for months on end without moving and then all of a sudden they started to move quite dramatically if you can call it that!!!!!!

                  After months of watching these processing dates, I estimated that my I-751 would finally get processed by december 2004 / january 2005 with a receipt date of May 2003. When I got my approval for my I-751 in May 2004, I think Vermont were processing applications with receipts of October or November 2002 so as you can imagine it was a complete shock when I got my approval letter. So my approval was faster than expected.I actually think the length of processing time depends more on whether your case is a simple one or requires an interview or requires a waiver than the receipt date.

                  Marasmus said " About FBI checks, I have heard they take a few days to come back from the FBI and that the actual delay in processing N-400 is at local offices. Dont trust those immigration officers; they are very skilled in lying especially to cover up how slow their district officers are."

                  I have to agree with you on this one especially after dealing with the Baltimore and Philly offices. However, the Vermont district office were fantastic to me. It was through them that I found out how some of the process works. You are right that the FBI checks should come back fast.........my fingerprints came back after a week and my name check came back after 6 weeks.
                  As soon as my background checks were complete they went out of their way to get me an interview( though I had to ask them first for a cancelation date)

                  Now you listed the latest processing dates for various offices around New England and New York. I was told that the fingerprints are not sent to the FBI in washington DC but to the local FBI field office in your state. So it makes sense that places like New York city and Hartford, CT have longer processing dates because they have a lot more immigrants than places such as St Albans and Manchester.

                  So after my naturalization experience, I would conclude that it is not all of the fault of USCIS service centers and district offices. Everyone has to wait for the FBI.

                  One last thing I would like to add. I managed to get my Citizenship in 4 months but that was only because I was proactive. As the St albans office is only 25 mins away from me, I actually made Infopass appointments every couple of weeks so that I could check on my case and it was on one of those appointments that I was lucky enough to get a cancellation date. Had I just sat on my a s s then it would have taken 6 months which is still not bad in itself.

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