Where do I get photos and fingerprints taken for my N-400 citizenship application?

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Question:

I'm a green card holder, planning to apply for U.S. citizenship. I hear that I will need to supply a photo and fingerprints. Where is the best place to get these things done, and how much will they cost?

Answer:

You will indeed need to supply photographs along with your citizenship application. These must be "passport style" and meet certain other criteria described in the instructions to Form N-400 provided by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). In theory, you could prepare these on your own, but it's much easier to go to a professional to have them done.

Look for photo shops, copy shops, chain drugstores, and similar service providers. A lot of them can typically be found around immigration offices. The cost is normally less than $10.

Fingerprints are another matter. Unlike in past years, you do not need to have these done on your own. (In fact, if you submit them, they will be rejected.) When you pay your $85 biometrics fee as part of your naturalization application, you are covering the cost of having your fingerprints taken. USCIS will schedule you for a separate biometrics appointment, usually some weeks after submitting your N-400.

For more information about the citizenship application process, see Nolo's articles on U.S. citizenship, or consult the book, Becoming a U.S. Citizen: A Guide to the Law, Exam, and Interview," by Ilona Bray (Nolo).

by: , J.D.

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