How Do I Reschedule a Naturalization (Citizenship) Interview?

What to do when you really can't make your scheduled naturalization interview

By , J.D.

If you have been scheduled for a naturalization interview, but will be unable to make it on that day, how can you reschedule?

Reschedule Only If Absolutely Necessary

If at all possible, you should attend your naturalization interview on the day it is scheduled. Trying to reschedule can produce confusion and delays of weeks or even months.

However, if you truly cannot make the scheduled appointment—for example, because of illness or a medical or family emergency—you can ask U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for a new date. In fact, USCIS strongly prefers that people who have any sort of contagious illness cancel their appointments, for the sake of others around them.

Don't Just Skip the Citizenship Interview!

Whatever you do, do not simply skip the interview date. If you do, USCIS is likely to close your case. Then you will have to start all over again and reapply.

Requesting a Different Date for Your Citizenship Interview

To request a reschedule, the normal method is to write to the USCIS office where the interview was scheduled to take place, and explain the situation. Include a request that you be given a new interview date, and mention any pertinent scheduling information, such as the length of time that you will be hospitalized.

Check your interview notice, however, in case it gives you a different way to contact USCIS about the reschedule. Also, it's worth calling USCIS's Contact Center to see if it can help; though getting to talk to a live person can be nearly impossible.

When you send in your request, be sure to enclose a copy of the interview notice that USCIS sent you.

Use the sample letter, below, as a guide. Do not send the letter to the same address that you first sent your application—that is a USCIS Service Center, and once it has transferred your file to your local USCIS office, it has no power over your case.

In order to qualify for a new interview date, you will need to show "good cause," and that you are prevented from attending for reasons beyond your control.

"I'm not ready yet!" is not an acceptable excuse. If you simply have not prepared adequately, we recommend that you attend the interview anyway, to show that you're still interested. If the only problem is that you can't pass the English or civics exam, you'll get a second chance; the USCIS officer who meets with you will reschedule you to come back within 90 days.

Ultimately, the USCIS officer to whom you write has discretion over whether to grant the reschedule. (See 8 C.F.R. § 103.2(b)(9) )

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