If you have been scheduled for a naturalization interview, but will be unable to make it to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) office on that day, how can you reschedule? Although this should be a simple logistical matter, it's definitely one you want to handle properly, to avoid delays or even disaster in getting your U.S. citizenship approved. We'll provide details here.
If at all possible, you should attend your naturalization interview on the day it is scheduled. However, if you truly cannot make the scheduled appointment—for example, because of illness or a medical or family emergency—you can ask 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.
Whatever you do, do not simply skip the interview date. If you do, USCIS is likely to close your naturalization case. Then you will have to start all over again and reapply and pay the fee anew.
To request a reschedule of your citizenship interview, the two main methods include:
You might want to do both. Also check your interview notice, in case it gives you a new or different way to contact USCIS about the reschedule.
First, try calling USCIS's Contact Center to see if it can help. Getting to talk to a live person, however, can be nearly impossible. Your best bet is to start the process early in the day, since you might be asked to await a call-back. If all goes well, they will forward your request to the USCIS office handling your case (the one serving the geographical area where you live and where the interview was scheduled to be held).
Separately or in addition, it's worth writing to the USCIS office where the interview will happen, to 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. 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.