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The USCIS publishes processing times for the N-400 Application for Naturalization Form (mirror).

https://egov.uscis.gov/processing-times/more-info says:

Processing time is the number of months that elapse between the date we receive an application, petition, or request and the date we complete the application, petition, or request (that is, when we approved or denied it) for all cases for a specific form for the latest completed 6 months.

When is an N400 considered approved or denied when the USCIS computes the processing time? Is it when the letter notifying the interview appointment is sent? When the interview takes place? When the oath takes place? Some other time?

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  • Why would "approved" mean anything other than approval to you?
    – littleadv
    Mar 28, 2022 at 20:42
  • @littleadv when is it approved? Before or after the interview? Mar 28, 2022 at 20:52
  • It is approved when "Notice of Approval" is sent. Generally this is done when all the conditions are met. Specifically for N400 there may be cases where the application may end up being denied even after the notice of approval, but AFAIK this is extremely rare and involves the candidates being caught in lies.
    – littleadv
    Mar 28, 2022 at 20:59
  • @littleadv thanks, is the Notice of Approval sent before or after the interview? Mar 28, 2022 at 21:00
  • When all the conditions are met.
    – littleadv
    Mar 28, 2022 at 21:01

1 Answer 1

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It is approved when "Notice of Approval" is sent. Generally this is done when all the conditions are met.

There may be multiple steps before an application is approved, some may include in-person interviews, others may include RFEs in writing, before the decision is given.

N400 applications may be denied even after approval, any time up to the naturalization ceremony, if the USCIS determines that the conditions are no longer met by the time of the ceremony (usually it means that either facts changed between the approval and the ceremony or the USCIS learned that the applicant misrepresented facts).

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