USCIS Form N-426 Instructions and Purpose

USCIS Form N-426 Instructions and Purpose

The United States allows individuals who were born in different countries to earn citizenship by serving in the military. Service members and veterans must meet certain requirements to be eligible for U.S. citizenship through military service. The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) allows naturalization by application with Form N-400. 

As well as submitting Form N-400, those seeking naturalization through service must also fill out Form N-426. 

What Is Form N-426?

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Form N-426 is an immigration application used to certify honorable military service. Relative to other USCIS documents, this one is relatively short and simple. 

To certify this form, the law requires approval from an executive the member serves with or served under. This can be a commanding officer or higher up in the chain of command in your military branch. The executive must confirm that the individual’s service was honorable and that the conditions under which they separated from service were honorable. 

N-426 Form Purpose

The goal of Form N-426 is to allow former members of the U.S. military to apply for naturalization with certain exemptions from the general requirements. Section 328 and 329 of the INA require service members or veterans to show good moral character, knowledge of U.S. history, an understanding of the English language, and an attachment to the U.S. Constitution. To attain naturalization under these sections, an applicant must get a certification of their honorable service. 

Instructions for N-426 Certificate of Military Service

If you are looking to fill out Form N-426, you can find it on the USCIS website. You can also call the USCIS National Customer Service Center at 1-800-375-5283 and they will mail you a form.

Applicant requestors must fill out Parts 1-4 of the application.

  • Part 1, Information About You: This is basic personal information, such as your name, date of birth, SSN, residence, etc. 
  • Part 2, Enlistment Information: The next section is dedicated to your military service. You will be required to fill out where you served and any reenlistments.
  • Part 3, Periods of Military Service: The third part of the application is a table where you will list all valid periods of military service. You must indicate how long they were and what your service consisted of.
  • Part 4, Requestor’s Contact Information, Certification, and Signature: The final section should include your contact information, a certification, and your signature.

Parts 5-8 of the form must be completed by the certifying official and cover the information listed below.

  • Part 5, Character of Service: In the 5th section, your certifying officer will be required to indicate whether or not your periods of service were honorable.
  • Part 6, Separation Information: This is all about the circumstances surrounding your discharge. If there is something that needs to be explained, it will be done in the next section.
  • Part 7, Remarks: Part 7 is set aside for comments that must be made to explain prior answers. This is where the certifying officer would include derogatory information, disciplinary actions, or questions of loyalty to the U.S. If additional room is needed, they can use Part 9 (Additional Information—optional).
  • Part 8, Certification: The final part is for the certifying officer to certify their identity and position in the military as well as provide contact information.

Before returning the form, you must ensure that each request is completed and signed. USCIS will not accept sampled or typed names in the place of signatures. Legal guardians are permitted to sign for those who are physically or mentally incapable of doing so. 

How to Fill Out Form N-426

Here are some general tips for completing the N-426 form:

  • Type application (except signature) or print clearly with black ink.
  • Fill out only the appropriate sections, 1-4 for the applicant, 5-8 for the certifying official, and both should sign where indicated.
  • If a question does not apply to you, put “N/A” in the space provided unless you are directed to do otherwise.
  • Part 9, Additional Information, can be used if either party needs extra space to include the necessary information.
  • If you have used the USCIS online filing system before, you will need to list your USCIS online account number. You can find it on your profile page after you sign in to your account. This number is not the same as your A-Number

N-426 Evidence

To successfully acquire Form N-426 citizenship certification, you must submit the following documents with your N-400, Application for Naturalization:

  • The completed and certified Form N-426
  • Veterans must provide a copy of Department of Defense (DD) Form 214 or National Guard Bureau (NGB) Form 22 if they are no longer serving—these documents should include the character of service upon separation for each individual period, including the most recent 

N-426 Processing Time

Once your N-426 form request is accepted, USCIS will review it to ensure that it is fully completed. If you and your certifying official have not fully filled out your N-426 form portions, USCIS might deny your N-400 application. 

USCIS also reserves the right to ask for more supporting evidence and original documents. If your certification is not sufficiently proven, they can request additional proof. If they ask for your original copies, they will return them once their purpose has been fulfilled. 

Because the N-426 form is part of the naturalization process, the wait is inherently tied to the N-400 application. National Visa Center processing times will depend on a variety of factors, including the complexity of the petition and the current USCIS case load. 

N-426 Filing Fee

There is no filing fee for Form N-426. 

Reach Out to Scott D. Pollock & Associates, P.C. for Naturalization Help

If you are struggling with any part of your N-400 application or thinking about pursuing citizenship through military service, reach out to our experienced team of immigration lawyers. We can help you retrieve the evidence you need and organize it in a way that USCIS will understand. Call (312) 444-1940 or fill out our online contact form for more information.

We're looking forward to hearing from you!