Clarity on 5 year rule for N-400 Application


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The rule says that N-400 application can be started 4 years 9 months past the day permanent residence was granted (so basically 3 months before the completion of 5 years). The citizenship application process involves various steps like biometrics appointment, interview, and oath ceremony.

My question is that at which stage the 5 year completion is a must have? I mean if someone starts application process by filing N-400 3 months before the 5 year completion, would he have his/her interview done within the following 3 months (basically at the time of interview he/she won't have completed 5 years from permanent residence start date)? Is it the oath ceremony that requires 5 years to be completed?

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Actually, the rule is that you can apply up to 90 days (which is LESS than 3 months) before the 5-year continuous residency requirement is fulfilled.

All other requirements have to be fulfilled at the time of filing the application.

And note that this is 90 days before the 5-year continuous residency requirement. If you broke the continuous residency requirement, it may be way more then 5 years after getting the GC. The interview would always be after the 5-year mark. And of course, all the requirements have to be met up to the oath.

BTW, USCIS has a worksheet for all this on their website.

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