U.S. Law Center

How does USCIS conduct background investigations?

From taking a naturalization test to approaching the citizenship application process properly, there are many things for people who want to become a U.S. citizen to keep in mind. However, it is very important for them to understand the importance of informing the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services of any criminal history. For prospective applicants who wish to live or work in Corona or any other California city, it may be helpful to understand how USCIS conducts background investigations.

On their website, the USCIS outlines the background investigation process used by officers to screen a naturalization applicant. According to the USCIS, a background and security check includes the collection of fingerprints and requests for name checks from the FBI. Background investigations must be completed prior to an applicant's naturalization interview. While the USCIS collects fingerprint records of most applicants, those who are age 75 or older are typically not required to provide fingerprints. Furthermore, a waiver may be granted to applicants who have certain medical conditions, such as skin problems, birth defects and psychiatric issues. Once fingerprints are collected, they are sent to the FBI for a criminal background check. The FBI also conducts name checks on every naturalization applicant, uses a search against their Universal Index to screen applicants and forwards information to the USCIS. For those who are preparing to apply for U.S. citizenship, it is crucial to understand the ins and outs of the application process and ensure that the right steps are taken.

Please remember that this information does not constitute legal advice.

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