Fingerprints are required for all naturalization applicants. Applicants living abroad will need to find a U.S. embassy or consulate in order to be fingerprinted.

Who to Contact at Post

The Regional Security Office at post normally handles fingerprinting. Send the completed fingerprint card to USCIS together with the N-400 application.

Electronic biometrics may be possible at posts with a UCSIS field office. Individuals who pay the $85 biometric fee overseas should include a copy of the receipt with their application package.

Tips for a Successful Ink Fingerprint

Visit the FBI website for the Recording Legible Fingerprints tip sheet. Read and follow the FD-258 Fingerprint Card Instructions and the additional suggestions below:

  • The accepted U.S. government form is called the FD-258. Do not use a foreign fingerprint card. USCIS will not accept prints taken on a foreign document. Refer to USCIS Operating Instructions on Fingerprint Cards and Fingerprinting.
  • Take two complete sets of prints in case one card is unreadable. Rejected fingerprints can cause delays of several weeks to several months.
  • The ORI block must be blank. If it is not blank, white it out.
  • The A-number should be annotated in the box YOUR NO. OCA (below the CITIZENSHIP box).
  • Don’t leave any blanks (enter “N/A” or “none” as needed).
  • Be sure the applicant and the official taking the prints signs the application form in the appropriate locations.
  • Be sure to request that the person who takes the fingerprints places the FD-258 cards in an envelope and that the Embassy seal (a small round ink stamp) is on the flap of the sealed envelope. Fingerprint cards have been returned for not having this seal.
  • Send the completed cards (in the sealed envelope), along with the N-400 application, and all other required documents to USCIS.

U.S. Department of State

The Lessons of 1989: Freedom and Our Future