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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 cards to USCIS’s National Benefits Center after you have submitted the N400 application and confirmed receipt by USCIS.

Electronic biometrics may be possible at posts with a UCSIS International Immigration 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’s website for the Recording Legible Fingerprints. Read and follow the FBI’s Guidelines for Preparation of Fingerprint Cards and Associated Criminal History Information and the additional suggestions below:

  • USCIS will only accept prints done at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate abroad. Prints done on the local economy will not be accepted.
  • 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.
  • 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 sign 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.
  • Send the completed cards (in the sealed envelope), to USCIS’s National Benefits Center after you have submitted the N400 application and confirmed receipt by USCIS.

U.S. Department of State

The Lessons of 1989: Freedom and Our Future