Naturalization applicants may request a USCIS hearing before an officer on the denial of the naturalization (Form N-400) application.The review must be requested within  30 days after receiving the denial notice (33 days if notice was mailed by USCIS).

The hearing is conducted by an officer other than the officer who conducted the original examination or the officer who denied the application.

The officer conducts a de novo review of the naturalization application or may utilize a less formal review procedure. A de novo review means that the officer makes a new and full review of the naturalization application.

An officer conducting the hearing has the authority and discretion to: Review all aspects of the naturalization application and examine the applicant anew; Review any record, file or report created as part of the examination; Receive new evidence and testimony relevant to the applicant’s eligibility; and Affirm the previous officer’s denial or re-determine the decision in whole or in part.

If an applicant files a hearing request over 30 days after receiving the denial notice (33 days if notice was mailed by USCIS), USCIS considers the request improperly filed. If an applicant’s untimely hearing request meets either the motion to reopen or motion to reconsider requirements, USCIS will treat the hearing request as a motion. USCIS renders a decision on the merits of the case in such instances. If the request does not meet the motion requirements, USCIS rejects the request without refund of filing fee.


A naturalization applicant may request judicial review before a United States District Court of his or her denied naturalization application after USCIS issues the decision following the hearing with a USCIS officer. The applicant must file the request before the United States District Court having jurisdiction over the applicant’s place of residence. The District Court reviews the case de novo and makes its own findings of fact and conclusions of law.