USCIS Motion to Reopen

An officer must execute a motion to reopen a previously approved naturalization application if:

  • USCIS receives or identifies disqualifying derogatory information about the applicant after approval of her application prior to the administration of the Oath of Allegiance; or
  • An applicant fails to appear for at least two ceremonies to take the Oath of Allegiance without good cause.


USCIS notifies the applicant in writing about the receipt of derogatory information or multiple failures to appear through the motion to reopen. The applicant has 15 days to respond to the motion to reopen and overcome the derogatory information or provide good cause for failing to appear at the Oath ceremony.


If the applicant overcomes the derogatory information and qualifies for naturalization, the officer denies the motion to reopen and schedules the applicant for the Oath of Allegiance. If the applicant is unable to overcome the derogatory information, the officer grants the motion to reopen and denies the application on its merits.


An applicant who fails to appear for at least two ceremonies to administer the Oath of Allegiance without good cause abandons her intent to be naturalized. USCIS considers multiple failures to appear to be equivalent to receipt of derogatory information after the approval of a naturalization application.

Motion to Reopen Administratively Closed Application

An applicant may request to reopen an administratively closed naturalization application with USCIS by submitting a written request to USCIS within one year of the date her application was administratively closed. The applicant is not required to pay any additional fees. USCIS considers the date of the applicant’s request to reopen an application as the filing date of the naturalization application for purposes of determining eligibility. USCIS sends the applicant a notice approving or denying the motion to reopen.

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