All people looking to immigrate to the U.S. submit their applications to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), except for those seeking asylum. The federal agency works under the homeland security dept. (DHS) and has offices in different cities across the country.
The physical locations of the USCIS serve different purposes. A field office provides case-related information, interviews immigration hopefuls, and arranges oathtaking ceremonies for immigrants becoming citizens.
The South Dakota Field Office
The federal agency has a network of Districts for their field offices. If a State does not have one of these Districts, then immigrants living in that state are served by the field location in a neighboring state. This is the case with South Dakota as well, as it’s served by the Saint Paul field office located in Minnesota at:
Saint Paul (SPM) 250 Marquette Avenue Suite 710 Minneapolis, MN 55401
The current system for visitors does not allow for walk-ins. To visit, you can make your appointment by calling the agency. Since you’ll be coming from out of state, so it’s also a good idea to confirm the office timings for the day. The field office may change its timings because of weather or something unusual happening on that day.
Case Processing Times
Depending on the application (naturalization, citizenship, etc.), it can take the agency months to years to process the application. As an applicant, you can follow your case and get the processing times 24/7 from the USCIS website.
The agency usually updates its site with the latest processing times every month. You can see these times by entering the office location and application type. Here are the processing times for the N-600, N-600K, and N-400 applications at the Saint Paul office:
- Naturalization (N-400): 16 to 19.5 months
- Certificate of Citizenship (N-600): 6 to 15 months
- Citizenship and Issuance of Certificate (N-600K): 10 to 23.5 months
The USCIS is piloting a new method for processing times for 14 different forms including the three mentioned above. For these applications, the second figure in the time range is for processing 93% of the applicants, and the first one is for 50% of the applicants.
It’s clear from these times that there can be a difference in the rate at which forms are processed. For example, it took 16 months to process half of the N-400 cases and only 3 1/2 months more to process nearly all. Whereas it took 6 months to complete half of the N-600 cases, and another 9 months to reach the 93% mark.
Another important piece of information available online is the fixed or variable filing fees fur different forms. You can calculate and pay the fee online.
The federal agency provides employers with the option to verify you as an employee online. The verification involves checking your I-9 information with the DHS and the Social Security Administration (SSA). The I-9 form is a must for U.S. employers looking to hire a citizen or non-citizen in the country. This form verifies your identity and employment authorization.