US Citizenship Questionnaire about Affiliations
November 29, 2010 8:20 PM   Subscribe

I'm applying for US Citizenship. How should I answer the question about affiliations & groups that I'm a member of?

I'm a US Permanent Legal Resident (or green card holder) and am starting the process of applying for US citizenship. The one question that has me mildly stumped in form N-400, Part 10, B. titled "Affiliations" is this:

"Have you ever been a member of or associated with any organization, association, fund foundation, party, club, society, or similar group in the United States or in any other place?"

What types of groups should be listed? Does this mean I need to list things like the Boy Scouts (actually the Sea Scouts in Ireland), Meetup Groups (like the PHP Users Group), Costco, and Metafilter (is Metafilter an organizzzation*)? I'm not a member of any political parties, armies, militia's etc (which might be the the intent of the question).

The instructions for the form don't cover this question and I want to make sure that I complete the form as truthfully as possibly.

*See I'm American! I spelt it with a Z! :)

posted by zaphod to Law & Government (10 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
They are looking for people to say they're members of groups hostile to the Unites Sates. Put down all the innocuous groups you list and move on.
posted by dfriedman at 8:30 PM on November 29, 2010

Agree with dfriedman. I would put down any group you have a membership card for or actively participate in. Congratulations!
posted by the foreground at 8:40 PM on November 29, 2010

Anecdote: When I did my N-400, I didn't list any online groups or things like Costco memberships, I only listed the charity I was volunteering with and one professional group. I would suggest only listing well-known organizations - like the Boy Scouts/Sea Scouts or American Farmers Association, or organizations like that. My layman's understanding of that question is that they are looking for undisclosed affiliations with known groups like the KKK or similar.

I would suggest taking a look at a few immigration forums ( or to see if this question has been covered.
posted by gemmy at 8:41 PM on November 29, 2010 [1 favorite]

IANYL Most people leave that section blank unless they have something specific that pertains to their application (ie: member of the Jehovas Witness church which comes into play when you answer "no" to taking the Oath in the bottom section of the application), member of the AFL-CIO, etc. but you don't need to list any of the groups you noted above. Obviously if you are part of a group that will come up on a background check (former leader of the PLO) you may want to include it.
posted by MsKim at 8:44 PM on November 29, 2010

I'm struggling to find it, but there is a post somewhere on visajourney confirming the idea that they're not looking for a list of your more mundane affiliations. Definitely do some searches there as gemmy says.
posted by galaksit at 8:47 PM on November 29, 2010

I put down charities I actively volunteer for, my alumni association, the Mountaineers, and a civic symphony orchestra I played for.
posted by halogen at 9:27 PM on November 29, 2010

I'm an immigration attorney. Put down whatever you want. As long as you don't write Hezbollah or the FARC or something you'll be fine.
posted by lockestockbarrel at 10:11 PM on November 29, 2010 [9 favorites]

when I filled out that section I just put everything. (which for me was professional associations, scientific societies etc.). I know they didn't care about it, and are looking for stuff like terrorist groups, but what are they gonna do? Laugh at me?
posted by gaspode at 6:36 AM on November 30, 2010

Thanks for the replies. I'll put down all the groups that I was or am an active member of. This include the Scouts, and various Meetup & Linux Groups for technical discussions.

@gemmy: I'd already looked at those forums and the replies were inconsistent, which is why I turned to the hivemind. Thanks! :)
posted by zaphod at 7:44 PM on December 4, 2010

I listed all the groups I was a member of, the interview went well, and I'll be naturalized in June 2011.
posted by zaphod at 8:58 AM on May 30, 2011

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