US immigration adds ‘third gender’ option on citizenship forms for those who do not identify as a male or female

Tuesday, April 2, 2024 – The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services have introduced a "third gender" option on citizenship forms to collect data of immigrants with greater accuracy, as some of them do not identify as a male or female.

Initially, the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) forms and associated documents have only offered male and female options, which has "created significant barriers" for people who do not identify with either of the two genders.

In an official statement issued on Monday, the USCIS said, "We have revised Form N-400, Application for Naturalization, to provide a third gender option, 'X', defined as 'Another Gender Identity'."

"We are also updating guidance in the USCIS Policy Manual accordingly to account for this form revision and other forthcoming form revisions that will add a third gender option," it added.

According to the authority, applicants filling Form N-400 on or after April 1, 2024, "will have X immediately available as a gender option".

It said other forms will eventually add the option.

The USCIS said "adding a third gender option helps ensure that secure identity documents and biographical data are accurate and helps both external stakeholders and individuals requesting immigration benefits".

"It is also consistent with federal and state agencies that have adopted a third gender option, such as the US Department of State’s expanded passport services to offer gender X in their application," the statement added.

With only the availability of the male and female options previously, it created significant barriers for people who did not identify with either of the two genders.

Limiting gender options also led to "administrative challenges" for USCIS when it received birth certificates or other official government-issued documents with a gender other than male or female.

In March 2023, USCIS updated its policies to allow applicants to select their gender themselves without providing supporting documentation. The move was part of the agency’s efforts to provide easier access to immigration services.

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