Preparing for the U.S. Citizenship Test and Interview

Over the past decade, more than 7.5 million people have become U.S. citizens through the process of naturalization. Still, millions more eligible green card holders don’t take advantage of this opportunity because they are concerned about passing the citizenship test and interview.

The reality is that you don’t have to be concerned at all. Although it may seem like an overwhelming obstacle, there are many resources that have been made available to teach you everything you need to know to pass your citizenship test and interview. So, when the time comes for your test and interview, you will be prepared and confident.

UsImmigrationForms / HOW TO PREPARE FOR THE U.S. CITIZENSHIP TEST AND INTERVIEW

Millions of eligible permanent residents never take advantage of becoming naturalized U.S. citizens because they are concerned about the citizenship test and interview. Don’t miss out on your opportunity.

By preparing for the test and interview and knowing what to expect, you can be ready to confidently answer any question and easily clear this hurdle to become a naturalized U.S. citizen.

What to Expect at Your Citizenship Interview

At your interview, you should expect the USCIS officer to ask for your identification, place you under oath to promise to tell the truth, and ask you questions about the following things:

 Your history

 Evidence in support of your case

 Your residence and how long you have been there

 Your belief in the ideals of the U.S. Constitution and your readiness to swear allegiance to them

 Your character

Be very familiar with the information on your N-400. The USCIS will test, not only your English language skills by reviewing the application with you, but also the accuracy of the answers you have provided. You should be prepared to explain any discrepancies between your answers and your supporting documents. You also need to be prepared to give additional information, including details about any recent trips abroad. Your ability to communicate with the interviewing officer in English will be part of your test.

Many minor changes including a new address or job will generally have no impact on your eligibility to naturalize. Some changes, however, can have a tremendous impact, including:

 Travel abroad for longer than 6 months

 Arrests for certain crimes or other blemishes to your good character
 Recent divorce of the U.S. citizen who sponsored you (for 3-year marriage based applicants)

Consultation with an immigration attorney may be advised under these circumstances.

Usimmigrationforms.com is not a law firm. We do not provide legal advise or opinion to our customers. If you have a complicated case or need to receive a legal advise please consult with an experienced immigration attorney.

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Immigration Advocacy Service

With our Attorney Application Review option, you can choose to have an experienced immigration attorney review your application and correct any mistakes.

With our Attorney Application Review option, you can choose to have an experienced immigration attorney review your application and correct any mistakes.

Preparing for the English Test

From the moment you are greeted by the interviewing USCIS officer, he or she will be assessing your ability to communicate with him or her in English. Unless you have been allowed an exemption from the English requirements, during the interview, your ability to speak, read, and write English will be evaluated. If you don’t understand a question, you may ask the officer to rephrase it.

The following tests will be administered to evaluate your English skills:

  • Your answers to the questions asked by the USCIS officer will establish your ability to speak English.
  • You will be asked to read 1 out of 3 sentences so the USCIS officer can gauge your understanding of the sentence.
  • You will be asked to write 1 out of 3 sentences so the USCIS officer can gauge your understanding of the sentence.

The following resources are available from USCIS to help you study for your English test.

(BOXES)

These printable flash cards are an easy way to help you learn the vocabulary words you’ll need to know for the English reading portion of the test.

Writing Flash Cards

These printable flash cards are an easy way to learn the vocabulary words you’ll need to know for the English writing portion of the test.

Reading Test Vocabulary List

A comprehensive list of vocabulary words for the English reading portion of the test.

Understanding Commands for the Naturalization Interview

This listening activity will help you recognize commands you may hear during your interview. Download the flash cards to reinforce what you’re learning.

Vocabulary for the Naturalization Interview: Self-Test 1

This reading activity contains words and phrases seen on the Application for Naturalization or heard during the interview.

Vocabulary for the Citizenship Interview: Self-Test 2

This reading and listening activity contains words and phrases seen on the Application for Naturalization or heard during the citizenship interview.

During your interview, you will be tested- in English- on your knowledge of U.S. history and government. Some applicants may qualify for an exemption that allows them to take this test in the language of their choice, or maybe even a simplified version of the test.
Most applicants, however, will be required to answer 6 out of 10 civics questions correctly to pass. These questions will be drawn from a list of 100 questions that you will be able to study before the interview.
USCIS provides several free online study tools to help you study for the civics portion of your citizenship test.

Complete list of civics test questions and answers.

Complete list of civics test questions and answers.

Study for the civics portion of the test with these online videos and activities highlighting museum objects from the Smithsonian Institution.

One of the four different self-tests available to help you practice your knowledge of U.S. history and government.

One of the four different self-tests available to help you practice your knowledge of U.S. history and government.

Civics Flashcards
(English version)

Downloadable flash cards that contain each of the 100 questions and answers for the civics portion of the citizenship test.

Civics Flashcards 
(Spanish version)

Downloadable flash cards that contain each of the 100 questions and answers for the civics portion of the citizenship test.

Brief video overview of the naturalization process and test.

Video introduction to U.S. History and Civics and highlights of the rights and responsibilities of U.S. citizens.

Quick Civics Lessons
A study booklet that contains short lessons related to each of the 100 civics test questions and answers.

Usimmigrationforms.com is not a law firm. We do not provide legal advise or opinion to our customers. If you have a complicated case or need to receive a legal advise please consult with an experienced immigration attorney.

Immigration Advocacy Service

Immigration Advocacy Service

With our Attorney Application Review option, you can choose to have an experienced immigration attorney review your application and correct any mistakes.

With our Attorney Application Review option, you can choose to have an experienced immigration attorney review your application and correct any mistakes.

What You Should Take to Your Citizenship Interview

You should keep a record of your naturalization paperwork beginning with a copy of your completed Form N-400, Application for Naturalization. In your file, include copies of all supporting documents and any correspondence exchanged between you and USCIS.

Be sure to take this file with you to your interview, along with anything else requested on your appointment notice.

U.S. Citizenship Test Exemptions and Accommodations

Certain modifications and exemptions to the naturalization requirements are available to qualifying applicants.

English Language Exemptions

As you are filling out your Form N-400, Application for Naturalization, you can choose certain exemptions. The following are English language requirement exemptions you may qualify for:

 The “50/20” Exception. For applicants 50 years of age or older at the time of filing who have lived in the U.S. as a permanent resident (green card holder) for at least 20 years; or

 The “55/15” Exception. For applicants 55 years of age or older at the time of filing who have lived in the U.S. as a permanent resident (green card holder) for at least 15 years.

Civics Test Accommodations

Applicants who qualify for the “50/20” or “55/15” exception for English language requirements listed above are not exempt from the civics portion of the U.S. citizenship test. Applicants who qualify for the exemptions discussed above will be allowed to take the civics test in the language of their choice.

To be able to use an interpreter for the civics test, you must bring an interpreter with you who is fluent in both English and the language you have chosen to take your test in.

Applicants who are 65 years of age or older at the time of filing and have been a permanent resident (green card holder) for a minimum of 20 years will be allowed to take a simplified version of the civics test

Exemptions for Applicants with Disabilities

Applicants with a mental impairment or physical or developmental disability that keeps them from satisfying the English language or civics requirements for naturalization may be allowed to exempt portions of the naturalization test. To request such an exemption, applicants should submit an original Form N-648, Medical Certification for Disability Exceptions along with their Form N-400. This form should be completed by a licensed clinical psychologist or licensed medical or osteopathic doctor no more than 6 months before filing Form N-400.

U.S. CITIZENSHIP INTERVIEW AND TEST FAQS

Should I wear any special clothing to my naturalization interview?
While formal attire is not necessary, you should dress professionally. A shirt with a collar or nice blouse for women will be sufficient. A suit and tie is certainly appropriate, but remember to also dress comfortably.
Can I reschedule my interview time?

You can, but it is strongly recommended you attend the scheduled time. This interview time has been set aside especially for you and rescheduling could set your naturalization process back by months.

When should I arrive for my naturalization interview?

Arriving 15 to 20 minutes before your scheduled appointment time is recommended. Allow yourself enough time to clear security and navigate unfamiliar surroundings. USCIS typically schedules interviews in blocks of time, so you could be called either at the beginning or the end of the time block. Chances are you will have to wait once you check in, but that’s better than being late and risking having your case closed.

What if I don’t pass both parts of the naturalization test?

If you fail any portion of the test, the interview will be stopped and rescheduled for another time within the next 90 days. If you cannot pass all portions of the test on your second interview, your N-400 will be denied.

When will I find out if I’ve been approved?

You should know the outcome immediately. You will receive Form N-652, Naturalization Interview results. This form will indicate one of three results:

  1. This means USCIS approved your N-400 based on evidence establishing your eligibility.
  2. This means You failed part of the test or you did not give USCIS all the appropriate documents. You will be given more time to make the necessary corrections.
  3. This means USCIS could not establish your eligibility to naturalize based on the evidence you submitted.

If you were approved you will be scheduled for an oath ceremony where you will officially become a U.S. citizen.

If your case is continued, you will be notified of the corrections you need to make.

If you were denied, you have the right to appeal the decision.

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Usimmigrationforms.com is not a law firm. We do not provide legal advise or opinion to our customers. If you have a complicated case or need to receive a legal advise please consult with an experienced immigration attorney.

Immigration Advocacy Service

Immigration Advocacy Service

With our Attorney Application Review option, you can choose to have an experienced immigration attorney review your application and correct any mistakes.

With our Attorney Application Review option, you can choose to have an experienced immigration attorney review your application and correct any mistakes.

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