When you apply for U.S. citizenship, you’re going to need patience and determination. Becoming a citizen isn’t easy, but it can be done with the right preparation beforehand. We provide you with the resources and information you need to get started the right way.
There are plenty of immigrants in the U.S. who are ready to take the next step toward citizenship, and we help them know what to expect. If you’re a green card holder and fit all the criteria, you can apply to take a United States citizenship test and complete an interview.
Is the US Citizenship Test Hard to Pass?
How difficult the U.S citizenship test will be is subjective. On a general principle, the test isn’t as hard as you may think it is. But it depends on how much preparation you’ve done beforehand.
However, if you haven’t brushed up on United States history or the English language, you might find it a lot harder compared to someone else who has.
It’s in your best interests to take the steps necessary to study and prepare as much as you can prior to the interview and test. Part of preparing for the test is knowing what to expect.
What to Expect During Your Interview and Tests
During your naturalization interview, a USCIS Officer will ask you questions about your application and background. Your interviewer will do his or her best to find out your background and why you are seeking citizenship.
There are multiple parts of your United States citizenship test that will assess your understanding of several different key areas.
Reading & Writing Tests
There are both written and verbal assessments of your English language skill level. The verbal portion contains three segments of a test meant to assess your skills in English – reading, writing, and speaking. That assessment will take place for the majority of the interview part of this process.
The reading portion involves reading one of three sentences correctly to a USCIS officer. For the writing portion of the test, you must write one out of three sentences correctly to demonstrate an ability to write in English.
Part of your U.S. citizenship exam includes a speaking test. A USCIS Officer will determine your ability to speak English during your eligibility interview regarding your Form N-400, Application for Naturalization. You will need to demonstrate your ability to speak and understand basic commands and sentences in English.
There are 100 civics questions on the naturalization test. During your naturalization interview, you will get asked up to ten questions from the list of 100 questions. You must answer six of the ten questions correctly to pass the civics test. For many, the civics test can be especially challenging. The USCIS provides practice questions with answers to help you prepare.
You have two opportunities to take the English and civics tests per application. If you fail any portion of the test during your first interview, you can retake the portion of the test that you failed between 60 and 90 days from the date of your initial interview.
The questions concentrate on basic information about United States history and government. It’s recommended that applicants study the civics questions to prepare for the U.S. citizenship test and interview.
What If a Petitioner Does Not Speak English?
Understanding of the English language is a prerequisite for U.S. citizenship. However, there are some exceptions and accommodation for the English language requirement. There are exemptions from the language requirement if:
- You are over 50 years old and have resided in the U.S. for 20 years as a permanent resident.
- You are over 55 years old and have resided in the U.S. for 15 years as a permanent resident.
Applicants are allowed to take the civics test in their native language. If you take the test in another language, you will have to bring an interpreter to your interview. Your interpreter must be fluent in both English and your native language.
Get Rest Before the Test
It’s common to feel stressed about the testing part of the naturalization process, but there’s no need to be. Make sure you get a good night of sleep the night before and dress appropriately for your interview. Think of it as if you’re going in for a job interview. Dress professionally and be organized. Have all the documents you need in a folder to keep things neat and wrinkle-free.
Documents Required for Your Citizenship Appointment
Do your best to look over this list of required documents well in advance of your appointment for your U.S. citizenship exam. The last thing you want is to get delayed even further because you forgot to make a copy of one form.
- Permanent resident card (green card)
- A copy of both the front and back sides of your permanent resident card
- Driver’s license or state-issued identification card
- All current and expired passports and other travel documents
- Copies of your tax returns from the last five years (three years if you’re married to a U.S. citizen)
- A copy of whatever documentation you used in your application
In addition to these documents, put all your N-400 information in the same folder so that it’s easily accessible. Information should include a copy of the application itself, any correspondence between you and USCIS, and any other kind of supporting documents for your application for U.S. citizenship.
Depending on your answers to the N-400 form, you may need additional forms to avoid any delays in processing:
|If you’ve gotten married…||Proof of marital status (marriage certificate)|
|If you’ve changed your name…||Court decree for a name change (marriage certificate or certified document)|
|If your spouse was previously married…||Evidence that your spouse’s previous marriage was terminated (divorce certificate or death certificate)|
|If you have been arrested or detained by the police…||Original or certified copies of court dispositions|
|If you are a man between 18 and 31 years old…||Proof of Selective Service Registration|
What Happens After the Interview?
After the interview, you will be scheduled to attend a Naturalization Ceremony where you will take the Oath of Allegiance. After this, you will receive your Certificate of Naturalization and officially be a U.S. citizen!
Get Ready for Your US Citizenship Test the Right Way
FileRight can help you get ready for your U.S. citizenship test. Becoming a U.S. citizen is a long, arduous process. You don’t want to end up repeating the whole thing over or facing significant delays because of ill preparation.
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