How To Prepare For The Citizenship Interview

The citizenship interview can be intimidating. But don’t worry—it’s simple to prepare for it. Here’s all the information you need.

Need help preparing for your test & interview? offers a comprehensive DVD study guide to help you pass the U.S. Citizenship Test & Interview.

When Is My Interview?

You will receive an interview appointment in the mail that will include the date and time of your interview, the address of the local USCIS office, and general documentation needed for your interview.

What Do I Bring To My Interview?

It’s a good idea to arrive 15min early. You are required to bring the following documents to your interview:

  • Appointment notice
  • Permanent resident card
  • Passports
  • State identification card (driver’s license)

There are other documents you should bring to your interview 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

At the Interview

The Oath

You will be placed under oath before the interview starts. This means you will have to promise to tell the truth.

Reviewing Your N-400 Application

Much of the interview consists of reviewing your N-400 naturalization application and the documents you submitted with your application.

During this portion of the interview, the officer is also checking your ability to speak and understand English. This is the “speaking” portion of the English test, a requirement to be approved for naturalization. Even though this is an English test, it’s OK to ask the officer to repeat or rephrase it a question if you don’t understand.

The officer may ask you questions about your name, past marriages, recent travel, problems with the law or jail time, military service, membership in a group, and allegiance to the United States and the U.S. Constitution. Be honest. They are just confirming the information you stated on your N-400 application and checking to see if anything has changed since you submitted it. It may be helpful to review your N-400 application before your interview.

Signing Your Application and Photographs

The officer will have you sign your application and the photographs you submitted with your application.

The Civics, Reading & Writing Tests

In some cases, the civics, reading and writing tests are given before your interview and sometimes after. Be prepared for either scenario.

The U.S. history and civics test has 10 questions that will be asked orally. You must get six questions correct to pass. The 10 questions come from a list of 100 that are available through the USCIS website. Click here to download the Civics Questions.

The English reading and writing sentences require you to read and write one sentence correctly. You have three chances.

At the end of the test, the officer will tell you your results. Know that if you fail any portion of the English test, the civics test, or all tests during the initial exam, the USCIS will reschedule you to appear for a second examination between 60 and 90 days later.

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!

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