How to Prepare for the Citizenship Test and Interview

There are plenty of immigrants in the U.S. who are ready to take the next step toward citizenship. If you’re a green card holder, it’s possible the next step in your journey involves passing a citizenship test and completing an interview.

It’s common to be stressed about this part of the 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.

These are the documents you’ll need for your citizenship appointment:

  • 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 of your N-400 information in the same folder, so 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. Do your best to look over the list of required documents well in advance of your appointment. The last thing you want is to be delayed even further because you forgot to make a copy of one form.

Here’s what to look for in the citizenship test and interview:

Citizenship Civics Test

Your citizenship test will include a 100-question written exam. The questions will cover civics topics. That means most of the questions will cover U.S. history and government.

Below are five examples of the types of questions you’re likely to see on the exam:

  1. “How many stars are there on our flag?”
    Answer: Fifty (50).
  2. “What do the stripes on the flag signify?”
    Answer: They represent the original 13 colonies.
  3. “From what country did the U.S. win independence?”
    Answer: Great Britain.
  4. “How long is the term of office for president?”
    Answer: Four years.
  5. “How many branches are there in the U.S. government?”
    Answer: Three (3).

Interview (Reading, Writing & Speaking English)
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. In addition, you’ll be asked up to 10 of 100 questions on the civic test out loud during the interview. Of these 10 questions, you must answer aloud correctly six times. Your interviewer will do his or her best to find out your background and why you are seeking citizenship.

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