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US Citizenship test: Can I pass? | homeis

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Like most things in life, there’s a test to become a naturalized U.S citizen. It is called the U.S. citizenship or naturalization test. In this test or interview, you have to answer questions related to your application as well as your background. Apart from this, you also have to give an English and Civics test unless you qualify for an exemption or waiver.


In this guide we will tell you more about Naturalization, the requirements for it, the test and its parts, how to prepare for it and what happens after the exam as well as what to do if you fail.


What is Naturalization:


It is the manner in which a person who is not born in the United States voluntarily becomes a U.S. citizen.


Requirements for Naturalization:


  • Be at least 18 years old at the time of filing Form N-400, Application for Naturalization.
  • Be a permanent resident (have a “Green Card”) for at least 5 years.
  • Show that you have lived for at least 3 months in the state or USCIS district where you apply.
  • Demonstrate continuous residence in the United States for at least 5 years immediately preceding the date of filing Form N-400.
  • Show that you have been physically present in the United States for at least 30 months out of the 5 years immediately preceding the date of filing Form N-400.
  • Be able to read, write, and speak basic English.
  • Have a basic understanding of U.S. history and government (civics).
  • Be a person of good moral character.
  • Demonstrate an attachment to the principles and ideals of the U.S. Constitution.


Naturalization process:


In general, the naturalization process includes the following steps:

  • Determine if you are already a U.S. citizen.
  • Determine your eligibility to become a U.S. citizen.
  • Prepare Form N-400, Application for Naturalization.
  • Submit Form N-400, Application for Naturalization.
  • Go to the biometrics (fingerprinting) appointment, if applicable.
  • Complete the interview.
  • Receive a decision from USCIS on your Form N-400, Application for Naturalization.
  • Receive a notice to take the Oath of Allegiance.
  • Take the Oath of Allegiance to the United States.
  • Understand your rights and responsibilities as a U.S. citizen.

 

 

US Citizenship / Naturalization Test:


In this test, the USCIS officer will ask you questions on the entries you have made in the N-400 Application form. These questions will mainly be about your background.

You also have to give an English & Civics test.


The English test has 3 parts:


Reading:

You need to read 1 out of 3 sentences correctly to demonstrate an ability to read English. Here’s a link to study for the same: Reading Test Vocabulary List (PDF, 185 KB) 


Speaking:

You will demonstrate your ability to speak in English by answering questions during the interview.


Writing:

You will demonstrate your ability to write in English by correctly writing one out of three sentences. Study Link: Writing Test Vocabulary List


The Civics tests covers questions about the U.S History and government. You will be asked 10 questions form a list of 100 questions out of which you need to answer 6 correctly.

Here is a link to prepare for the Civics test: 100 civics questions on the naturalization test (PDF, 296 KB)


How to Prepare for Citizenship Test


If you have worked or studied in the United States, the test would be simple for you. If you have access to the internet, the easiest way to prepare for the Citizen test is to study the materials provided by the USCIS. Many of them are already linked in this guide.


Exceptions in Citizenship Test:


You may be eligible for a waiver of the English test if you meet certain requirements. There are two types of exemptions: your age and time as permanent resident, or medical reasons.

  • Waiver 1: If you are over 50 years old and have lived in the United States as a Permanent Resident for periods totaling at least 20 years (50/20 exemption); Or,
  • Waiver 2: If you are over 55 years old and have lived in the United States as a Permanent Resident for periods totaling at least 15 years (55/15 exemption); Or,
  • Waiver 3: If you are over 65 years old and have lived in the United States as a Permanent Resident for periods totaling at least 20 years; Or,
  • Waiver 4: If you have a physical or mental disability that prevents you from complying with the English and civics requirements.

Note that your time as a permanent resident does not have to be continuous. As long as your total time after you obtained a green card meets the requirement, you will be eligible for the English test exemption.


Exemptions to the Civics Test Requirement


  • If you are eligible for Waiver 1 (50/20 exemption) or Waiver 2 (55/15 exemption), you are exempt from taking the English test, but you still must take the civics test. You can choose a language for your civics test, however.
  • If you are eligible for Waiver 3 (65/20 exemption), you are exempt from taking the English test but must take a simplified version of the civics test. Again, you can use a language of your choice for the test.
  • If you are eligible for Waiver 4 (medical exemption), you are exempt from both English and civics tests.
  • If you choose to take the civics test in your native language, or any language other than English, you must bring an interpreter with you to the interview.
  • If you are age 65 or older and have been a permanent resident for at least 20 years at the time of filing for naturalization, you will be given special consideration regarding the civics requirement.


For a detailed list of waivers, exemptions and exceptions, refer this link of USCIS: https://www.uscis.gov/us-citizenship/citizenship-through-naturalization/exceptions-and-accommodations


Here is a link to a video from the USCIS that shows through simulations they way the interview may be conducted. Please watch it to prepare for the interview and clear any doubts you may have regarding the interview process.


Link: https://www.uscis.gov/citizenship/learners/study-test/study-materials-civics-test/uscis-naturalization-interview-and-test-video


What Happens After the Exam?


If you have passed your test the next steps would be:

  • Receive a decision from USCIS on your Form N-400, Application for Naturalization.
  • Receive a notice to take the Oath of Allegiance.
  • Take the Oath of Allegiance to the United States.
  • Understand your rights and responsibilities as a U.S. citizen.


What happens if you fail?


Every candidate has 2 chances to pass the English & Civics Test.

So, if you fail for the first time, you will be tested again after 60-90 days on the portions of the test you has failed for the first time. For example, if you pass the Reading and Writing Test but Fail the Speaking Test, the next time you only have to appear for the Speaking test. Or if you passed English but failed in Civics you need to appear only for the Civics test.


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