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The basics of the USCIS naturalization interview and English test

On Behalf of | Mar 23, 2022 | Immigration

As someone with a visa, you will eventually have to leave the country. Even if you adjust your status and get a green card, there are limits to your rights as a permanent resident. You could still face removal from the country, and you have only a few options for helping your closest family members join you in the United States.

Becoming a naturalized citizen is a goal for many modern immigrants. After you have lived in the country with proper documentation for several years, you may qualify for naturalization. The successful completion of the process results in your citizenship.

There is an interview and test process for those who want to become citizens. Concerns about the interview and test process make some people too nervous to apply for naturalization. When you understand what the process involves, you may feel more confident with beginning the naturalization process.

What happens in the interview?

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will look over your application prior to your interview. The worker meeting with you may have questions about your history, the information you included in your paperwork and plans for the future. You’ll have to answer those questions honestly.

You will also need to perform a mostly oral exam in English. The English language test involves demonstrating that you can hear and comprehend spoken English and communicate with verbal English. You also need to show your ability to read and write in English by reading one of three provided sentences allowed and writing a sentence. There is also an oral Civics exam that requires that you answer 12 out of 20 questions about the United States correctly.

Does everyone have to take the test?

English is a difficult language to learn when compared with languages like Italian or Spanish. There are many irregular verbs and words from other languages. Immigrants may still struggle with the language despite having lived in the country for years.

Older immigrants who have been in the United States for a long time may qualify for exemption from the English language test but not the Civics portion. Additionally, those with disabling medical conditions may be able to request accommodations to make the test more accessible.

Understanding the rules that apply to the immigration interview and test process will improve your chances of successful naturalization.