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English and Civics Test Requirements for U.S. Naturalization

Posted on in Immigration

New Canaan citizenship attorneyMany immigrants arrive in the U.S. with limited formal education. Other immigrants arrive with multiple degrees but are not fully fluent in speaking, reading, and writing English. Still others are well-educated and fluent in English but are age 50, 60, or older and have not had to memorize information for a test in many years. Any of these situations can leave an immigrant nervous about passing the English and civics tests necessary to qualify for U.S. citizenship by naturalization

If you are at all nervous about these particular requirements, you need not be. The tests are actually quite simple, and study aids are readily available to help you prepare. Some applicants may even be exempt from these requirements.

Exemptions From Test Requirements

You do not need to take the English test, but must take the civics test in the language of your choice if:

  • You are over 50 years old and have at least 20 years of total time as a lawful permanent resident (LPR) living in the U.S.
  • You are over 55 years old and have at least 15 years of total time as a LPR.
  • You are over 65 years old and have at least 20 years of total time as a LPR.

Individuals with a significant disability can be exempted from both the English and civics tests with a doctor’s signature on a Medical Certification for Disability Exceptions form. A disability caused by illegal drug use is not eligible for this exemption.

English Language Test Required for U.S. Naturalization

You must be able to demonstrate a basic ability to read, write, and speak English in order to become a naturalized citizen. This test will be administered during the same in-person interview at which a USCIS officer reviews your application for naturalization. For the reading portion, you will be handed a piece of paper with a sentence on it, and you must be able to read it out loud correctly. For the writing test, the officer will speak a sentence out loud, and you must write out the sentence correctly on paper. Study materials, including a vocabulary list, are available on the USCIS website.

U.S. Civics Test Required When Applying for U.S. Citizenship

On the USCIS website, you can find a standard list of 100 questions about U.S. history, the organization of the government, and the names of current elected officials. During your in-person interview, the USCIS officer will ask you up to 10 of these 100 questions orally, and you must answer them orally. You must answer at least six questions correctly in order to pass. For example, you might be asked, “Who was the first president of the U.S.?” and you would need to answer “George Washington.”

Consult a Fairfield County Citizenship Attorney

If you are concerned about being able to meet all of the requirements for naturalization, let an experienced Stamford citizenship and naturalization lawyer guide you through the process. Gonzalez Law Office, LLC will help you file your application and prepare for your in-person interview. We are committed to helping you make a smooth transition to citizenship. Contact us at 203-323-1440.



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