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What Tests Are Required for United States Citizenship?

There are many requirements that a person must satisfy before they are eligible to become a United States citizen. One of those requirements involves passing two tests that help determine how familiar a person is with the United States. By taking a U.S. civics and English exam. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will determine if a person is ready to become a citizen.

Two Exams That Help Determine Citizenship

The purpose of citizenship exams is twofold. These tests determine if a person has a basic understanding of:

  • Speaking, reading, and writing in the English language
  • United States history and government principles

USCIS encourages those that are taking these exams to prepare by using the resources available on their website. An applicant can read the questions and answers for the entire civics exam and learn key words and vocabulary for the language exam. If a person is struggling, outside help can be obtained at adult schools.

What should I expect for the civics exam?

The civics exam will be administered by a USCIS agent. Out of 100 possible questions, the agent will ask the interviewee a total of 10. If 6 of the 10 are answered correctly, the person has passed and can be granted United States citizenship.

How can I prepare for the language exam?

The language exam will occur during the citizenship interview. The interviewer will conduct the exam entirely in English and it will require the applicant to speak, write, and read in English. Passing this portion of the citizenship test will be determined by how effectively a person is able to communicate in English.

A person can prepare by taking courses online or signing up for local adult English classes. There are plenty of helpful resources that teach basic English vocabulary to people at any starting point.

What if someone is unable to pass these requirements?

If a person is unable to pass these citizenship requirements, citizenship will not be granted. However, if a person is a certain age or has a disability, there may be exemptions available.

If an applicant faces issues with parts of the citizenship tests because of age-related complications, there may be an easier version available for them to take instead.

The age-related waivers include:

  • Those over the age of 65 with 20 years of residency can take an altered civics exam
  • Those over the age of 55 with 15 years of residency and a green card can take the language exam in their native language
  • Those over the age of 50 with 20 years of residency and a green card can take the language exam in their native language

For a disability, a waiver can be provided if a doctor can confirm a person's inability to take the exam and exactly what prevents their ability to learn civics or language.

If a person that is eligible for a waiver is unable to get one, it may be helpful to involve the assistance of an immigration attorney. An immigration lawyer can act as a representative to ensure that the citizenship process is as easy as possible. Give our firm a call for your citizenship exam needs today!

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