Overview of the Naturalization Test

Part of the naturalization process involves the applicant for citizenship in the United States being interviewed at a local U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services office. During the interview, the applicant is tested on his or her ability to read, write, and speak English, as well as to take a civics test on the history and government of the United States. Age and mental condition may exempt some applicants from the test. Here is what to expect:

1) The Language Test

This test, demonstrating proficiency in English, establishes that the applicant will be able to participate in economic and social aspects of life in the United States. The test is not to prove that the applicant is bilingual, but rather to demonstrate basic proficiency. An ESL (English as a Second Language) Course may be helpful in preparing the applicant for this process.

Reading- The applicant may be asked to read aloud from portions of the Form N-400, Application for Naturalization.

Writing- The applicant will be asked to write one or two simple sentences.

Speaking- The applicant will be asked questions about himself or herself during the interview.

2) The Civics Test

This test covers basic information concerning the history and government of the United States. This requirement may be waived if the applicant has a medically demonstrable impairment, either physical or mental, which would negatively affect his or her ability to learn or understand the relevant facts. Furthermore, applicants over the age of 65, who have been living legally in the United States for more than twenty years, may receive special consideration on this test.