To become a U.S citizen, you must attend a U.S citizenship interview conducted by the USCIS and pass the citizenship exam. The better you are prepared for the exam, the better you will perform. However, the naturalization test is nothing to stress about! It’s a test conducted by the USCIS to test your English language skills and your U.S History and Civics knowledge.
The Naturalization Interview
The personal interview will be between you and a USCIS officer. The officer will explain to you the purpose of the interview, will ask to see your identification (It may be your Permanent Resident card, passport even if it is expired, any State Identification card or a Reentry Permit). and will place you under oath. There is no standard way for the Naturalization interview as every applicant presents a unique case. In general, there are a few things that will take place during the interview process, which you can expect. The USCIS officer will ask you few questions about:
Your residence in the U.S and your duration of stay
Evidence supporting your application
Your moral character
Your attachment to the Constitution and your willingness to take the Oath of Allegiance to the United States.
The USCIS officer may also ask you any other questions to check if you are eligible for citizenship. If there is any difference in the information provided by you in the Application Form N-400 and any previous documents you have submitted to the USCIS, you must explain the reasons to the USCIS officer. You must also have supporting documents and evidence.
English and Civics Test
During the interview process, the USCIS officer will test your English language ability.
Reading: You will be asked to read one sentence out of three sentences, in such a way that demonstrates to the USCIS officer that you understand the meaning of the sentence.
Writing: You will be asked to write down one sentence, out of three sentences read to you. You will have to recognise, understand and spell the words properly to write the sentence in a correct way.
Speaking: This ability is judged by the USCIS officer based on how well you understand and answer their questions during the interview. You need to practice well, in order to be fluent in English during the conversation with the USCIS officer.
For the Civics test, there are a total of 100 questions which are provided by the USCIS and are available online. During the Naturalization interview, you will be asked a total of 10 questions out which you need to get 6 right answers to pass the test. The USCIS officer will ask these questions to you orally.
Receiving the Decision
After you complete your interview, the USCIS will give you Form N-652, which gives you the result of your interview. You may be granted, denied or continued, depending on your case and your performance in the interview.
Granted: The USCIS will inform you at the end of the interview if you will be granted citizenship. Sometimes, it is possible to attend the oath ceremony on the same day after the interview. In most other cases, you will receive a notice from the USCIS later with the date and time of Oath Ceremony.
Continued: If you receive a “Continued” result, it means your case has been put on hold and it may take a few more months for your Naturalization process to complete. Some of the common reasons for the USCIS to put your case on hold may be due to:
Failing the English and Civics test: If you have failed your English and/or Civics test during the interview, you will be asked to come back within 60-90 days for another interview. If you fail the test a second time, your application will be denied by the USCIS.
Not providing sufficient documents to support your Naturalization Application: If the USCIS decides that they need more documents from you, you will be provided with a Form N-14. You can find details of the information or documents required by the USCIS in this form. It also includes details on when and how you should provide the information to USCIS. If you fail to provide the documents, USCIS will deny your application.
Denied: If the USCIS denies your Naturalization Application, you will receive a notice with the reasons for denial.