Who Should Take the Citizenship Test

One of the requirements in the naturalization process is that almost all applicants are required to take an English language and a Civics test. You have to establish to the satisfaction of the interviewing officer that you can read, write and speak basic English and also that you have basic knowledge of US history and government (Civics).

Waivers for the US Citizenship Test

Depending on the applicant’s age and medically determinable physical or mental impairment, there are certain exceptions to the citizenship test.

If you are over 50 years of age and have been a lawful permanent resident (green card holder) for periods totaling at least 20 years, you need not take the English test. But you still have to take the Civics test but can take it in a language of your choice. If you are eligible for a waiver through this classification, mark in red 50/20 on top of your Naturalization application.

If you are over 55 years of age and have been a permanent resident for periods totaling at least 15 years, you need not take the English test. You still have to take the Civics test, but can take it in a language of your choice. If you fall under this category, mark in red 55/15 on top of their application.

If you are above 65 years of age and have been a permanent resident for periods totaling at least 20 years, you need not take the English test. Even under this category, you have to take the Civics test, but can take it in a language of their choice and this test will be an easier version and you will be asked about 10 questions from a list of 25. If you come under this category, mark in red 65/20 on top of your application.

If you have a medically determinable physical or mental impairment and if that impairment affects your ability to learn English and Civics, you can claim an exception to the tests. In such instances, you have to file Form N-648 requesting an exception and this form has to be filed along with the citizenship application, N-400. If you are eligible for a waiver of the English proficiency requirement, make sure you bring an interpreter.

The test is not a multiple choice test. Your US civics knowledge will be tested orally where the USCIS Officer will ask ten questions from the set of hundred 100 questions. Should you answer at least six out of ten questions correctly, you will be considered to have passed the civics test. Your speaking, reading and writing ability and how well you understand English will also be judged at your interview. You will be given three sentences and you should be able to read one sentence correctly to let the USCIS official know that you understand the meaning of the sentence. You should also write one sentence correctly out of the given three. Your speaking ability will be evaluated by the way you answer the questions asked by USCIS officers during the interview.

The final outcome of your test will be decided based on how well you have performed in the US citizenship test.


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