One way to become a U.S. citizen is through the naturalization process. Immigrants wishing to become United States citizens must go through the naturalization process at some point. Naturalization requirements vary based on an individual’s circumstances. The best place to go for a thorough understanding of naturalization eligibility is U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. If you’re planning on going through the U.S. naturalization process in the future, read on to learn more about the process, what you can expect, and tips on preparing for your naturalization interview.
What is a Naturalization Interview?
After completing your U.S. citizenship application and appearing for your biometrics appointment, the next step in becoming a U.S. citizen is the naturalization interview. In a naturalization interview, a USCIS officer will ask you a series of questions to verify your application and background. During the interview, you will also be asked to take an English test and civics exam.
The English and Civics Exams
The English test in a naturalization interview consists of three core components: reading, writing, and speaking. The civics exam will test your knowledge of important U.S. history and U.S. government topics. It is important to come to your interview well-prepared and bring the appropriate documentation.
Bringing the Proper Documentation
Along with preparing for your English and civics tests, you will need to bring specific documentation to your naturalization interview. The first document you will need to bring is your interview appointment notice. The second item you will need to present is the Form I-551, also known as your Permanent Resident Card. The third piece of documentation you will need to bring to your naturalization interview is a state-issued identification such as a driver’s license. The final documentation that you will need to present during your interview is all valid or expired passports and travel documents that document your absences from the U.S. since becoming a permanent resident.
Preparing for the Naturalization Interview
Becoming a naturalized U.S. citizen is a very exciting prospect. However, it’s important that you don’t let your excitement derail you from proper preparation. To be successful with your naturalization interview, you must set aside time to prepare yourself properly. The three main elements you will need to prepare for in your naturalization interview are the USCIS officer interview questions, the English test, and the civics exam. Check out the tips below on how to best prepare for these different elements of the naturalization interview.
Preparing for the USCIS Officer Interview Questions
As discussed earlier, during the first part of your naturalization interview, a USCIS officer will ask you a series of questions to verify your background. These interview questions will mostly be drawn from the responses you gave on your citizenship application, so it is important to be honest and thorough when filling out your initial application. Make sure to make a copy of your completed Form N-400, your naturalization application, before sending it to USCIS. Review your responses before attending your naturalization interview in order to be prepared for the questions that you will be asked.
Preparing for the English Test
After answering questions from a USCIS officer, you will go through the English test portion of the interview. Your English skills will be tested through reading, writing, and speaking. You will first be asked to read a sentence to a USCIS officer and write one sentence to the USCIS officer. The USCIS officer will grade your ability to speak English based on how you respond to questions throughout the interview. Throughout the interview, remember it is okay to ask the officer to rephrase a question if you don’t understand them. It is better to ask for clarification, rather than guessing what the officer is asking you.
Preparing for the Civics Exam
The final portion of your naturalization interview will be the U.S. civics exam. There are 100 possible questions that a USCIS officer could ask you during the civics exam. The USCIS provides a complete list of these questions, so you will be able to study before the interview day. Of the 100 possible questions, the USCIS officer with ask you a total of 10 questions, and you must answer six correctly. The test will stop as soon as you provide six correct answers. If you are unable to provide six correct answers in 10 answers or less, the interview will stop, and you will need to reschedule for another interview day within the next 90 days.
Contact an Immigration Lawyer
Becoming a naturalized U.S. citizen is an exciting yet nerve-wracking proposition. The good news is that there are plenty of resources available to help you prepare for your naturalization interview. If you have more questions or concerns regarding your eligibility for naturalization, or the naturalization process in general, it is a good idea to contact an immigration lawyer. A qualified immigration lawyer will be able to help you seamlessly navigate the entire naturalization process.