Citizenship Exam

The citizenship exam, also referred to as the naturalization test, is a test that an immigrant must pass in order to become a naturalized United States citizen. At the interview for naturalization, an individual will need to answer questions about their background and application. Additionally, they will take a civics and English test (unless they qualify for waiver or exemption).

There are a number of study materials which are offered by the United States Citizen and Immigration Services. The website for the Citizenship Resource Center has citizenship resources for organizations, educators, and immigrants, which includes the aforementioned study materials.

Some individuals can be exempt from Civics and English requirements. Civics and English requirements for naturalization exemptions or modifications depend largely on a couple of factors.

Exemption from the English language requirement depends on two things:

  • How long the individual has lived as a green card holder or permanent resident
  • The individual’s age at the time they file for naturalization

And if an individual finds himself exempt from the English language requirement, they will still be required to take the civics requirement test. They will be able to take that test in their native language but they must supply their own interpreter to help with the interview process. That interpreter will need to be fluent in both the individual’s native language and in English.

There are any number of alterations these exemptions including the following:

  • If you are 65 or older, regarding the civics requirements, you can receive special consideration
  • If a mental, developmental, or physical disability prevents you from complying with the above-mentioned requirements, you may be exempt from both tests

To pass the civics test, out of 10 questions, the individual must answer six correctly. These 10 questions are chosen from a list of 100. Though the entire citizenship test can take up to half an hour, many complete it in under 15 minutes. It can take between two and three hours, however, for the individual’s documents to be checked over by facilitators. This is done prior to the test being taken.