Tests Required for Citizenship
October 11, 2018
Men and women seeking to become United States citizens are required to pass certain tests as part of the naturalization process. The tests are used to demonstrate an understanding of history and government of the United States, as well as the English language.
To assist applicants, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) offers guidelines and practice questions to help applicants prepare and succeed.
Here is further information about each test and what you can expect on exam day:
The United States Civics Exam
The USCIS publishes 100 possible questions on topics including:
- United States history
- Historical figures
- Fundamental American values
- Important events
- The structure of the U.S. government
Applicants should memorize all 100 questions and answers. On exam day, a USCIS official will ask the applicant any ten questions out of the 100.
Applicants must answer six out of the ten questions correctly to pass the civics test. Study materials for the test can be found on the USCIS website.
Exceptions for the Civics Exam
Men and women who have been in the United States for at least twenty years as a permanent resident, and are at least age 65, can take an easier version of the civics exam. For this exam, applicants only have to study 20 questions in total, and answer six out of ten correctly to pass.
The test can be given in the applicant’s native language, but they must bring their own interpreter. Applicants with mental or physical limitations can apply for a special waiver to be exempt from the test as well.
The English Language Exam
This portion of the citizenship process shows that applicants can read and write in English. The USCIS officer interviews the applicant in English and observes their responses.
Applicants are also asked to read a brief passage and write a sentence dictated by the officer. The USCIS website also provides study materials for the English exam online.
Exceptions for The English Exam
Men and women who are at least 50 years old and have been living in the United States on a green card for a minimum of 20 years at the time of their application, can have the entire citizenship interview and test conducted in their native language. This is called a “50/20” waiver.
Alternatively, men and women who are at least 55, and have been living as a green card holder in the United States for a minimum of fifteen years, can also have their citizenship interview and test administered in their own language; this is a “15/15” waiver.
Anyone with a disability that prevents them from learning English can apply for a waiver to have their test in their native language as well.
Philadelphia Citizenship Lawyers at The Law Offices of MC Law Group, LLC, P.C Guide Clients through the Citizenship Process
The civics and English exams are just one part of the path to citizenship. The process can seem daunting, but your Philadelphia citizenship lawyer at the Law Offices of MC Law Group, LLC is your advocate and partner every step of the way. Trust us to give you the best legal guidance for all your immigration matters.
To schedule a free initial consultation about your situation, call 215-496-0690 or contact us online using the simple web form. Located in Philadelphia, we proudly serve clients throughout Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and across the nation.