Choosing to become a citizen of the United States of America is an exciting step for anyone to take. As you probably already know, becoming an official U.S. citizen means getting access to a number of special rights reserved only for individuals who fall into two categories: those who became U.S. citizens by birth, or those who did so by pledging their allegiance to the United States, its government, and the Constitution. If you have made the decision to start the process toward becoming a U.S. citizen, you may be wondering what kind of questions you will need to answer and knowledge you will need to have in order to successfully get through the “Naturalization Interview and Test” phase.
In this article, we’re providing an overview of that process, shedding light on the types of questions you should be ready to answer during your naturalization interview, and offering a number of tips and additional resources that will help you successfully prepare for and complete your interview.
In order to be eligible for U.S. Naturalization, you must meet the following requirements:
Be 18 or older at the time of filing
You have been a permanent resident and green card holder for at least 5 years (or 3 years if you wish to to file as a spouse of a U.S. citizen)
Live in the same place for at least 3 months prior to the date of application
Have been physically in the U.S. for at least 30 months of the 5 years (or 18 months of the 3 years if filing as a spouse of a U.S. citizen)
Be able to read, write, and understand English
Be knowledgeable about U.S Civics and government
Have good moral character
For more information on additional requirements and eligibilities (including for members of the military) click here.
As a U.S. citizen, you will benefit from the following rights and privileges:
You will have the ability to vote in local, state, and federal elections
You will have the ability to bring family members to the United States permanently
You will have the ability to obtain citizenship for children born abroad
You will be able to travel with a U.S. passport
You will have the ability to apply for Federal jobs
You will have the ability to become an elected official
You will have the ability to apply for and obtain certain types of federal student aid
To learn more about the benefits of becoming a U.S. citizen, click here.
The following section will provide you with a run-down of the Naturalization Interview and Test process.
Step 1: Prepare to apply for naturalization. To prepare, read through this document.
Step 2: Prepare and organize all required and recommended documentation. Click here for a checklist for required documents. Recommended documentation would be anything that you think would help support your request or answer any additional questions that may come up during your interview regarding your past.
Step 3: Fill out and file Form N-400. This is the official Application for Naturalization form.
Step 4: Receive your Interview appointment letter from USCIS. After USCIS receives and processes your application, you will receive an interview appointment letter. You may also receive a separate appointment letter for biometric screening (fingerprints) prior to your interview appointment.
Step 5: Review your forms and study for the exams. It recommended that you review your N-400 application and any other documentation you plan to bring with you to your interview. Doing so will make answering the questions asked of you easier. As part of your interview, you will also be required to take a U.S. Civics exam. You will also be expected to display English reading, writing, and speaking proficiency. For more information on these exams, click here.
Step 6: Go to your interview. Bring all required documentation with you, and be prepared to answer all questions asked of you.
Step 7: Receive a decision letter. Following your interview, You will receive a notice on the status of your case.
Step 8: Reapply or take the Oath. Depending on whether or not your application for Naturalization was approved, you may receive a notice announcing your ceremony date. If your application was denied, you do have the option to reapply.
For more information on this process, click here.
At your interview, you may be required to answer some or all of the following questions. Note: these are sample questions. Additional questions not listed here or an entirely different list of questions could be asked at your actual interview.
Form N-400 Questions
What is your name? Have you ever used any other names?
What is your Date of Birth and where were you born?
Are either of your parents United States Citizens?
Where are you currently living and working?
When was your last trip outside the United States?
Are you a member of any type of organization?
Do you have a recorded criminal history? Have you served time in Jail?
Do you support the U.S. Constitution and Government?
U.S History and Civics Test Questions
Who was the first president?
How many U.S. Senators are there?
Where is the Statue of Liberty?
What is the capital of the United States?
What is the name of the National Anthem?
Name one problem that led to the Civil War.
When do we celebrate Independence Day?
Reading Test Questions (these are only examples of questions that might be asked. Actual questions may differ)
Please read this sentence out loud: “George Washington was the first President of the United States of America”
Please read the name of this U.S. Holiday out loud. “Americans celebrate Thanksgiving In November.”
Writing Test Questions (these are only examples of questions that might be asked. Actual questions may differ)
Please write this down the name of this U.S. President: Abraham Lincoln
Please write down the state “California”
Please write down the month “February”
During your interview, it’s crucial that you do your best to answer all questions honestly. As mentioned earlier, it’s recommended that you review your forms and supporting documentation before your interview, practice answering questions, and prepare for the writing, reading, and speaking portions of the interview and test.
For additional resources and study material, follow the links below.