Most United States citizens are natural-born citizens. Either because their parents are citizens or because their birth occurred in the United States, they have been citizens since they took their first breaths.
However, there is another group of citizens, and these became citizens by choice. Naturalized citizens are those who were initially residents of another country, but have since completed the naturalization process overseen by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to become American citizens.
Following the right immigration protocols and filing the correct paperwork is part of the naturalization process. Immigrants also have to pass two different tests. So, what are the testing requirements for naturalization?
A grasp of English is imperative
One of the most important factors in naturalization is a good grasp of the English language. Some immigrants who have been in the country for many years and are over a certain age may qualify for testing exemptions, but the majority of prospective citizens have to prove that they are proficient in English.
The testing process requires reading, auditory comprehension, speaking, and writing in English. Applicants have to speak and write in English as part of the test. This part of the process occurs during the naturalization eligibility interview.
The civics test
In addition to showing that they can communicate in English, immigrants who want to naturalize must learn about our nation’s laws and government. They need to pass a civics test to demonstrate an understanding of America’s laws.
The civics test is oral. The representative from the USCIS administering the test will ask 20 questions from a list of 128 total possible questions. The person taking the test must answer 12 of the 20 questions correctly to pass. Those preparing for the civics test can review a list of all 128 potential questions from the USCIS website.
If someone fails either of the tests, retakes may be an option. Retaking a test typically occurs within 60 to 90 days of the first test. Those with disabling medical conditions may qualify for accommodations or, in rare cases, exemptions. Most everyone else can pass these tests with enough preparation and support.
Learning the requirements for naturalization can help you achieve your dreams of becoming a full-fledged citizen.