If you already live in the United States thanks to a green card or permanent resident card or through a work-related nonimmigrant visa, the idea of becoming a naturalized citizen may have already crossed your mind.
Naturalization allows someone born in another country to officially become a United States citizen. However, there are special requirements for naturalized citizens that many immigrants might find intimidating.
For many people, the biggest deterrent to the naturalization process is knowing that there will be a pair of tests required before they secure their citizenship. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) requires that those hoping to become naturalized citizens first successfully pass two tests.
The two tests required as part of the naturalization process are an English test and a Civics test. The English test is meant to establish proficiency in the dominant language used in the United States. In order to demonstrate comprehension of the English language, test-takers will have to read and answer questions, complete a spoken test and also submit writing of their own.
The Civics test is meant to verify that a potential new citizen understands their role and how the United States government functions. There are 100 potential questions, and each applicant will have to answer 10 questions during their naturalization interview. If they get six of those 10 correct, they pass the test.
The tests for naturalization are not pop quizzes that you have no chance to prepare for and only have one chance to take. As soon as you decide that naturalization is your goal, you can start preparing for the test.
The USCIS itself provides study guides and information for potential test-takers. There are also plenty of resources available to help you study both Civics and the complex English language. Additionally, those who don’t pass the naturalization test the first time don’t have to worry about that initial failure too much. They will also have the option of taking the failed portion of the test again, although a second failure will result in a denial of their application.