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How to prepare for your naturalization interview

The path to U.S. citizenship can be a long and winding one. You may be one of many who has waited several months just to hear back on the status of your petition, and you might even have recently found out that you have an interview coming up with the USCIS. While earning the naturalization interview can feel like a large milestone in and of itself, it is important that you prepare for the upcoming date as much as possible.

The naturalization interview consists of two components: answering general questions about yourself and your application, and taking the naturalization test. The first component may seem self-explanatory, but it is particularly important that you study for the test. There are many resources and study materials online that you can make use of, and you may want to review how the test breaks down before you begin studying:

  • The English test: The first portion of the test examines your fluency in the English language. You will be tested on your ability to read, write and speak in English. This part may seem easy for naturalization candidates who are already fluent in English, yet it is worth reviewing the vocabulary list that USCIS provides online to know what words you may be expected to pronounces or spell out. Reviewing the vocabulary list can help make sure you don't encounter any unwanted surprises during the English test.
  • The Civics test: This portion of the test examines your understanding of U.S. history and government. The interviewer may ask you questions on the structure of the constitution, or about your knowledge of national holidays. USCIS also provides a list of 100 questions for you to review in preparation for the civics tests. Although you may only be asked ten questions on your civic knowledge, reviewing all 100 questions can help you feel confident regardless of what may come your way during this test.

Plan according to your own needs

It is also worth checking to see if you qualify for any test exemptions or special accommodations. For example, if English is not your native language, you may be able to bring an interpreter with you to the test to help you understand the question. If you have held a green card for many years and meet a certain age requirement, you may be able to skip the English test entirely. You may want to review the complete guidelines online.

Earning a naturalization interview is worth being excited about. While you may not be able to predict the exact questions you might encounter during the naturalization test, studying in advance can help ensure that you walk into the interview room feeling confident and prepared.

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