The New Citizenship Test

September 29, 2011 § 2 Comments

Most naturalization applicants are required to demonstrate their proficiency in the English language by reading, writing and speaking. In addition, applicants have to take a civics test. On Oct. 1, 2008, the USCIS re-designed the citizenship questions and switched over to a new set of questions. If you had filed on or after October 1, 2008, you have to take the new test.

Previously, the citizenship test had many questions surrounding basic historical facts of the US. Many of these questions were re-designed and now it just requires more than just a one-word answer for you to prove your knowledge on the subject. Topics in the civics section were expanded and the questions re-designed. The new test was aimed at leading citizenship aspirants to a deeper and better understanding of US history and government.

During the interview, the immigration officer will speak to you in English and will ask you questions related to the citizenship application package you submitted. You have to just prove that you can understand what the interviewer is asking, and answer in simple English. You will be dictated three sentences and you should be able to write at least one sentence correctly and possibly more if the officer is not satisfied with your writing skills. Remember that there are no standard sentences and it is the interviewer’s discretion what to ask and will generally base his/her decision on your level of education and background.

Apart from English, your knowledge in US history and government will be tested. The interviewing officer does not expect you to have in depth knowledge. However, you should demonstrate that you understand the system of the US government, how it works, how and why the United States was founded and about the important events in US history. This test will be oral and the interviewer will ask ten questions from the given bunch of hundred questions. If you can answer at least six out of ten questions correctly, you will be considered to have passed the test.

There are free study materials and public libraries also have the resources/study materials to help you prepare for the test. If you have a medically determinable physical or mental impairment where that impairment is affecting your ability to learn English and Civics, you may be exempted from taking the test. You have to file Form N-648 requesting an exception and this form has to be filed along with the citizenship form, N-400. If you qualify for a waiver of the English proficiency requirement, you should be prepared to bring an interpreter with you for the interview.

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If I Fail In The Immigration Test?

April 1, 2011 § Leave a comment

The US citizenship test is not a multiple choice test. Applicants’ knowledge in US civics will be tested orally. The USCIS interviewing official will ask ten questions from the available hundred questions. You will be considered to have passed if you are able to answer at least six out of ten questions correctly.

In English, your speaking, reading and writing ability and how well you understand English will be judged. Out of the three sentences, you should read one sentence correctly to prove to the USCIS officials that you understand the meaning of the sentence. Apart from this, you should also write one sentence correctly from the given three. Your ability to speak English will be judged by the way you reply to the questions asked by USCIS officers during the interview. The final result of your test will be based on how you performed in the test.

If I Fail The Immigration Test?

If your application was rejected/denied because you failed in the English or Civics test, you can apply again as soon as you think you have learned enough English or Civics to pass the tests. You will be given a second chance if you fail any of the tests at your interview, and will be retested on the portion of the test that you failed between 60 and 90 days from the date of your original interview. If you fail again, your case will stand denied.

If you think the USCIS made a mistake in rejecting your application, you can request a hearing with an immigration official. The denial letter that USCIS sends to you will have all the details about how to request a hearing. In this case, you have to file Form N-336,”Request for Hearing on a Decision in Naturalization Proceedings” under Section 336 of the INA with the correct fee within 30 days from the date you received the denial letter.

After the appeal hearing, if you still feel your case was wrongly denied, you can file a petition for a new review of your citizenship application in a US district court.

The Naturalization Process

February 22, 2011 § 1 Comment

Get the Application for Naturalization , Form N-400

Complete the N-400 application.

Have two passport-style photographs taken.

Get the necessary supporting documents ready.

Mail your citizenship application along with passport-style photographs, documents, and fee to the appropriate Service Center.

Note : Do not send cash.

Make a copy of everything you send to USCIS.

You will get an appointment letter from USCIS.

Go to location mentioned in the letter and get your fingerprints taken.

If USCIS requests for additional documents, mail them

Wait till you receive an appointment for your interview.

Go to your local USCIS office mentioned in the letter at the specified time.

If USCIS requests, bring identification and provide additional documents. Having two additional passport-style photographs at the time of interview will be handy.

You have to answer questions about your application package and background.

Take the citizenship test (English and Civics).

If your case is approved, you will be notified about the ceremony date.

At the ceremony, return your Permanent Resident Card (green card)

You will be required to answer a few questions about what you have done since your interview.

Take the Oath of Allegiance.

Finally, receive your Certificate of Naturalization.

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