U.S. Citizenship

Things You Should Know About the U.S. Citizenship Interview

So you’re a lawful permanent resident who has met the requirements to become eligible for U.S. citizenship. You’ve lived as a green card holder in the U.S. for the last five years, and have good moral character. You’ve also submitted your N-400 at the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) office, and you’re already done attending your biometrics appointment where you’ve been fingerprinted. You’re almost at the finish line of the naturalization process! You just have to attend the naturalization interview and citizenship exam, and this article can help you prepare exactly for that.

The citizenship interview has two purposes: to double-check the information you provided and to test your English speaking ability. This may seem intimidating, but you can study ahead of time to prepare for the exam. Having a practice test with an English-speaking friend and brushing up on your American history can effectively prepare you for the citizenship test.

The interviewer will determine whether you’re eligible for citizenship and to become naturalized or not, so the documents and information you provided are accurate. 

Applying for citizenship in the United States is a big move, so don’t hesitate to seek assistance from an immigration law firm in New Jersey. At Andres Mejer Law, we have experienced New Jersey immigration lawyers who can help you understand the immigration and citizenship process, USCIS forms, the civics exam, and other concerns about the naturalization application and citizenship process.

While not all of these questions will be asked by a USCIS Officer during the naturalization interview, it is better to come prepared

The Interview

U.S. Citizenship Like any other interview, it starts with a greeting. Of course, answering properly is the polite thing to do, but also because the interviewer will observe how you converse in English. Also, it is important that you at least know basic English if you want to become a US citizen.

The officer will then ask you if you understand what it means to be placed under oath, and if you solemnly swear/affirm that you will tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

They will ask you about your physical characteristics and personal details such as your name (and if you made any legal changes to it), your birthday, current residence, family background, national affiliation or nationality, education and work history, etc. 

They will also ask you about your relationship status and history and, if married, whether your spouse is an American citizen.

They will also ask you if you will willingly obey and uphold the U.S. constitution, and if you will willingly take the Oath of Allegiance to the United States. They will also ask you about your military service history, whether you have served in the armed forces of the United States, or if you’ve ever participated in a U.S. election as a voter (only citizens of the United States are allowed to vote; non-citizens, including those with LPR status, aren’t allowed to vote).

Legal permanent residents who applied for citizenship will also be asked about their immigration status, such as when was their application for nationalization approved, their current citizenship status, or how long they’ve been a green cardholder.

Other citizenship questions that the immigration officer may ask when you apply to become a citizen are related to your immigration history, travel history, tax filings during the time you became a lawful permanent resident (e.g. did you classify yourself as a U.S. non-resident or do you have taxes owed to the US government whether local, state, or federal), and if you have affiliations or membership to certain organizations.

The U.S. Civics Test

During your application to gain American citizenship, a USCIS officer will conduct the interview and simply ask several test questions from the list given to you by USCIS. In some cases, however, USCIS splits the interview into two. One officer will test you on your knowledge of American history and the English language, while another will do the actual interview. 

The list has 100 questions, and to pass the exam and obtain citizenship, you must answer 6 out of ten questions correctly. If you fail to answer enough questions correctly, the interview will be stopped. For first-time applicants, the interview will be rescheduled within the next 90 days. 

After the Interview

Once you passed the interview, a USCIS interviewer will inform you about the citizenship ceremony, usually by mail. And if you’re denied, then you can simply choose to appeal or apply again.

If you still have questions on the citizenship application or how to apply for US citizenship, then don’t hesitate to consult with a New Jersey immigration lawyer. We are committed to helping you become a US citizen. Call us now!

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