There are multiple stages in the immigration process. Even if you had a strong and immediate claim for a Green Card when you entered the country, you still have to wait for citizenship. Many people choose to simply remain permanent residents and retain their Green Cards, but others want to become United States citizens.
Through the naturalization process, lawful permanent residents can become naturalized citizens. Becoming a citizen gives you the right to vote, strengthens your ability to stay in the country and expands your options for family immigration. Naturalization requires that you pass a background check, attend an interview and pass two tests administered by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
What kinds of tests do you have to take to become a citizen?
An English test
English can be a difficult language to learn, but you will have to practice it if you want to become a citizen. You have to show that you can speak and understand English during your naturalization eligibility interview.
There will also be a reading test that involves reading a sentence out loud. People also need to write one of three sentences correctly. The USCIS does provide a vocabulary list to help people prepare. Older adults who have legally lived in the United States for many years and may qualify for an exemption for the English language portion of the naturalization test.
A Civics test
To become a citizen of the United States, you need to understand the government and history of the country. Although the USCIS updated its Civics test in 2020 to make up 128 questions, the government reversed its policy and reverted back to the old test, which consists of 100 history questions. Applicants are expected to answer six out of ten questions to pass the civics portion of the exam.
Understanding your rights in the naturalization process can help you as you seek your citizenship.