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. The USCIS updated its Civics test in 2020. There are 128 potential Civics test questions, all of which are available for study purposes from the USCIS.
When the test occurs, an applicant will need to orally answer 20 questions off of the list of questions. The test taker only needs to answer 12 of those questions correctly to pass. Test takers have two chances to take these tests. Generally, you will have the option to take a second test if you fail the first time between 60 and 90 days after your naturalization interview.
Understanding your rights in the naturalization process can help you as you seek your citizenship.