On September 17, Americans celebrate Constitution Day and Citizenship Day recognizing the signing of the U.S. Constitution 232 years ago. This is the perfect time for Americans to reflect on the rights and responsibilities of citizenship and for eligible foreign nationals to consider whether they are ready to become citizens through naturalization. Nixon Peabody can help prepare and guide you through this process.
In addition to submitting an application, foreign nationals must pass an English language and U.S. history civics test before they can swear an oath of allegiance at their Naturalization Ceremony. In July 2019, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced they would be updating the existing naturalization test. Last updated in 2008, the new naturalization test is expected to be implemented as soon as late-2020. Changes expected include adding updated civics information from more recent U.S. history.
Currently, naturalization applicants are asked 10 randomly selected questions from a list of 100. The questions are on American government, history, and civics and reflect middle school and high school curricula. To pass, 6 of the 10 questions must be answered correctly.
The English test, which is now administered on digital tablets, has three components: reading, writing, and speaking. An applicant’s ability to speak English will be determined by a USCIS officer during their eligibility interview. For the reading portion, you must read one out of three sentences correctly. For the writing test, you must write one out of three sentences correctly.
Am I qualified to Naturalize?
• You are a permanent resident for at least five years
• You are a permanent resident for three years as a spouse of a U.S. citizen
• You have qualifying service in the U.S. armed forces and meet all other eligibility requirements
• Your child may qualify for naturalization if you are a U.S. citizen, the child was born outside the U.S., the child is currently residing outside the U.S., and all other eligibility requirements are met
And you have:
• an understanding of the English language, including an ability to read, write, and speak words in ordinary usage in the English language and
• knowledge and understanding of the fundamental history, and of the principles and form of government of the United States.
Special consideration is given to applicants who are over age 65 and have been living in the United States as lawful permanent residents for over 20 years upon filing.