The naturalization interview is an important step to becoming a U.S. citizen. It is also known as the naturalization test or citizenship test. Find an overview of what to expect and how to prepare.
Parts of the interview
The U.S. citizenship test is also known as the naturalization interview or naturalization test. The immigration officer will ask different questions throughout the parts of the interview:
- N-400 review
- English test
- Civics test
If you do not understand a question, you can always ask the officer to repeat or rephrase the question to say it in a different way. Respond clearly and honestly.
|USCIS plans to change some parts of the English and civics test. These changes will not happen in 2023. We will update this page with more details when they are announced.|
The immigration officer will greet you and direct you to their office. The officer will begin to test your English from this point on.
The officer may ask questions such as:
- How are you?
- Did you have any trouble getting here?
- How was the traffic?
The officer will ask you to take an oath, to tell the truth during your interview. An oath is a serious promise.
They may ask you questions such as:
- Do you understand what an oath is?
- Do you promise to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth?
Once you are under oath, the officer will ask questions about your application. The questions an officer asks and the order they ask them may be different for each person.
Form N-400 questions
The officer will review your citizenship application with you to:
- Make sure the information is correct
- Check for changes to your application
- Confirm that you understand a question
- Test your English language skills
You may be asked questions such as:
- Do you understand this question?
- What is your current home address?
- Is your mother or father a U.S. citizen?
- Are you married, divorced, single, or widowed now?
- Have you traveled abroad recently?
- Have you ever been a part of any organizations?
- Have you ever been convicted of a crime or offense?
- Have you ever been in jail or prison?
- Have you ever lied to any U.S. government officials?
- Have you ever been denied entry to the U.S.?
- Have you ever been deported from the U.S.?
- Are you willing to take the oath of allegiance?
The officer will usually ask questions in a way that is different than how they are worded in the application to make sure you have not just memorized the form. Officers are not allowed to ask you for a definition of a word or phrase.
It is very important that you understand each question and review your application before your interview. Learn the meanings of words in Form N-400 to answer questions correctly and truthfully.
If you have any changes since filing your application, you will have to confirm them on a tablet and sign your name. You will also sign to agree to take the Oath of Allegiance on the day of your naturalization ceremony.
English test questions
The English test checks your reading, writing, and speaking skills. You must show that you know basic English to qualify for citizenship. Your English is being tested throughout the interview.
In this section, the officer tests your ability to speak and understand English. The officer will test you from the point they greet you and as they review your application.
You may be asked questions such as:
- Do you understand why you are here today?
- Why do you want to become a U.S. citizen?
In this section, the officer asks you to read 3 sentences out loud in English. The sentences will be on a tablet and are from the list of civics questions. You must read 1 sentence correctly to pass.
You may be asked to read sentences such as:
- George Washington was the first president.
- Washington DC is the capital of the United States.
- The Supreme Court is the highest court in the United States.
You will pass the reading section if you:
- Read one sentence without long pauses.
- Read all the words in the sentence.
- Leave out short words or pronounce words incorrectly but only if it does not change the meaning of the sentence.
You will fail the reading section if you:
- Do not read the sentence.
- Do not read a word or say another word instead.
- Pause for a long time while reading the sentence.
- Pronounce words incorrectly that change the meaning of the sentence.
In this section, the officer asks you to write 3 sentences in English. You will have to use a stylus pen on a tablet. These sentences are from the list of civics questions. You must write 1 sentence correctly to pass.
You may be asked to write sentences such as:
- U.S. citizens have the right to vote.
- Martin Luther King Jr. Day is on January 16.
- Congress makes federal laws.
You will pass the writing section if you:
- Write a sentence with the same meaning as the sentence the officer read aloud.
- Use numbers either spelled out or written as digits.
- Have some grammatical, spelling, or capitalization errors but only if it does not change the meaning of the sentence.
- Leave out short words but only if it does not change the meaning of the sentence.
You will fail the writing section if you:
- Write nothing or only one or two words.
- Write a sentence that is not readable.
- Write a different sentence or words.
- Write a sentence that means something different than what was read to you.
- Use an abbreviation for a word.
Civics test questions
The civics test checks your understanding of the U.S. government and history. It is what is usually referred to when people say citizenship test. The officer will ask questions from an official list of 100 civics questions. You must answer 6 out of 10 questions correctly.
Learn more about the civics test and questions. Find a complete list of the questions and answers with translations in 17 different languages to help you study. Listen to audio while reading to help with your English skills for this portion of the test.
USAHello also offers a free online class to help you prepare for the civics portion of the test. You can take this class in English, Arabic, French, Spanish, Swahili, and Vietnamese.
Exemptions to questions
Some people do not have to take the English test or can take a simpler version of the civics test. Learn if you qualify for an exemption or accommodation.
Next: Study the 100 citizenship test civics questions and answers
The information on this page comes from USCIS, USA.gov, and other trusted sources. We aim to offer easy to understand information that is updated regularly. This information is not legal advice.