Naturalization Interview - Preparation tips and expectations
- Receive an appointment for your interview
- USCIS will send you a notice in the mail telling you when
and where you must appear for your interview. You will not
receive a second notice.
- What if I cannot go to my interview?
It is very important not to miss your interview. If you must
reschedule your interview, you should write to the office where
your interview is scheduled as soon as possible. You should
explain your situation and ask to have your interview
rescheduled. Rescheduling an interview may add several months to
the naturalization process, so make all attempts to attend your
original interview date. When a new date has been set, USCIS
will send you a new interview notice. If you miss your scheduled
interview without notifying USCIS, they will "administratively
close" your case. If USCIS closes your case because you missed
your interview, USCIS will notify you at your last address of
record. Unless you contact USCIS to schedule a new interview
within 1 year after they close your case, they will deny your
- To make sure you get your interview notice, you must notify
USCIS every time your address changes.
- Go to your local office at the specified time
- You should go to the office where you are to be interviewed
at least 30 minutes before the time of your interview. Many
USCIS offices are crowded, so unless you need to, you may not
want to bring other people with you to your interview. If you do
not go to your interview and do not contact USCIS beforehand,
USCIS will "administratively close" your case. If USCIS
administratively closes your case and you do not contact USCIS
within 1 year to reopen your case, USCIS will deny your
- Bring identification and provide additional documents if
USCIS requests them
- You should bring the following identification to your
interview: (a) your Permanent Resident or Alien Registration
Card, (b) your passport (even if it has expired), (c) State
Identification Card, and (d) any Reentry Permits you have.
- In some cases, USCIS may ask you to bring additional
documents to the interview. These documents will be listed on
your appointment letter. If you don't bring the necessary
documents, your case may be delayed or denied. USCIS strongly
recommends that you also bring two additional passportstyle
photographs with you to the interview.
- Answer questions about your application and background
- At your interview, a USCIS officer will explain the purpose
of the interview, ask to see your identification, and place you
under oath. He or she will ask you about:
- your background;
- evidence supporting your case;
- your place and length of residence;
- your character;
- your attachment to the Constitution; and
- your willingness to take an Oath of
Allegiance to the United States.
- In addition, the USCIS officer may ask you some other
questions to make sure that you meet all the eligibility
requirements. Be prepared to explain any differences between
your application and the other documents you provided to USCIS.
- Remember that you are under oath. Always tell the truth
during your interview. If you lie during your interview, you
will be denied citizenship. If you are granted citizenship but
then USCIS finds out that you lied on your application or during
your interview, your citizenship may be taken away.
- If you want a representative to accompany you to your
interview, you must first send a "Notice of Entry of Appearance
as Attorney or Representative" (Form
with your application.
- Also, if you are exempt from the English requirements, you
may bring an interpreter to the interview or USCIS may select
one for you. If you have any disabilities, you may bring a
family member or legal guardian with you at the discretion of
the USCIS officer.
- Take the English and civics tests
- During your interview, a USCIS officer will also test your
ability to read, write, and speak English (unless you are exempt
from the English requirements). You will also be given a civics
test in English (to test your knowledge and understanding of
U.S. history and government) unless you are exempt. Even if
exempt from the English test, you will need to take the civics
test in the language of your choice or qualify for a waiver.
Your English skills will be tested in the following ways:
During your interview, the USCIS officer will ask you to orally
answer a set of civics questions. You must answer six (6) out of
10 civics questions correctly to achieve a passing score. All
100 civics questions have been publicly released by USCIS and
are available on
this web site.
Receive a decision
After your interview, USCIS will give you a Form N-652 that
gives you information about the results of your interview. Based
on all the information you have given them, USCIS will either
grant, continue, or deny your naturalization application after
Sometimes USCIS can tell you if you will be granted citizenship
at the end of your interview. In some cases, you may be able to
attend an oath ceremony the same day as your interview (where
available). Otherwise, you will receive a notice telling you
when and where your oath ceremony will be.
The USCIS officer may also "continue" your case. This means your
case is put on hold. If your case is continued, it will add time
to your naturalization process. The most common reasons for
continuation are (a) failing the English and civics tests, and
(b) failing to give USCIS the correct documents.
When your case is continued, you will be asked to do one of
To test your ability to read in English, you must read one
sentence, out of three sentences, in a manner suggesting to
the USCIS officer that you understand the meaning of the
To test your ability to write in English, you must write one
sentence, out of three sentences, in a manner that would be
understandable as written to the USCIS officer.
Your ability to speak English is determined by your answers
to questions normally asked by USCIS officers during the
naturalization eligibility interview on Form N-400.
- Come back for a second interview.
If you fail one or both of the tests, USCIS will reschedule
you to come back for another interview, usually within 60-90
days of the first interview. At that time, you will be
tested again. If you fail the test(s) a second time, USCIS
will deny your application.
- (2) Provide additional documents.
If USCIS needs more information from you, USCIS will give
you a Form N-14. This form explains what information or
documents you must provide us, and tells you when and how
you should return the information to us. If you do not
follow the instructions, USCIS may deny your application.
USCIS may also deny your application for naturalization. If
USCIS denies your application for naturalization, you will
receive a written notice telling you why.
- What can I do if USCIS denies my application?
If you feel that USCIS was wrong to deny you citizenship,
you may request a hearing with a USCIS officer. Your denial
letter will explain how to request a hearing and will
include the form you need. The form for filing an appeal is
the "Request for Hearing on a Decision in Naturalization
Proceedings under Section 336 of the INA" (Form
You must file the form with USCIS, including the correct
fee, within 30 days after you receive a denial letter.
- If, after an appeal hearing with USCIS, you still
believe USCIS was wrong to deny you citizenship, you may
file a petition for a new review of your application in U.S.
section for more details.
If you received your green card through marriage, you
may be asked questions about your marriage, your
relationship and details about your spouse. Even though you
may not be asked too many questions,
may be helpful to you.
You will be asked to sign the application. Do not sign
with your usual day to day signature. You have to write (NOT
print) your entire name in cursive letters in the designated
If any question or confusion arises during the
interview, keep calm and try to explain to the officer and
try to work it out, if possible.
- Do not arrive more than 15 to 30 minutes
- It would be best if you already know
where exactly local USCIS office is located. If possible, go
there in advance of your interview date and make sure you
can find it and figure out parking etc.
- There is no need to wear any suit/tie
etc. But at the same time, wear decent clothing such as
business casual. Do not wear jeans, t-shirt.
- Memorize everything from the application,
N-400. Do not keep the copy of your application open in
front of you.
- If you have missed anything in the
application or realized that something was incorrect in the
application, be sure to mention it during the interview.
- Officer will go through all the parts in
the application. Even if you have some question or want to
change something in the later section, wait until that
section comes up in the interview.
- Always tell the truth. They have the
entire file of your immigration history in front of them.
- If yours was employment based green card,
you will be asked how long you stayed with your green card
sponsoring employer after getting the green card. If you
left too early, be prepared with appropriate and convincing
If you are male and if you were already over 26 years old
(such as 26 years and 3 months old) when you became permanent
resident, you did not have to register with selective service.
If the officer asks you why you did not register with selective
service, explain that as you were already above 26 years old,
you did not have to register. It is only for people between ages
of 19 and 26. In other words, males who have not yet celebrated
their 26th birthday yet.