Someone with a visa can legally live in the United States. However, there is a deadline for their visa. Visas eventually expire, meaning that non-immigrant visa holders will need to leave the country at some point, unless they adjust their status. Even if someone has a green card, they might sometimes be at risk of removal from the country. They could also be unable to help their loved ones travel to the United States.
Someone who is already lawfully in the United States might want to become a citizen so that they can stay forever and extend their good fortune to their closest family members. To become a citizen, an individual needs to apply for naturalization. The applicant needs to attend an interview orchestrated by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
There will be personal questions
The interview process involves a review of someone’s application and possibly a discussion of their time in the United States. The USCIS wants to ensure that those seeking naturalization will be of benefit to the country. If there are any questions about someone’s circumstances, the USCIS will likely seek to clarify those matters during the naturalization interview. Typically, there will be a thorough background check performed prior to the interview, and the results of that check might influence the discussion.
There will be two tests
Those seeking naturalized citizenship typically need to demonstrate proficiency in the English language. They also need to understand the history of the United States and how the government functions. They will therefore need to pass tests in both English and Civics.
The Civics test will be completely oral, and an individual will need to answer at least six of 10 questions correctly to pass. The English language test will involve speaking and listening to spoken English, as well as reading and writing. The USCIS does provide study materials, including a list of all the possible Civics questions and a list of recommended vocabulary for the language test.
Those who have been in the country for a long time and are over a certain age and those with certain disabilities may qualify for exemptions or accommodations during the testing process. Those who fail the test will have one opportunity to retake it.
Understanding what the interview and testing process requires for naturalization candidates may help people feel more confident about changing their immigration status in this way.