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After completing the first and second steps of the naturalization process — applying and getting biometrics taken — USCIS will send you an appointment notice with the date and time of your interview. It’s important to show up at least 30 minutes early to allow yourself enough time to complete the check-in process. (Our guide to the naturalization timeline has more details about this step.)
IMPORTANT: USCIS can reschedule the interview if you’re unable to attend on the original date — as long as you provide sufficient written notice to USCIS beforehand. Beware, however, that rescheduling is likely to cause a months-long delay. (Boundless has more information about rescheduling.)
If you simply don’t appear for your interview and don’t contact USCIS beforehand, they will shut down the processing of your application. If that happens, you will need to contact USCIS within one year to get your application moving again. Otherwise, your application will be automatically denied.
Other useful tips to help you succeed
Keep track of changes. Make sure to note any changes that occur between the time you file Form N-400 and attend your interview (for example, if your name changes or you become entangled with the law). USCIS routinely ask such questions to determine whether you are still eligible for naturalization.
Be completely honest. Honesty is always the best policy when interacting with a USCIS officer about your background. If a USCIS officer discovers that you intentionally lied during your interview, they may deny your application or, worse, place you in removal proceedings (deportation).
Dig up old files. USCIS officers may also ask questions based on the contents of your A-File — essentially, your immigration history (see this guide for more info). If you’ve kept track of your communication with USCIS since before you became a green card holder, make sure to review those communications thoroughly.
Most people likely don’t keep track of such records, in which case there are two helpful ways to prepare:
We’ve joined forces with RapidVisa and together we help you prepare for every important step of the naturalization process, including the citizenship exam.
2020 Version The 2020 version of the civics test is an oral test, and the USCIS officer will ask you 20 questions from the list of 128 civics test questions. You must answer at least 12 of the 20 questions correctly to pass the 2020 version of the civics test.
2008 Version The 2008 version of the civics test is an oral test, and the USCIS officer will ask you up to 10 questions from the list of 100 civics test questions. You must answer 6 questions correctly to pass the 2008 version of the civics test.
You will be given two attempts to take the English and civics tests and to answer all questions relating to your naturalization application in English. If you fail any of the tests at your initial interview, you will be retested on the portion of the test that you failed (English or civics) between 60 and 90 days from the date of your initial interview. See 8 CFR 312.5(a) and 335.3(b).
Your ability to speak and understand English will be determined by a USCIS officer during your eligibility interview on Form N-400, Application for Naturalization.
You must read aloud one out of three sentences correctly to demonstrate an ability to read in English. The Reading Test Vocabulary List will help you study for the English reading portion of the naturalization test. The content focuses on civics and history topics.