Five Steps to Get You Ready for the Citizenship Test and Interview

August 31, 2016

Taking the naturalization test and interview are big steps. If you can show a basic understanding of English & U.S. civics and were truthful on your written application, you're prepared to pass. Here's what you need to do to get ready.

1. Watch the USCIS Naturalization Interview and Test Video

This official video produced by the United States Customs and Immigration Service provides an overview of the test and interview. You'll see simulated questions and learn more about how the process works. Your knowledge of English is important for this test. Make sure you understand everything in the English version without relying on translations.

2. Get Study Materials

USCIS provides free study materials online to help you prepare for both the English and civics portions of the test. The agency has other materials in its bookstore. Also, classes and study materials are offered by many private companies. Start with the free materials to test your knowledge and decide if you need to pay for extra help. If you don't have internet access at home, you can view these materials in most public libraries.

3. Practice Makes Perfect

Read and watch political news coverage. Use English at home if you don't typically do so. Don't be afraid to ask your family, friends, and neighbors questions. You might also consider offering to help someone learning your language in exchange for them helping you learn English. As you go through the study materials listed above, be sure to listen to the audio version of each question to perfect your English mastery. Also look up the School House Rocks America Rocks videos online. These videos have short, entertaining civics lessons using beginner to intermediate-level English.

4. Keep Your Record Clean

Any legal troubles could delay your application. This could result in your application being denied or even lead to you being deported. Take extra care to obey all traffic laws, avoid confrontations, and stay away from people engaged in any illegal activity. If you're working, be sure you're following the rules for your current work status to the letter. File and pay your taxes on time even if you're being paid under the table. You can use USCIS Self Check to verify your work status, and file your taxes for free using IRS Free File.

5. Review Your Application

While waiting for the test and interview, review your application for accuracy (always keep a hard copy of anything you submit). Correct any errors or omissions before your interview. It's worse to appear dishonest than to admit to small problems in your past. You can review your application status online. If there's anything in your background you think the interviewer might question, try to gather supporting documents in advance. To make sure you're fully prepared, review your application with an immigration attorney in San Antonio to help you decide if you have everything you need.

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