Exceptions to the U.S. Civics Test
What is the Civics Test?
The civics test is a requirement to be naturalized in the United States. It is administered by a USCIS officer, who will ask the applicant up to ten (out of one-hundred) available questions about U.S. Government, history, and the U.S. Constitution.
What is Considered a Passing Score?
Any candidate for naturalization who takes the civics test must score at least sixty percent for a passing score. The questions are chosen randomly by the interviewing officer, so it is important for an applicant to study from an available list of practice questions. The USCIS website has a large amount of study materials available on its website.
What Exceptions Apply to Taking the Civics Test?
Applicants for naturalization who are over the age of fifty may qualify for certain exceptions under USCIS guidelines. There are three situations which apply:
- The 50/20 Exception
- People who have been a permanent resident for more than 20 years and who are least 50 years old are not required to take the civics test in English.
- The 55/15 Exception
- People who have been a permanent resident for more than 15 years and who are least 55 years of age are not required to take the test in English, either.
- Applicant is over 65 years of age
- If an applicant is over the age of 65, the USCIS will give them special consideration for the civics test portion. Generally, these applicants are only required to study from a list of 20 questions, instead of 100.
Special consideration is also given to individuals who have legitimate medical disabilities. Form N-648, Medical Certification for Disability Exceptions must be completed by a licensed medical professional and submitted along with the N-400, Application for Naturalization in order to be considered.
Completing the Naturalization Process
Once having successfully completed the process outlined above, the applicant will receive a notice from USCIS which provides them with a date of their citizenship ceremony. During the ceremony, the applicant turns in their green card, takes an oath of allegiance, and will be given a Naturalization Certificate so that they can officially call themselves a United States Citizen.
Generally, the entire process of naturalization takes about six months from start to finish, assuming no issues are presented. It is important for an applicant to provide an accurate application and all requested paperwork which supplement it. Seeking the assistance of an immigration lawyer who is familiar with the naturalization process is advised because an improperly completed application may result in long delays or a rejection from the USCIS. Consider setting up a consultation with an attorney at Gilles Law, PLLC. You can reach us at 980-272-8438 at our office in Uptown Charlotte. We are here to assist with your inquiries.
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