How to Prepare for Citizenship Interviews with USCIS Staff Profile Picture
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The interview is the final phase of the naturalization process and usually takes place 7 to 15 months after filing your application. In this phase, the applicant will verify that all information on their Form N-400 is correct, confirm the necessary documents to complete their application, and demonstrate their English language proficiency and civil knowledge. After you have submitted your Form N-4000, you will receive a confirmation email affirming your USCIS interview appointment. 

The interview ensures that the answers provided are consistent with your application. If your consultation is in the United States, your interviewer will be a USCIS immigration officer. If your interview is outside the United States, your interviewer will be a consular officer trained for your application type. According to the USCIS naturalization exam pass rate, 96.1% of all applicants passed the naturalization test in 2021. Almost 90% of applicants passed it during the initial interview, and the other 6% passed a re-exam. 

What Should I Wear to My USCIS Interview?

The USCIS does not require that you wear specific clothing to your interview. However, it is still an excellent opportunity to show your interviewer that the process is important to you. Dressing clean, comfortable, and presentable for the interview helps make a good impression. Dressing business casual is a safe practice–the following list of clothing is recommended, but not required, by the USCIS office:

  • Sweaters, button-down shirts, polo shirts, or blouses.

  • Slacks/trousers/khakis/or dark jeans.

  • Knee-length skirts or dresses.

  • Close-toed shoes (such as flats, boots, and loafers).

  • Optional blazers or cardigans for colder months. 

Recommended items to avoid:

  • Extreme-worn sneakers, flip-flops, or sandals. 

  • Clothing with holes

  • Shorts

  • Tank tops

  • Strapless shirts and dresses

  • Clothing that is too loose or too tight. 

  • Backless or low-cut tops. 

What Should I Bring to My USCIS Interview?

  • State-issued identification

    • State ID

    • Driver’s license

    • Birth certificate 

    • Marriage certificate

    • Copies of your tax returns for the past five years (or three years if married to a U.S. citizen)

  • Travel records

    • Passports (current and expired)

    • USCIS-issued travel documents (such as Form I-94, officially called the “Arrival/Departure Record”)

  • Your Green Card (Form I-551, Permanent Resident Card)

    • A photocopy of the front and back of your Green Card

For more information on the USCIS document requirements, please click here.

Common Personal Questions In Citizenship Interviews

During the interview, you will answer personal questions to verify important information about your life. These preliminary background questions allow the USCIS officer to get to know you and familiarize themselves with your application. The goal of this section is to confirm that all information on your Form N-400 application and additional documents is correct. Here are some examples of personal questions that you can expect to answer in the interview:

Questions about you:

  • What is your date of birth?

  • What city/town were you born in?

  • Where do you work?

  • How long have you lived in the U.S.?

Questions about your kids:

  • What is your children(s) date(s) of birth?

  • What school do your children go to?

  • How do your kids get to school?

  • What sports do your kids play?

Questions about your spouse and your relationship:

  • How did you meet your spouse?

  • What medications does your spouse take (if any)?

  • When is your wedding anniversary?

  • Where was your first date?

Questions about significant events and celebrations in your life:

  • What is the most important holiday in your household?

  • What religion do you practice in your home?

  • What was your wedding like?

Common History and Government Questions In Citizenship Interviews

The civics test in the naturalization interview is an oral test in which the applicant will demonstrate their knowledge of American history and government. The applicant will answer up to 10 of the 100 questions linked here. To pass the civics section of the naturalization process, the applicant must answer six out of the ten questions correctly. 

Before your interview appointment, make sure you are familiar with the most current answers to questions that change due to elections or new appointments. You must provide an answer that corresponds to the official who is serving during the time of your interview with the USCIS. The USCIS officer will not accept other answers. You can click the following link to study the most recent responses to these questions. 

Here are some of the most common questions asked on the civics portion of the interview:

  • What is the supreme law of the land?

  • What does the Constitution do?

  • What is an amendment?

  •  What do we call the first ten amendments to the Constitution?

  • What is one right or freedom from the First Amendment?

  • What are two rights in the Declaration of Independence?

  • Name one branch or part of the government.

  • Name your U.S. Representative.

  • We elect a President for how many years?

  • What is the name of the President of the United States now?

  • What are two Cabinet-level positions?

Frequently Asked Questions about Citizenship Interviews

We’ve included the following section to help clarify the USCIS interview process and acknowledge that every case and applicant is different. Should you have any questions about the interview process or the status of your application, the Expertise Lawyer directory is available for any additional help needed. 

Where will my USCIS interview take place?

The interviews are at a local USCIS office or the U.S. embassy or consulate closest to the address listed on your application under the “Current Physical Address” section. All names listed on the interview appointment notice must attend the interview.

How long do USCIS interviews last?

Interviews typically last 20 minutes, but this could vary to up to 30 minutes, depending on the applicant's needs. 

Can I bring my children?

To better serve their applicants, the USCIS recommends that you only bring children under 14 if requested in their appointment confirmation. The USCIS officer can allow their presence during your interview. However, asking permission by contacting the USCIS field office assigned to you before your interview is a good idea.

How long will it take to hear back from USCIS after my interview?

If your interview is successful, the USCIS officer will approve your case at your interview. You will receive your green card in the mail approximately 2 to 3 weeks after your case is approved. 

However, the officer may invite you to a second interview to verify documents, further background information, or a relationship with a spouse or family member. In this case, you should receive a new appointment notification from the USCIS in the mail. 

What happens after my USCIS interview?

After your interview, the USCIS will give you Form N-652 to provide all the information about your interview results. Still, an officer will either ‘grant,’  ‘continue,’ or ‘deny’ your application at the end of the interview based on the information you’ve provided.

Is it a bad sign if USCIS canceled or rescheduled my interview?

A canceled or rescheduled interview does not always mean a bad thing. Sometimes, the USCIS is backlogged with applications, or they need further confirmation or clarification of your personal information. You should await further instructions from the USCIS office on what to do next. 

Can I reschedule my USCIS interview?

Yes– there is no penalty for rescheduling your interview in advance. If you need to reschedule, follow the instructions attached to your USCIS interview appointment confirmation. Please do not attend your appointment if you are sick or feeling unwell to ensure the safety of the USCIS staff and other applicants. 

Can I bring my cell phone to my USCIS interview?

According to the USCIS policy, you can bring your cell phone to your interview. However, it must remain silenced or turned off for the interview.

Does USCIS provide interpreters for naturalization interviews?

If you are not fluent in English and exempt from the language requirement of the interview, you may bring an interpreter, or the USCIS office will assign one to you. If you bring your own interpreter, they must bring their government-issued I.D. and complete an interpreter's oath and privacy statement at the interview. 

In general, an unbiased party should be used as the interpreter. However, a USCIS officer may allow a friend or relative of the applicant to act as an interpreter. If the officer is fluent in the applicant’s primary language, the officer may then conduct the examination in that language without the use of an interpreter. 

Can USCIS approve my green card application without an interview?

In most cases, the USCIS can only approve a green card application after an interview with a USCIS officer. However, the USCIS may decide to waive the interview portion of the application on a case-by-case basis. 

How long does it take to get a green card after my interview?

If you came to the U.S. through an immigrant visa and paid the visa fee before you arrived, it can take up to 90 days from the date of your arrival to receive your permanent resident card. 

If you paid the visa fee after you arrived, it may take up to 90 days from your payment date to receive your permanent resident card. 

If you still need to pay the visa fee, you must pay the fee online before your permanent resident card can be processed.  

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