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The citizenship interview can be the most nerve-racking part of your naturalization process. You will even get more nervous while waiting for the naturalization interview results.

The naturalization interview is a part of the citizenship process where the U.S. government examines an applicant’s eligibility to become an American citizen.

This article will briefly discuss what you can expect before, during, and after the citizenship interview.

When to Expect the Interview

After completing your naturalization application and taking your biometrics, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will give you an appointment notice. The notice will include the date and time of your interview.

It is necessary to arrive at least 30 minutes early to have adequate time to complete the check-in process.

If you cannot attend the interview on the scheduled date, you may notify USCIS and request to reschedule, provided that you have a compelling reason to do so.

However, rescheduling may result in a months-long delay in your application process.

Actual Naturalization Interview

When you arrive at the office for your interview, you will usually be requested to put your smartphone on a desk in the hallway. You will be sworn in before your interview begins.

The USCIS officer conducting the interview will typically go through the complete N-400 application and ask questions. Understanding and answering these questions is part of your English comprehension test.

Keep in mind that the officer will be checking two things as you answer the questions:

  • Consistency between your interview statements and your written answers on Form N-400
  • Your comprehension of basic English (as part of the English speaking test)
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You may ask the officer to clarify or explain questions you don’t understand.

USCIS officers also spend considerable time analyzing your job and travel history, any criminal issues, and past immigration history. They could also inquire about family members and immigration status.

Interview Tips

If your answers differ from what is written in your application form, the officer may amend the information in your application to reflect your spoken responses. You don’t have to panic because the change/s will not necessarily be held against you.

The officer may also opt to record the interview, but you or your legal representative can later request a copy of the record under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

USCIS often uses the tapes for training reasons. The recordings can also be used to back up a USCIS officer’s decision to decline an application.

Naturalization Examination

The naturalization test will be the second part of the interview. You will be asked to compose and read an English sentence.

You will also take a civics test and must pass with a score of 60%. When you receive six correct answers, the examiner typically stops asking questions.

The interview will conclude with questions about the oath of allegiance. Some officials will ask you to describe in your own words what the oath means to you. Others will ask questions concerning it and record your responses.

Interview and Examination Results

If USCIS obtains all necessary information, they may decide on your citizenship application the same day.

On your application, you may expect one of three outcomes:

  • Approval
  • Denial
  • Continuation
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The decision of “continuation” of the application occurs when:

  • USCIS requires additional evidence or information from you.
  • You fail to pass the citizenship test (or a portion of it).

Typically, USCIS will issue a formal “Request for Evidence” (RFE) for the missing or confusing information or paperwork. It is also possible that they will schedule a second interview between 60 and 90 days after your first interview.

If you pass your citizenship exam and your interview goes well, you will receive a document stating that:

  • You attended the naturalization interview.
  • Your application has been endorsed for approval.

Oath Ceremony

In some jurisdictions, your Oath of Allegiance ceremony may also happen on the same day. If not, you will get a letter around 3-6 weeks later with instructions about your oath ceremony.

The oath ceremony usually takes place in the courthouse but can also be held in other locations such as colleges and landmarks.

If you have waited more than 120 days from the day of your interview for a naturalization ceremony, USCIS may be delaying your case.

If this happens, you can ask for assistance from an immigration attorney to apply for a judicial review of your citizenship application.


Your naturalization application process will go smoothly as long as:

  • You submitted sufficient and valid documents to USCIS.
  • You answered the interview questions and examination honestly.

Some naturalization situations are uncomplicated and may be completed without the need for citizenship and immigration services. Other cases may require the services of an immigration attorney.

If you need assistance with your application for citizenship, green card, or any other immigration services, you may contact our law firm.

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