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Sample Citizenship Interview and Test Transcript
Hello and welcome to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. I'm Damian Martinez.
U.S. citizenship is one of the most important benefits that the United States offers. Because we understand the value of U.S. citizenship, USCIS has created this video To help you prepare for your naturalization interview. Many applicants ask us questions about what actually takes place during a naturalization interview. We hope to answer some of your questions By showing a series of simulated situations and a description of the process. We made this video because we want to show how the naturalization interview may occur. Please understand that each interview is unique because each individual is unique. Not all naturalization interviews happen in the same way, But with this video, we want to give a general idea Of what you should expect.
To become a U.S. citizen, you must meet the following requirements. At the time you file Form N-400, the Application for Naturalization. You must:
- be a lawful permanent resident;
- Be 18 years old;
- Have continuous residence in the United States;
- Have physical presence in the United States;
- Have certain time living within the jurisdiction of a USCIS office based on your address;
- Have good moral character;
- Have knowledge of English and U.S. civics;
- And have attachment to the U.S. Constitution.
Before applying for naturalization, please keep in mind that if you have a parent that was a U.S. citizen, Either by birth or naturalization, before you turned 18 years old, You may have a claim to citizenship. The appropriate form to file a claim to U.S. citizenship is Form N-600, Application for Certificate of Citizenship. For more detailed information about the naturalization requirements, please see "A Guide to Naturalization" on the USCIS website at www.uscis.gov.
Now let's talk about the naturalization process. The first step is to submit the Application for Naturalization, Form N-400, with the appropriate fee. We recommend that you keep a copy of the application with your answers. You may find it helpful to review it once you are called for the naturalization interview.
After you submit your Form N-400 to USCIS you will get a receipt notice and receive follow-up appointment notices. To help study for the English and U.S. history and civics portions Of the naturalization test, you can get a free copy of the booklet "Learn About the United States: Quick Civics Lessons" at any USCIS Application Support Center. You can also download the booklet for free From the USCIS website at www.uscis.gov/citizenshiptest.
When you receive a letter in the mail with an appointment for your naturalization interview, the letter will include what time your interview is scheduled, what time you need to arrive, the address of the local USCIS office, and general documentation needed for your interview. We encourage you to arrive to your appointment 15 minutes early. You must bring your appointment notice with you to the interview along with your Permanent Resident Card. All valid and expired passports And a state-issued identification card, such as a driver's license.
There are other documents that you should bring to your interview to avoid any delay in processing your application, including: Evidence of your current marital status, such as marriage certificate, divorce or annulment decree, or the death certificate of a former spouse, If you've changed your name, bring evidence of the name change, such as a copy of marriage documents or court decree changing your name. If your spouse was previously married, bring evidence that your spouse's prior marriage was terminated. If you have been arrested or detained by the police at any time, bring original or certified copies of court dispositions. And, if you are a man between 18 and 31 years old, you need to provide proof that you've registered with the Selective Service.
When you arrive, you will be asked to enter through a security checkpoint. You must show your naturalization interview notice and identification to the security officer and inform the officer that you have a naturalization interview. The security officer or an immigration officer will tell you where to find the customer service waiting area.
When you arrive at the customer service waiting area you will need to present your naturalization interview notice to the immigration officer at the customer service desk. The officer will then ask you to wait until your name is called.
Officer Taylor: Mr. Marcos Torres?
Marcos Torres: Yes, that's me.
Officer Taylor: I'm Officer Taylor. I'll be conducting your interview today.
Marcos Torres: Hello.
Officer Taylor: How are you doing?
Marcos Torres: I'm fine, thank you.
Officer Taylor: Great, Follow me. Please come inside. Feel free to put your belongings next to your chair but please remain standing. Before we begin the interview, I'll need to place you under oath. Please raise your right hand. Do you swear or affirm that the statements you will give today Will be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth?
Marcos Torres: I do
Officer Taylor: Thank you, please take a seat.
A large part of the naturalization interview involves reviewing the Form N-400, Application for Naturalization. Asking you questions about the information you provided on the application, and reviewing the documents you submitted to support your application. When the officer reviews Form N-400 with you, The officer is also testing your ability to speak and understand the English language. One of the requirements for naturalization if you do not understand something, You should ask the officer to repeat the question or explain the question using other words. Here is one example of the beginning of a naturalization interview.
Officer Taylor: What is your name?
Marcos Torres: Marcos Torres.
Officer Taylor: And have you used any other names?
Marcos Torres: No
Officer Taylor: Do you want to legally change your name?
Marcos Torres: No
Officer Taylor: I need to see your lawful permanent resident card. All of your passports and state-issued identification, please. Thank you.
Marcos Torres: You're welcome.
Officer Taylor: What is your date of birth?
Marcos Torres: November 8, 1970
Officer Taylor: And where were you born?
Marcos Torres: San Pedro Sula, Honduras
Officer Taylor: Are you a citizen of Honduras?
Marcos Torres: Yes
Officer Taylor: Are either of your parents United States citizens?
Marcos Torres: No
Officer Taylor: Are you currently single, married, divorced or widowed?
Marcos Torres: I am single
Officer Taylor: And where are you currently living?
Marcos Torres: 3555 north Shore Boulevard in Bloomington
Officer Taylor: Where are you working?
Marcos Torres: I work at the county library.
Officer Taylor: When was your last trip outside the United States?
Marcos Torres: Let me see, About 4 months ago I went back to Honduras to visit family for about 2 weeks.
Officer Taylor: Do you remember the day you returned to the United States?
The officer will continue to ask you questions from the Form N-400 To verify the information you've providedt o determine your eligibility for naturalization. The officer may also ask you to provide additional information to the answers provided in the application. As a reminder, if you have a copy of your Form N-400 you may find it helpful to review it before your interview. For example, some of the questions That the officer might ask you may cover:
- Trips outside the United States, Particularly any trips after the application was submitted
- Past marriages
- Memberships to any organizations
- Problems with the law, criminal history, and/or jail time;
- Military service in the United States;
- And support of the U.S. Constitution and allegiance to the United States
Your answers to these and the other questions determine your eligibility for naturalization. Remember to bring supporting documents that can help you address any of these questions. You must always be honest in your responses because lying to an immigration officer during the naturalization interview may make you ineligible for naturalization. At the end of the questions, the officer will ask you to sign a series of documents next.
Officer Taylor: I'll need you to sign your photographs. Thank you
Marcos Torres: You're welcome
Officer Taylor: Please sign them here and here. I'll need you to sign your application. Please sign here And then print your name and sign here. Thank you.
Marcos Torres: Okay, you're welcome
Officer Taylor: Please review this form and let me know if it's correct.
Marcos Torres: Okay It's correct
Officer Taylor: Great, thank you. Okay, now we're going to move to the civics and reading and writing tests.
In most cases, after reviewing the Form N-400 the officer will give you the remaining portions of the naturalization test The U.S. history and civics test, the English reading test, and the English writing test. In some USCIS offices, the naturalization test may be given before your interview by an Immigration Services Officer. The officer may be the same one that performs your naturalization interview or it may be a different officer.
The U.S. history and civics test has 10 questions. The history and civics questions will be asked orally and answered orally. You must get 6 out of the 10 questions correct to pass the history and civics test.
Here is an example of an officer Giving the U.S. history and civics test to an applicant.
Officer Taylor: Okay. Are you ready for your civics test?
Marcos Torres: Yes
Officer Taylor: Who was the first president?
Marcos Torres: George Washington
Officer Taylor: Correct. How many U.S. senators are there?
Marcos Torres: 100
Officer Taylor: Good. Where is the Statue of Liberty?
Marcos Torres: Can you repeat that?
Officer Taylor: Where is the Statue of Liberty?
Marcos Torres: In...in New York Correct
Officer Taylor: What is the capital of the United States?
Marcos Torres: Washington, D.C.
Officer Taylor: What is the name of the national anthem?
Marcos Torres: Star-Spangled Banner
Officer Taylor: Good. Name one problem that led to the Civil War
Marcos Torres: I'm...I'm not sure. I'm not sure.
Officer Taylor: That's okay.
Remember that this is just a sample interview the questions in the video are not necessarily the ones that you will be asked during the test. At the end of the questions, the immigration officer will inform you if you've passed the history and civics test. Please note that the officer will stop asking you questions once you've answered 6 questions correctly.
Officer Taylor: When do we celebrate Independence Day?
Marcos Torres: July 4th
Officer Taylor: That's correct. Good, that's 6. You've passed that portion.
Now we will show a simulated situation Of the English reading and writing tests being given to the applicant. Keep in mind that the items we're about to show you are not on the actual test. Remember, this is a simulated interview and each experience may be different.
The reading and writing tests each have 3 sentences. You only need to get 1 reading and 1 writing sentence correct to pass
Officer Taylor: Now is the reading test. Please read line number 1 out loud for me
Marcos Torres: Who was the third president of the United States?
Officer Taylor: Good. Now I need you to write line number 1 for me: "Thomas Jefferson was the third president of the United States."
Marcos Torres: "Thomas Jefferson was the third president of the United States."
Officer Taylor: Okay, let's try another one. On line number 2, please write, "The Liberty bell is in Philadelphia."
Marcos Torres: "The Liberty bell is in Philadelphia."
Officer Taylor: Good.
After the reading and writing tests, The immigration officer will tell the results of the naturalization tests and interview.
Officer Taylor: Congratulations! This form is for you.
Marcos Torres: Thank you, thank you
Officer Taylor: You're welcome. I'm recommending your application for approval if my recommendation is accepted, you will be sent a notice in the mail of when to come in for your oath ceremony. Do you have any questions at this point?
Marcos Torres: No. No.
Officer Taylor: Great, then I'll escort you to the customer service area.
Marcos Torres: Okay. Okay. Thank you. Thank you.
Officer Taylor: You're welcome
The oath ceremony is the final step in becoming a U.S. citizen. After the approval of Form N-400 You will be scheduled for an oath ceremony to take the oath of allegiance. At the ceremony, your lawful permanent resident card will be taken by USCIS and you will be given a Certificate of Naturalization. Some USCIS offices may schedule you to participate in a ceremony on the same day of the interview.
Marcos Torres: ...and that I take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion. So help me God.
Congratulations! After your oath ceremony, you are officially a U.S. citizen and have all the rights and responsibilities that come with this privilege. Naturalized citizens are an important part of our democracy and USCIS welcomes newly naturalized citizens every day. If you've already applied for naturalization, or are considering doing so we wish you all the best in your journey toward citizenship.