U.S. Citizenship FAQ
Questions? We are here to help.
Do I need a lawyer to apply for U.S. Citizenship?
No, you can file the USCIS forms by yourself, or you can seek professional assistance from accredited representatives or the independent attorneys from Visa2us.
What responsibilities do I have as a U.S. citizen?
When you become a U.S. citizen, you commit to certain responsibilities.
These include participating in the political process, doing jury duty when required, registering for the selective service (if you’re a male between the ages of 18-26), and promising to uphold the Constitution and laws of the United States.
Does USCIS publish the naturalization test questions?
Yes, you have access to a complete list of the 100 civics questions and answers for the naturalization test in various languages on the USCIS website. The questions are available in English, Chinese, Korean, Spanish, Arabic, Tagalog, and Vietnamese. If you also register an online USCIS account, you can also do online prep test during your preparation.
Does USCIS make frequent changes to the questions on the naturalization test?
No. However, sometimes the answers may different due to elections or appointments. You can check the latest updated materials on USCIS Study for the Test site.
Will I be asked all 100 civics questions during the naturalization interview?
No, while there are 100 questions on the 100 available civics questions on the naturalization test, you will only be asked 10 out of the 100 questions. To pass your test, you must answer at least 6 questions correctly. Learn more on how is the naturalization interview goes.
Because my Green Card allows me to travel between the United States and my home country, can I live in both places until I am ready to apply for citizenship?
Yes, You may travel to another country, but your trip should not last longer than 180 days in one single trip. Please be noted that the frequency of your travel will also be taken into consideration, the total number of days you spend outside of the United States should be less than half of the time in the last five years. Please also familiarize yourself with those details since it's likely to be asked during your naturalization interview. Learn what else would be asked during the naturalization interview.
Will USCIS approve my Form N-400 naturalization application once I pass the reading, writing, and civics portions of the naturalization test?
During the interview, you will also be tested on your English proficiency (listening and speaking) through your interaction with your USCIS officer. Some applicants may be able to be exempted from the speaking test, for more information, see exceptions and accommodations for further information. The final result may be announced right after your interview or after several months via mail notice.
Can I legally change my name while my naturalization application is pending?
Yes, you can legally change your name after filing your application for naturalization with USCIS. If you do, remember to provide all documents that legally changed your name, and mention that your name has been changed during your naturalization interview.
Do I need to bring original documents such as birth and marriage certificates to the naturalization interview?
Yes, other than your birth and marriage certifications, if you are requested to provide the following documents, it should also be the original copy:
- Divorce Decree
- Final adoption and naturalization certificates
- Court orders
- Evidence of child support payments
- Court-certified arrest reports and probation/parole record
When should I submit Form N-648, Medical Certification for Disability Exceptions?
You are encouraged to submit this form when you first file your application, but you will also be able to file it whenever as long as it’s before your examination.
How will I know what the decision is on the Form N-648, Medical Certification for Disability Exceptions, I submitted?
You will be notified of the decision by the time of your naturalization interview.
What should I do if I have already applied for naturalization and my Permanent Resident Card, also known as “Green Card,” is expiring?
You must apply to renew your expiring green card if it is expiring. A lawful permanent resident is required to have valid, unexpired proof of lawful permanent residence in his or her possession at all times, and this requirement does not change even when you are applying for naturalization.
If I fail a portion of the naturalization test, when will I be retested?
Unless you are eligible for an exception to the English or civics requirements, you will be given two opportunities to meet the English and civic requirements. You fail any portion of these requirements, you will be retested during a new interview on the portion you failed within 60 to 90 days of your initial interview.
What are some common questions asked during the interview?
We list several common asked questions below:
- All names you’ve used in the past and are using now.
- Information about your parents and their citizenship.
- Information about your birth and your current age.
- Information on where you are living and with whom.
- Information on where you are working and what you are doing to earn a living.
- Details on your last trip(s) outside of the US.
- Information on any clubs, groups, or organizations you belong to.
- Information on your character and values.
- Information on any criminal history you may have in the United States or any other country.
- Your opinion and views of the U.S. government and the U.S. Constitution.
For more information, you can refer to our naturalization interview guideline.
How many times can I apply for naturalization
There is no limit to the number of times you can apply for naturalization.
What if I can’t pay for the application fee?
If you can’t pay for the N-400 fee, you may apply for a full or partial waiver if,
- You (or your spouse or the head of household living with you) are currently receiving a means-tested benefit,
- Your household income at the time of filing is at or below 150% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines;
- You have a financial hardship such as recent unemployment, homelessness, or high medical expenses.
You can also find information on USCIS fee waiver application.
How do I apply for a full fee waiver?
Fill out Form I-912, Request for Fee Waiver and submit it together with your N-400. You also need to submit evidence that you meet one of the eligibility listed above. Send as much evidence as possible.
Will a fee waiver request delay my application, make me ineligible for naturalization, or deportable?
No, submitting a fee waiver will not affect your citizenship eligibility as long as you received the benefits legally.
How do I apply for a partial fee waiver?
Your filing fee will be reduced to $320 if your family income is between 150 to 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Guidelines. In this case, you need to file Form I-942, Request for Reduced Fee, with your Form N-400.
Can I rush (expedite) my application?
Your application may be expedited in situations such as:
- Severe financial loss to company or person.
- Emergency situation.
- Humanitarian reasons.
- Nonprofit organization whose request is in furtherance of the cultural and social interests of the United States.
- Department of Defense or national interest situation (These particular expedite requests must come from an official U.S. government entity and state that delay will be detrimental to the government.)
- USCIS error.
- Compelling interest of USCIS.
How can I expedite my application?
Rough step guideline is listed below:
Step 1: Along with your N-400 Application include all evidence and a letter to explain why you are requesting to expedite your application. On top of the N-400 and the mailing envelope, write “Expedite Request” in bold.
Step 2: Send a copy of your expedite request to the director of the local USCIS office that will be handling your case, or deliver the request in person by scheduling an InfoPass appointment
Or you can also request by calling the USCIS customer service line at 1-800-375-5283, where you will be forwarded to the service center or local USCIS office handling your case.
Should you have specific circumstances, you can also reach out to our attorneys for help!
If I am 75 or older, do I have to go to the biometrics appointment?
Yes, you are still required to attend the biometrics appointment for USCIS to collect your fingerprints, signature, and photographs for further review of your application.
What if I cannot attend my naturalization interview?
Although it is highly not recommended to miss an appointment with the USCIS, if you cannot attend your naturalization interview, send a letter to the USCIS as soon as possible with an explanation and request for a new appointment. IF you do not show up to your interview without prior notice, your case will be closed.
What happens if USCIS denies my appeal?
Depending on the reason for the denial, you may be able to re-apply for naturalization. For example, if you were denied for failing the citizenship test, you can re-apply for naturalization at any time in the future. If you wish to appeal a denial of a request for administrative review, the next step is judicial review. You can find further information such as possible reasons and how to apply for administrative review on USCIS website.
What is an administrative review?
During an administrative review, your naturalization interview will be conducted with an alternate USCIS officer who will review your application again. If you think you have additional evidence or information that may help with your application, you may present it during this interview.
How can I request for an administrative review?
You can request for an administrative review within 30 days after you received the denial letter. You will file Form N-336 and pay the required fee, and you will schedule your administrative within 180 days after you file Form N-336, Request for a Hearing on a Decision in Naturalization Proceedings (Under Section 336 of the INA.)
What is judicial review?
In naturalization cases, judge from the federal district court hears your case. You must file the Petition for Review with the U.S. district court in the area where you live within 120 days after USCIS denies your administrative review. You will send one copy of the petition to your USCIS district office director and one copy to the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security. You should get an attorney to help you with the petition and prepare you to appear before a judge. Further information please refer to USCIS website.
Can I Apply for Citizenship If I’ve Divorced the Person Who Got Me My Green Card?
Yes, but you will have to be a permanent resident for up to 5 years before becoming eligible for Naturalization. Also, your USCIS officer may ask you to present evidence of the marriage during your naturalization interview.
I’ve waited for months for my Oath Allegiance Ceremony but I still haven’t heard from USCIS, what should I do?
You can the several options to go with:
- Option 1: Contact USCIS's Contact center. It may set up an appointment for you to visit the nearest USCIS office. Please have your Green Card and other naturalization-related paperwork ready, including recommended approval given to you by your USCIS officer at the end of your interview.
- Option 2: Send a letter with your A-number on it, along with the recommended approval given to you by your USCIS officer at the end of your interview to the USCIS office that handled your interview.
- Option 3: Consult an attorney. They are familiar with the process of following up on delays and lost files, and if they’re experienced, they would also know the typical wait time for the region you are in and also how to make inquiries about the delay.
You may also contact Visa2us for consultation, our experienced attorneys would love help.
What if the applicant is too physically disabled to take the Oath of Allegiance
Oath waiver is available for applicants who are unable to take the Oath of Allegiance due to severe disabilities. There is no standard form used to request an oath waiver. USCIS prefers that you request it when first sending in the N-400, but you can also request it for the first time at the naturalization interview.
After becoming a U.S. citizen, should I update my Social Security Numbers?
After your naturalization ceremony, update your Social Security record at a local office of the Social Security Administration (SSA). Please wait at least ten days after your ceremony before going to the SSA to ensure the data reflecting your naturalization has been updated in the system. When visiting the SSA, please bring your Certificate of Naturalization or U.S. passport To find your local Social Security office, visit socialsecurity.gov.
Can I delay my Oath of Allegiance?
It is important to keep all appointments with USCIS to avoid delays in processing the application. If you cannot make it to the Oath of Allegiance ceremony, you should return the "Notice of Naturalization Oath Ceremony" (Form N-445) that USCIS sent to you. You should send the N-445 back to your local office and include a letter saying why you cannot go to the ceremony. Make a copy of the notice and your letter before you send them to USCIS. Your local office will reschedule you and send you a new "Notice of Naturalization Oath Ceremony" (Form N-445) to tell you when your ceremony will be.