The citizenship exam is a part of the naturalization process, wherein a non-U.S. citizen renounces their allegiance to their country of origin. After the candidate has filed their naturalization application, they may be scheduled for an interview with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).  This usually comes towards the end of the naturalization process, after the applicant has already submitted most of their citizenship documents.

The citizenship exam tests the applicant’s knowledge of subjects like U.S. history, U.S. government, and other subjects. This portion of the application is also known as the “civics test”. A written language proficiency test is sometimes part of the application exam.

What Are Some Examples of Subjects Tested on the Citizenship Exam?

The citizenship exam may be different for each applicant, but generally speaking, the following types of questions may appear on the citizenship exam:

  • Who is the current President of the U.S?
  • How long does a President’s term of office last?
  • What are the colors of the U.S. flag?
  • How many stars are on the U.S. flag?
  • What are the three main branches of the U.S. government?
  • What role does the legislative branch perform?
  • Who is the current chief justice of the U.S Supreme Court?
  • Who are the Pilgrims?
  • What was the name of the ship that brought the Pilgrims to America?
  • What was the Emancipation Proclamation?
  • What is the significance of July 4th?

As you can see, most of these questions would be somewhat common knowledge for a U.S. citizen. However, some of them can be very specific and may not be known to a recent immigrant, or one who hasn’t studied up on U.S. history. U.S. immigration and naturalization agencies usually offer a reviewer pamphlet to help the applicant study for the citizenship exam.

Waivers for the citizenship exam can sometimes be obtained.  For example, if the applicant sixty-five years old or older, and has lived in the U.S. as a lawful permanent resident for at least twenty years, they may be exempt from taking the citizenship exam.

Do I Need a Lawyer for Help with the U.S. Citizenship Examination?

Even with the reviewer material, it may be necessary to hire a qualified immigration lawyer for help with the citizenship exam. An experienced lawyer can help make sure that you’re prepared for the citizenship exam, and that you’ve fulfilled any other document requirements for the citizenship application. You may also need to hire a lawyer if a loved one of yours needs legal representation for any immigration or citizenship needs.