English Language Citizenship Test: Who’s Exempt? 10 Things to Know

Many people avoid the citizenship test due to an inability to pass the English Language Citizenship Test.

Usually, fear of failure is the main reason.

Still, there are millions of green card holders who might be less afraid if they knew about certain rules.

This blog post is designed to explain how certain people are exempt from the English Language Citizenship Test.

  1. If you are at least 50 years old when you file your naturalization application AND have been in possession of a green card for at least 20 years, you can take the civics test in your native language.
  2. If you are at least 55 years old when you file your naturalization application AND have been in possession of a green card for at least 15 years, you can take the civics test in your native language.
  3. In the two above scenarios you do not need to take the English Language Citizenship Test.
  4. However you must still study 100 civics questions.
  5. But these questions are not difficult.  My 4th grader studies this stuff in his social studies class.
  6. And of the 100 questions, you will be only asked 10 questions.
  7. Even better, you only need to get 6 correct to pass the test.
  8. If you ask to waive the English Language Citizenship Test, bring a Unites States citizen or green card holder to your naturalization interview.  This person must be fluent in English and your native tongue.
  9. If you are at least 65 years old when you file your naturalization application AND have been in possession of a green card for at least 20 years, you can take the civics test in your native language PLUS you only need to study 20 questions which are found here.
  10. There is also a medical disability waiver which I will cover in another blog post.

Remember: the New Naturalization Application is 21 Pages Long!

A great immigration attorney can navigate you through the New Citizenship Application and onto becoming naturalized.  

Even if you do not need to take the English Language Citizenship Test, legal guidance is often crucial.

Written by: Harlan York

Immigration Attorney Harlan York is Former Chair, Immigration Section, NJ State Bar Association and Former Co-Chair, NY State Bar Association CFLS Immigration Committee. Mr. York appeared on National Television on CBS This Morning with Charlie Rose and Primer Impacto on Univision, as well as Telemundo, NBC, and PBS. He was honored as First Ever Immigration Lawyer of The Year in NJ by Best Lawyers.

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