How to prepare for USCIS interview after my citizenship application
It is commonly known that in order to obtain your citizenship in the U.S. you must comply with certain requirements and have some knowledge in basic history and the Constitution of the country.
That is why, as soon as you think about starting your naturalization process, you must find out if you meet the requirements for your application to be accepted and start preparing yourself for the interview process.
Some tips to prepare for your citizenship interview
Although most people know about the interview, they usually wait until they’ve been notified about their appointment to start studying for it.
If you want a piece of advice, don’t wait until you get the notification for your interview to start preparing yourself for the interview, start at the same time as you start preparing your N-400 form. Here are some tips that will help you feel more confident in your citizenship application.
1- Review your application
The main reason why we advise that you contact an expert when completing your N-400 form is that a lot of the questions that the USCIS officer will make on the interview will be based on what you have answered in your form.
Experts can guide you with all you need to know about Form N-400 and guarantee that your application will be approved.
Once you are sure you have completed your application correctly and send it to USCIS, we advise you to keep a copy of your exact answers, so you may check it and study it before your interview.
Afterward, you will be asked if there have been any changes to the information you have provided in your application. Most of the time, small changes do not affect the outcome of your naturalization process.
But some major changes such as a divorce, an arrest, or an absence from the United States for longer than six months could be negative for your case.
If any of those changes apply to you, you should contact your attorney to seek alternatives before your interview date.
2- Make sure you bring all necessary documents to your interview
Remember we said that you should keep a copy of your application? you may bring that to your interview to help you answer correctly.
Besides that, the documents you need to bring with you are the interview appointment notice, your permanent resident card, a driver’s license or another state-issued identification card, and all of your (current and expired) passports and travel documents.
Other original documents that you may need to bring to your interview depending on your case are:
Tax returns or tax transcripts for the past five years are necessary to prove you have complied with your obligations and hence, have good morals.
If for any reason, you haven’t been able to pay your taxes on time, you must bring a signed agreement from IRS showing that you have an agreement to pay the taxes you owe.
Proof of your current marital status
Depending on your status at the time you should bring proof such as your marriage certificate, divorce certificate, annulment decree, or death certificate.
If you are currently married and have had previous marriages, you should bring with you your current marriage certificate and proof of the termination of the previous marriages.
If you are filing based on your marriage to a U.S. citizen, you should bring documents that prove that your spouse has been a citizen for at least 3 years and that you have been married during that time.
Documents to support this can be, tax returns, lease agreements, bank statements, utility bills, etc. with both of your names on them.
Prove that all the children you have listed on your application are yours by bringing their birth certificates. If any of the children live apart from you but receive your support, you must bring checks and receipts showing your child support.
Selective service registration
If you are a male and lived in the United States between your 18th and your 26th you should have registered for selective services. You could get a letter or find other alternatives if you did not do it, but it is very important that you pay attention to this point.
Trips outside the United States
If you ever left the country for a period longer than 6 months, you should bring proof that you maintained continuous residence in the US during that period. Evidence that you did not terminate your employment or that you continued to pay your rent can support this.
Encounters with the law
if you were ever arrested, detained, or convicted before your naturalization application you must bring evidence of the disposition of those events. In many of these cases, getting help from an attorney is the best option.
3- Study for the English test
The English test in the interview has three components: speaking, reading, and writing.
For the speaking component, the USCIS officer will evaluate your abilities as the interview advances.
For the reading and writing parts you will be asked to read and write some sentences correctly, you will need to get at least one of them correctly in each section to pass the test.
With these sentences, you must prove that you understand the meaning of English-written texts and that you can create coherent sentences in English as well.
Keep in mind that although some questions may be asked at a specific moment, the USCIS officer will be evaluating your ability to understand and answer in English from the beginning of the interview. So make sure you follow instructions correctly and pay special attention to everything you are asked.
There are plenty of resources online that can guide you on the vocabulary and topics that could come up on the English test, although, the most natural way to improve your vocabulary and English skills is by reading children’s books, watching tv shows, and listening to music in English.
4- Prepare for the civics test
For the civics test, you will need to prove your knowledge of U.S history and civics. The USCIS officer has a bank of 100 questions on the topic and will ask you up to 10 questions.
You must answer at least 6 of those 10 questions correctly to pass the civics test. Fortunately, as most applicants aren’t taught about this since their early years, USCIS has some resources from which you can study before the test.
5- Don’t be nervous
As long as you know everything you’ve put in your form is truthful and you’ve studied long enough, everything should be fine, so try to not be nervous on the day of your interview.
Have a good night’s sleep and don’t feel intimidated by this process, everything should be fine.
6- Remember you have a second chance
If something else affects you during that day and you don’t pass the test, remember you get a second chance to take the test or just the part that you didn’t approve of.
However, try your best since the beginning so it doesn’t have to come to this and take all the steps mentioned above.