Immigration Law Is All About Family

What happens if someone fails the naturalization tests?

On Behalf of | Jun 21, 2023 | Naturalization/Citizenship

Citizenship is often the final goal for immigrants who have visas or green cards. There are many benefits to becoming a naturalized citizen of the United States of America. The right to vote, the opportunity to run for certain political offices and even enhanced immigration opportunities for family members can inspire people to naturalize and shift from permanent residents to United States citizens.

Many people delay becoming citizens because the process intimidates them. The naturalization process requires paperwork and an interview with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The naturalization interview includes a test in Civics and another test in English. Applicants also generally have to answer a certain percentage of Civics questions correctly and prove their proficiency with both spoken and written English.

What happens if the immigrant attempting to naturalize fails the test?

The USCIS allows people to retake the test

English is a very difficult language to learn, especially when someone is older. The government and history of the United States can also be difficult for someone to learn if they previously primarily learned the laws in their nation of origin or if there is a language barrier. Therefore, the USCIS does recognize that some people will not pass the naturalization test when they first attempt to do so.

Immigrants have the option of retaking the test once if they fail it the first time. They will need to schedule that retake within 60 to 90 days of when they failed the test initially. The good news is that the vast majority of applicants will pass either when they initially take the test or when they retake the test. Only a small percentage of applicants truly fail.

Some applicants can appeal after a second failed naturalization test. They will file paperwork with the USCIS within 30 days of the test and may be able to retake the English portion of the test once more. Those who don’t pass after the retake can apply again, but they will have to resubmit paperwork and pay the fees associated with naturalization a second time.

Knowing what happens during and after the naturalization testing process may benefit those aspiring to become United States citizens.