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Getting My US CitizenShip

Updated on February 11, 2015

How to Be Prepared for Your US Citizenship Interview

The Steps necessary to have a successful interview to help you become a US Citizen

Becoming a United States Citizen is a long journey. It involves filling out paperwork, interpreting the paperwork, photocopying, interviews and studying for the US civics and history test. This citizenship test is one of the last steps to becoming a full fledged US Citizen. It is a little nerve racking- yes truthfully it is. It is worth it? Most definitely yes.

  • What you Need to Prepare for your US Citizenship Interview:
  • Filling out the Application for Naturalization:
  • Preparing for the Citizenship Interview: How to Study
  • The Big Day: Your Citizenship Interview:
  • Speaking with the Immigration Officer:
  • After your Citizenship Interview:

Back in 2009, I also wrote the US Citizenship Test in Hartford CT. I was very nervous, but i was prepared and got through it - and so can you successfully.

What you Need to Prepare for your US Citizenship Interview:

  • Your citizenship letter that you receive after filling out the N-400 application
  • Your study guide which includes a study book and a cd rom
  • Your personal paperwork (birth certificates, marriage cerfiticate, passport)
  • Personal Idenfication Cards (Your drivers license, your resident card)
  • Directions to the immigration office

Filling out the Application for Naturalization:

To become a US Citizen, you must first fill out an application. The application is called the N-400. You can print out this application over the internet. Just go the website to download the application. It is a great idea to just fill out the application online and then print it out. It makes for a clear, concise, readable application with less mistakes. First, make sure you have all your information ready to go.

Next, send in your application along with the check. An application in 2009 cost approximately $675 and this included finger printing.

You will be sent a letter that indicates that your application has been approved and you must show up for fingerprinting.

On the day of your fingerprinting, you will be given your study materials for the US Citizenship Interview. In particular, you will be given a study guide, a cd rom and also as example test that includes 100 questions and answers.

Preparing for the Citizenship Interview: How to Study

Learn About the United States

You will have many weeks to study for this US Citizenship test. It includes information about US History, US Politics, and other useful information about the United States. Some of these questions will be very easy to answer if you watch the news regularly. For example, who is the Vice President of the United States? (The Answer to this Question is Joe Biden) .Some of these questions will be a little more complex and involve knowing US History. For example, What territory did the United States buy from France in 1803? (The answer to this question is Louisiana ). The information guide does a great job of giving you background information about each question. Keep in mind that you do not have to know all the exact details of each question- but it is good to understand the history, politics and information about the United States- not only to be able to pass the citizenship test, but to understand US history when you talk to your family, friends and strangers.

Study a few questions everyday. Insert the CD into your car CD-player and listen to the questions over and over. The voice on the CD is a clear voice that includes all the questions and the answers.

Some of the questions will be specific to your particular state. For example, here are 3 questions that you will have to know about the state that you reside in. I will take as an example, the state of Connecticut.

  • What is the Capital of Connecticut? - Hartford
  • Who is the Connecticut's Secretary of State?- Denise Merrill
  • Who is the Governor of Connecticut - Dannel Malloy

The Big Day: Your Citizenship Interview:

So the day has arrived that you must present to your citizenship interview. A few things that you should prepare for on your big day. First get directions to the immigration office that you have to report to. Next, make sure you have the documentation that you need including- your resident card (aka green card), your passport, and your drivers license. If you are seeking citizenship based on your spouse or being afflicated with the armed forces you may have to bring additional documentation. Regardless, read the letter carefully and it will tell you exactly what to bring.

Arrive at least 30 minutes before your interview. Sometimes immigration offices are located in the heart of a city. This means that you may have to find parking which could mean spending a few extra dollars to be parked in a safe and nearby lot.

As you enter the immigration building you will be checked by immigration officers to make sure that you are safe. Have your citizenship letter with you, ready to go. Also, best to turn your cell phone off or to vibrate.

Next, as you enter the immigration office, go directly to the sign in location and let the receptionist know that you are here. They will take your letter and date stamp it. In the meantime, you can sit down and relax. You can watch tv, twiddle your thumbs or study your immigration study guide. Everyone's study habits are different.

Speaking with the Immigration Officer:

The immigration officer will call you into the interview office. The first thing you will do is stand up and raise your right hand - and swear to tell the whole truth (and nothing but the truth).

Next he or she will begin going through your paperwork. They will ask for your driver's license, your resident card and your passport. Have these three pieces of personal identification ready to go.
After confirming all of your information (Which includes your name, where you live, where you work, where you have lived in the past, your marital status, your arrest history, etc), you will be ready for the test. The immigration officer will ask you able 7-10 questions from the study guide verbally. You must answer him or her to the best of your knowledge. Once that is complete, they will ask you to read a sentence and also write a sentence (both in English). This section of the interview can be actually be completed in 2 minutes or less, if you are prepared.
Finally, they will yes you passed or no you did not pass.

After your Citizenship Interview:

If you passed, you will be given a separate invitation for that oath ceremony, where you will become a US citizen at last. You will also give up your green card after the oath ceremony. Keep in mind that this particular ceremony takes up to 2 hours.

But for now, you can breathe a sign of relief - as you one step closer to becoming a US Citizen.

Check out the Citizenship Test Review

Have you had the experience of getting Your US Citizenship?

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