If you want to seek citizenship or go through with naturalization, you may be aware that there is an English and civics test. That might be terrifying to you if you’ve only come to the country within the last few years or if you simply don’t speak the language well.

The good news is that there are English language exemptions allowed for some people. For example, if you are 50 or older when you apply for naturalization and have been in the United States as a green card holder for at least 20 years, then you may not need to take the English test. If you are 55 or older and have been in the U.S. for 15 years, you may also not need to take the test.

If you are exempt from the English test but don’t speak English, how do you take the civics test?

The great thing about the civics test is that you are allowed to bring an interpreter with you if you don’t speak English and would like to take the test in your own native language. Your interpreter does need to be bilingual in your language and English. If you are 65 or older when applying for naturalization and have been a permanent resident of the United States for the last 20 years or longer, then you will receive special instructions because you are in a different situation than many people who seek citizenship.

Your attorney can give you more information about what to do if you don’t speak English or if you qualify for an exemption based on the length of time that you’ve been living in the United States.