As someone seeking citizenship or shooting for naturalization in the United States, you know about the civics and English test. This checks both your knowledge about historical events in the United States and other civics matters, along with your proficiency in English.
Of course, not every immigrant that comes to the country speaks English upon arrival. This does not mean you do not plan on learning, nor should you automatically get turned away because you have not had the chance to do so yet. Fortunately, this is where exemptions come into play.
Who is exempt?
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services discusses English language exemption for citizenship tests. In short, if you qualify for any of these exemptions, then you may not have to take the English proficiency test when applying for citizenship or going through the naturalization process.
Some examples of exempt persons include those aged 55 and up who have resided in the United States for 15 years. Green cardholders who are over 50 and have held their green card for 20 years also count as exempt. Those aged 65 and older and have had permanent residency for 20 years or longer will receive additional special instructions, as this particular group is not very large or common.
Additional help with civics
Fortunately, if you count as exempt, you can also bring an interpreter to take the civics test. This should help alleviate some concerns about these two big and potentially frightening hurdles, but you will want to speak with legal help to ensure whether or not you have access to these exemptions first.