Can I take the civics test in another language?

On Behalf of | Feb 15, 2023 | Citizenship And Naturalization, Immigration |

Taking a civics test is part of the naturalization process to grant United States citizenship to immigrants. The U.S. government has a requirement that immigrants take the test in the English language. However, your situation might make it difficult or impossible to complete the test in English.

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services website explains that some immigrants can take the civics test in their native language. Here is a look at how such accommodations could happen.

Age and duration of stay

The U.S. government considers how old you are and how long you have been a permanent resident. First, there is the 50/20 exception. This means you may take the test in your native language if you are no less than 50 years old and have been in the U.S. on a Green Card for 20 years.

Alternatively, you may qualify for the 55/15 exception. This provision grants you a language exemption if you are 55 years of age or older and have been a U.S. permanent resident for at least 15 years.

How you may receive accommodation

After meeting either of these exceptions, the U.S. government allows you to bring an interpreter to the test interview. Your interpreter can translate the test questions into your language and your answers into English. However, your interpreter must be fluent in both English and the language you speak.

Be aware of other exemptions

The U.S. government could also grant language accommodations if you have a mental or developmental disability. It could be possible to forego the civics test in favor of other arrangements to secure your citizenship.

Do not give up hope if your personal situation seems to disqualify you from completing naturalization. A look at your options could help you secure another route to U.S. citizenship.