English Tests and U.S. Citizenship

U.S. citizenship eligibility requirements

How comfortable are you with your English language skills? Are you required to take an English language and civics test? Find out more here:

Generally, the applicant applying for a U.S. citizenship must prove that they have mastered the basics in spoken and written English. The applicant is also required to prove a general knowledge of basic American politics and history by taking the so-called civics test.

Many schools and community organizations offer preparation courses for the U.S. civics test. You can find example test questions in the brochure “Guide to Naturalization”. Furthermore, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has online plenty of study materials like flashcards, an online practice test and the guide “Learn About the United States: Quick Civics Lessons”. These materials can be downloaded and used online for free.  

Waiver for the English and Civics test requirement

Depending on the age of the applicant and the amount of time they have spent in the USA, some people applying for a U.S. citizenship must meet different requirements.  

If you

...have lived in the USA as a permanent resident (Green Card holder) for 

You do not have to …

You have to …

…are 50 years or older

…20 years.

…take the English test.

…pass the civics test in your native language.

…are 55 years or older

…15 years.

…take the English test.

pass the civics test in your native language.

… are 65 years or older.

…20 years

…take the English test.

pass a simplified civics test in your native language.


If you are required to take the civics test, you may bring your own interpreter with you who is fluent in both your language and English. If you cannot attend the English or civics test because of a physical or developmental disability or mental impairment, then you may be eligible for an exception. For more information, please contact the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) hotline at 1-800-870-3676 and ask for the form number N-648 or download a copy of the form from the USCIS website