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What happens if someone fails the naturalization test?

On Behalf of | Aug 22, 2023 | Immigration Process

Once someone legally enters the United States, they may decide that they want to stay permanently. Unfortunately, most visas are only subject to renewal a specific number of times. After someone has been in the country for many years, they may no longer be eligible for the same visa.

A green card makes someone a permanent resident and allows them to potentially stay in the United States for the rest of their life. They will only have to submit new paperwork to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) every 10 years instead of renewing their visa more frequently than that.

Of course, permanent residents are still at risk of removal if they get convicted of certain crimes or have other issues while living in the United States. Citizenship is one of the only ways to ensure that an immigrant can stay in the country no matter what the future holds. Securing citizenship can also help someone to assist their loved ones if they would like to enter the United States as well. To become a citizen, immigrants must pass a naturalization test. What happens if someone fails the test?

Most applicants pass

It is normal and natural to worry about the worst-case scenario when considering one’s legal rights and options. Immigrants worry about whether they can pass the English language and Civics tests required for naturalization. The USCIS actually provides help for immigrants who worry about the testing process. There are vocabulary lists for those learning English and also a detailed breakdown of how the USCIS evaluates the performance of an applicant on the language portion of the test. The USCIS also provides a list of all of the potential questions that could be on the Civics test. Therefore, many immigrants have the opportunity to prepare for months until they feel comfortable with the standards for the test and confident in their ability to pass.

People get to retake the test

If an immigrant applying for naturalization fails either test, they have an opportunity to retake the test. Typically, they will need to retest within 60-90 days of the initial testing date. Those that pass the second time will move forward with the naturalization process. Those who fail the second test will usually need to reapply if they still hope to become citizens. Failing the test does not automatically lead to someone’s removal from the country nor result in their ineligibility for citizenship in the future.

Although it is normal for people to feel anxious about the testing process, those that prepare and know their rights will improve their chances of passing and becoming naturalized citizens. Learning more about the naturalization testing process can give people the confidence they need to move forward with their immigration plans.