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Things to know when preparing for U.S. citizenship

A brief survey of adults in Florida who were born and raised in the United States regarding their knowledge of U.S. history, government issues and the basics of the criminal justice and civil law systems in America would likely reveal how much people don't know. On the other hand, immigrants who hope to obtain citizenship must prove their knowledge and understanding of such matters as well as competence in reading, speaking and writing the English language. Preparing for a citizenship test can be quite arduous. 

Regarding the language portion of the U.S. citizenship test, immigration officials generally assess an applicant's comprehension and skill level in various ways. An applicant may be asked to write out several sentences in English. There's no way to know ahead of time what these sentences will be; therefore, the person applying will want to make sure he or she is prepared to write any basic statement in English.  

Part of the test may also involve demonstrating one's ability to read English by reading a portion of the test itself aloud to the test proctor. Questions and answers will be exchanged between the immigration official and the test applicant, thus further demonstrating an applicant's ability to understand and speak English. If a person fails these portions of the citizenship test on a first attempt, he or she may remain hopeful because the opportunity to test again is usually provided.  

However, failing the second time out typically results in a citizenship denial. An immigrant whose application for citizenship is denied may re-apply at a later time. Many immigrants, such as those age 50 and over who have lived in the U.S. for 15 or more years, may waive certain portions of the citizenship test. Such waivers vary according to circumstances and certain eligibility rules apply. Any Florida resident in need of legal support regarding a citizenship test may seek assistance by requesting a meeting with an experienced immigration and naturalization law attorney.  

Source: FindLaw, "The Citizenship Test", Accessed on May 2, 2018

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