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Do I need to pass an English language test to get a green card/U.S. citizenship? What about the civics test?

By December 4, 2020April 30th, 2021Immigration
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Applying for a green card

You will not have to complete a language test at your green card interview.

However, with your green card application (more specifically, with your I-944 form, you will have to submit evidence about your English and other language skills). You should submit evidence of any language certificates (e.g. TOEFL) and any language and/or literacy classes you took/are currently taking (e.g. English classes you took in high schools/college).

Please note that if you are a native English speaker, you should submit evidence such as you high school diploma or college degree transcripts showing that your native English language was studied for credit.

Applying for a U.S. citizenship

When you are applying for a U.S. citizenship, you will have to complete an English language test that consist of speaking, reading, and writing.


  • Speaking: this will be evaluated by the USCIS officer at your naturalization interview
  • Reading: you will have to read alone one of 3 sentences correctly at your naturalization interview
  • Writing: you will have to write one of 3 sentences correctly at your naturalization interview

What is a civics test?

In order to become a U.S. citizen, you will need to pass a U.S. civics test. You do not need to pass this test to become a green card holder.

Please note that you will not be taking the civics test online, but the USCIS officer will ask you 10 questions at your naturalization interview and you will need to answer 6 of them correctly.

Please note that if you are filing your naturalization on or after December 1, 2020, you will need to take an updated version of the civics test. . You will have to study 128 questions about the American government and history and at the interview, you will be asked 20 questions and you will have to answer 12 of them correctly to pass (so the passing rate remains 60%).

Please note that if you are over 65 years old or if you have been a green card holder for 20 years, then under the new rules you will be asked 10 questions and have to answer 6 of them correctly.

In case you fail the civics test, you will have one more opportunity to re-take it again (within 60-90 days of your interview).

You should visit USCIS website as it has a dedicated section for the civics test.

Please read more about what are the requirements to become a U.S. citizen when you click here.

Please read more about the I-944 form when you click here.

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