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Don’t panic if you fail your naturalization interview the first time

On Behalf of | May 20, 2024 | Immigration Law |

The path to becoming a U.S. citizen is filled with hopes of great opportunities, but it can also be nerve-wracking. One major hurdle is the naturalization interview and test.

While most people pass on their first try, some may not. Are you worried about failing the first time around? Understanding the process can ease your anxiety.

The re-test option: A second chance at success

The good news is that failing the interview and test the first time around doesn’t prevent you from becoming a citizen. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) offers two re-test opportunities. This means you have a total of three chances to pass the English and civics portions of the exam.

If you fail any part of the English and civil tests in your first interview, USCIS will plan for you to redo the test within 60 to 90 days. This re-test will only test you on the sections you failed the first time.

If you fail again on the re-test, you are allowed to request a hearing before an immigration judge. You get to present any evidence that justifies reasons why you might have failed the test (e.g., illness, language barriers). You’ll also be given a third and final chance to pass the English and civics test at the hearing.

What happens after failing three times?

If you fail the test all three times, unfortunately, your application for naturalization will be denied. However, this doesn’t mean you can never become a citizen. You are allowed to reapply for naturalization. However, you’ll need to go through the entire application process again.

Preparing for the re-test: Strategies for success

Failing the test can be scary, but it can also be a valuable learning experience. This can be your chance to analyze your performance on the first test. Were you struggling with specific civics questions? Did you have difficulty understanding spoken English? Focus your studies on these areas.

To help ensure you ace the re-test, consider enrolling in citizenship classes and/or seeking legal help from a qualified legal team. They can provide you with personalized guidance and answer the questions you may have before redoing the test. Remember, failing a naturalization interview does not prevent you from becoming a U.S. citizen. By understanding how many chances you have to retake the test, you can increase your chances of success.