The United States is often adored by people from different countries as their new home. It is one of the reasons why 26% of the U.S. population is an immigrant, as per data from 2021. According to the data from USCIS, more than 7.4 million people were naturalized as permanent citizens of the U.S. in the last decade.
The reason why people want to become permanent citizens of the U.S. is due to the protection provided to citizens and their children. According to reports, 91% of Americans welcome new coming immigrants. Therefore, it can be said that the civic culture of the U.S. also allows foreign people to become part of the national fabric.
However, there is a complete process of naturalization that the applicants must undergo to get the status of citizenship in the U.S. Several people are unaware of the process, requirements, what to expect, outcome, etc.
One of the common situations after the naturalization interview arises when the interviewer tells the applicant that ‘USCIS will send you a written decision.’
In this article, we will talk about what this correspondence means, and things you should know when applying for U.S. citizenship.
What Is USCIS?
USCIS stands for United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, and it is a government institution in the U.S. The federal government agency oversees lawful immigration to the United States.
The usual services offered by the agency include lawful citizenship, immigration, adoptions, humanitarian programs, and working permit in the United States.
The department’s purpose is to oversee the immigration process and analyze applicants’ knowledge and understanding of the United States, its history, legal system, government, etc.
The department also manages the issuance of Green Card and U.S. citizenship. There are over 18,000 employees of the agency working at over 250 offices around the world.
What Is Citizenship Interview?
When you apply to become a citizen of the U.S. via Form N-400, the naturalization process starts. The relevant department reviews the application and calls the applicants for a citizenship interview.
The applicant appears in front of the immigration officer, and he will examine if the applicant is eligible to become a permanent citizen of the United States.
The naturalization or citizenship interview is the last step in the citizenship process. The immigration officer from USCIS asks the applicant questions about the application and background. The applicants have to go through English and Civics tests to qualify for citizenship.
The main purpose of the interview is to examine the applicant to assess if he is eligible for U.S. citizenship and capable of taking on the responsibilities of being a U.S. citizen.
How To Prepare For a Citizenship Interview?
Many applicants do not know how to prepare for the citizenship interview in the U.S. Here are a few things you should know about preparing for the U.S. citizenship interview:
- First, you should know that the questions the immigration officer will ask you during the interview are drawn from your responses in Form N-400 and supporting documents. Therefore, make sure to make a copy of your Form N-400 and supporting documents before submission.
- Review your answers in N-400 and supporting documents before appearing in the interview.
- You should keep track of changes between your document submission and the interview date. For instance, if your martial status changed and you also picked a new name or had a lawsuit. The immigration officer might ask you relevant questions to determine if you are still eligible for the process.
- You should review your supporting documents and court and police records before you go for the interview. The immigration officers often ask questions about the supporting documents and your A-file.
- A very useful tip for applicants who are going to appear for the citizenship interview is to be very honest about your background and other details. It is important because if the immigration officer finds an intentional lie in your fact stating, it can result in deportation and application rejection.
What Type Of Questions To Expect During the Interview?
As an applicant for naturalization in the U.S., your most important concern is what questions immigration will ask me during the interview.
So the answer to this is that the questions they will ask during the process are occasional and relates to your details and A-files. However, here are some general questions you can expect the immigration officer to ask you:
- Greetings like how are you, how is your day so far, how are you feeling, etc.
- Personal information like your name, other names, birthday, birthplace, race, ethnicity, etc
- Physical attributes like your height, weight, skin color, hair color, eyes color
- Family history like your mother’s name, father’s name, the resident status of your parents, if they are U.S. citizens, when did they get citizenship, how many children you have, your marital status, etc.
- Relationship history like name of your current & old spouse(if any), wedding date, resident status of your spouse, etc
- They can ask you questions about your immigration status, trips abroad, residential history, military service, income tax obligations, personal ethics, legal issues, affiliations to movements, organizations, and a lot more.
Tips For Interview Day
Here are a few tips on how to
Possible Outcomes Of the Interview
Once you undergo the interview and naturalization exam, there are usually any of the following outcomes:
- The immigration officer approves your application
- The immigration officer denies your application
- There is a third possibility: continue the examination without making a decision(if more information is needed).
What Does It Mean When Interviewer Says “USCIS Will Send You A Written Decision?”
In the third case, the immigration officer will tell you that ‘USCIS will send you a written decision.’ It means that the agency might need further evidence or there is a need for subsequent examination.
In the first case, the USCIS will send a written request to the applicant requiring him/her to provide the required evidence within 30 days. The Request For Evidence by USCIS should include the following:
- Specific documentation or information needed by the officer
- Applicable ways the applicants can opt to respond
- How much time is allowed for a reply?
In the second case, the reason why the decision couldn’t be made at interview time is the candidate’s failure in any portion of the test.
The officer can provide the applicant a second chance to pass the test within 60 to 90 days of the first test. However, this permission is only admissible when the applicant has not been found ineligible on other grounds.
FAQs About Citizenship Interview
How long will will uscis take to make a decision?
The USCIS immigration officer can take up to 120 days to make a final decision after the interview.
How long is the citizenship interview?
The naturalization interview of any given applicant can last anywhere around 30 minutes or less.
What should I bring to my citizenship interview in 2022?
When you are visiting the nearest USCIS facility for an interview, you should carry your permanent resident card (Form I-551), An ID form issued by the state, a valid or expired passport, and an appointment notice.
What are the most asked questions for citizenship?
The most asked questions during the common citizenship test include the current president of the U.S., two primary political parties in the U.S., voting time for president, frequency of presidential voting, etc.
Do I need a lawyer to apply for U.S. Citizenship?
No. It is not mandatory to have a lawyer when applying for citizenship. You can file the form yourself. However, you can seek legal advice from a lawyer, but it is at your discretion.
Will USCIS approve my Form N-400 Naturalization application once I pass the reading, writing, and civics portions of the test?
No, you should also pass the speaking test besides the reading, writing, and civics test.