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Attending your citizenship interview and exam


INTERVIEW

The citizenship interview usually takes place about 14.5 months, on average, after USCIS receives your naturalization application (sooner or later for some applicants). USCIS will send you a letter — only once — with the date and location of your interview, as well as a list of any documents that you must bring.

For a successful interview, make sure that you:

  • Update your mailing address (if it’s changed since you filed your application) to avoid missing your appointment.

  • Don’t leave behind any of the requested paperwork (specified in an RFE you received earlier, if any) on the day of your interview.

  • Prepare adequately for the interview.

If you can’t attend on the date that USCIS has scheduled, you can request to reschedule the appointment by writing to the office where your interview is to take place. You will then receive a new letter with a revised date and time, but this could be several months in the future, which underscores the importance of showing up on the original date.

EXAM

In most cases, the citizenship exam is scheduled on the same day as your interview. It’s a good idea to adequately prepare for both components of the exam (English language skills and civics) to avoid needing to retake the test.

If you do not pass, you’ll need to retake the appropriate portion of the exam in order to move on to the next step of the process. You will be asked to return to the appointment location about 60 to 90 days following the initial date of your exam.

IMPORTANT: You must notify USCIS before your appointment date if you anticipate not being able to attend. Otherwise, USCIS will pause (“administratively close”) the naturalization process. If you let a year go by without contacting USCIS after they pause your application, you will be denied. If this happens, you will need to start the process all over again and pay the fees a second time.

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