Aware of medical disability exception option from tests during process of becoming a citizen in US?

disabled immi law

 

Due to any physical, developmental disabilities or any kind of mental impairment for the applicants who are not able to meet the educational requirements in 1994 Congress had passed a legislation which provides an exception to educational requirements in the process of becoming a citizen in US.

For applicants filing US citizenship application who are unable to fulfill due to any physical, developmental disabilities or any kind of mental impairment which was ‘medically determinable’ that has or will last for at least 12 months the English and civics requirements will not apply. By acceptable clinical or laboratory techniques ‘medically determinable’ determination are made which is defined by regulations.

Who can file for medical exception?

His/her inability to express the educational requirements needed for naturalization must be displayed in such a way that the disability or impairment of the applicant affects the performance of the individual. In order to request for an exception to the educational requirements for naturalization illiteracy will not be acceptable as a valid reason. For any ‘medically determinable’ physical, developmental disabilities or any kind of mental impairment advanced age of and in itself is not a reason additionally.

As an attachment to the naturalization application Form N-648, medical certification for disability exceptions must be submitted by an applicant seeking an exception to the educational requirements. The form should be completed only by a licensed medical professional. The applicant’s medical condition which prevents him/her to meet the English or civics requirement or both of them should be certified by the medical professional.

Concurrent filing of both the naturalization application and the disability based exception form are not allowed by United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for certain circumstances. So during any part of the naturalization process which includes after filing of the application but before the first examination or while the first examination is happening accordingly applicant may file for disability exception. Also either during the reexamination that occurs after the first examination of the applicant was rescheduled or after denial of the naturalization application when rehearing will take place the disability exception application may be filed by the applicant.

Difference between accommodation and medical exception

To the naturalization examination process request for exception is different from requesting an exception to the English and civics requirements. From the educational requirements complete exemption is given by an exception to the English and civics requirements. On the other hand to the manner in which an applicant meets the educational requirements are simply modified by an accommodation. From the educational requirements complete exemption is not given to the applicant.

Provision for sign language interpreters, extension to the time for testing and testing at an offsite location are some of the reasonable accommodations included.  Even with reasonable accommodations applicant should show that his/her medical condition prevents him/her from meeting the English and civics requirements in order to be eligible for a disability exception. Form N-648 must be in such cases for medical exception from educational requirements required for naturalization in US.

Know in detail about English test taken after filing US citizenship application.

English class

 

Ability to read, write, speak and understanding of English words used ordinarily must be demonstrated by an applicant filing US citizenship application. Understandable and relevant communication by using simple terminology and grammar is what is considered as ordinary usage. So this may include pronouncing, constructing, understanding and spelling errors while completing certain words, phrases and sentences which are noticeable.

The English requirement to gain citizenship status may still be met though an applicant may ask for words to be repeated or rephrased and also make some errors in pronunciation, spelling, and grammar. Unless the officer is satisfied whether the applicant fully understands the question being asked or if he/she is having a problem understanding the English language itself an officer should repeat and rephrase questions.

Test to check speaking ability

During the naturalization examination based on the ability of the applicant to respond to the questions asked normally, an officer determines an applicant’s ability to speak and understand English.  Related to the eligibility for naturalization and about questions available on the citizenship application questions are asked by the officer.  Unless the officer is satisfied in knowing whether the applicant fully understands the question being asked or if he/she is having a problem understanding the English language itself an officer should repeat and rephrase questions.

Communication in English is expected from an applicant about the naturalization application and also eligibility for naturalization if he/she does not qualify for a waiver of the English requirement. Each and every phrase or word on the application is not required to be understood by the applicant.

The ability to speak English is demonstrated sufficiently if the applicant generally understands and responds meaningfully to questions applicable to his or her naturalization eligibility.  If applicant is not able to speak English sufficient to understand and take the oath or answer questions on his/her application the applicant fails the speaking test. Rest of the naturalization test portions which include the reading, writing and civics portions must still be administered by the officer next.

The applicant should have an interpreter present in such cases to make them clearly understand the cost of withdrawing the naturalization application and an officer cannot suggest or allow a withdrawal of application from an applicant who cannot speak English.

Ability to reading English

Out of three sentences applicant must be able to read at least one in order to prove English reading ability sufficiently.  The reading test is automatically by the officer once one sentence is read correctly by the applicant.

In a manner that the applicant is able to communicate the meaning of the sentence without long pauses and also which the officer is able to understand if one of the three sentences are read by applicant then he/she passes the reading test. It’s okay for applicant to generally omit short words making errors in pronouncing or intonation of words without affecting the meaning but should read all content words of at least one sentence.

If unable to read at least one sentence successfully the applicant fails the reading test. The applicant should also not omit one content word also or substitute another word instead. Reading sentence after long period of pauses and in such a way that the officer doesn’t understand the sentence including making errors like in pronouncing or word modulation also results in failure of English reading test.

Testing English writing ability

Applicant must write at least one sentence out of the three sentences in such a manner that the officer understands it to prove English writing ability sufficiently. Using the standardized forms of a writing test the sentence is dictated to the applicant by the officer. None of the words should be abbreviated by applicant. The officer should stop the writing test once the applicant is able to write at least one of the three sentences in such manner that the officer understands it.

Spelling, punctuation or capitalization errors made do not result in writing test failure of the applicant. But if the officer is not able to understand the sentence and the errors done affects the meaning of the sentence then the applicant fails the writing test.

If meaning of one of the three sentences is communicated by the applicant to the officer he/she passes the writing test. The sentence may have few grammatical or capitalization or spelling errors. Also short words which do not change the meaning of the sentence may be omitted and numbers can either be written as digits or spelled out.

In a way that the meaning of the sentence is not conveyed and the officer is not able to understand the sentence if applicant writes then he/she fails the test. If the sentence written is different with other words, words written in abbreviated form, with just one or two isolated words and if fully scribbled then in the writing test the applicant fails.

Exemption exists for party affiliated applicant filing US citizenship application?

 

nazi image

 

Instances when a naturalization applicant who meets all requirements for filing US citizenship application is found to be associated with a communist party may also be granted an exemption and could also obtain US citizenship. Solely the burden lies with the applicant to prove his/her eligibility for that exemption in this case. So in order to obtain US citizenship for some applicants the time it takes to be fully eligible will decide the time period of how long to become citizen
.

For this it’s important for the naturalization applicant to establish one of the following:

  • Involuntarily the applicant had got the membership or affiliation;
  • Unaware of the nature or the organizational aims the applicant’s membership or affiliation was and once the applicant came to know the he/she had discontinued membership;
  • Prior to the applicant attained the age of 16 the membership or affiliation was terminated;
  • More than 10 years prior to the filing for naturalization the applicant’s membership or affiliation was terminated;
  • by operation of law the applicant’s membership or affiliation was;
  • In order to obtain food rations, for purposes of obtaining employment or other fundamentals of living the applicant’s membership or affiliation was necessary.

The applicant’s participation must have been minimal in nature though he/she had participated without being aware of the nature or the aims of that organization. Benefits which were available on a regular basis to the rest of the population including fundamental requirements of living like shelter, food, education, clothing and employment must have been provided by the organization of which the applicant was also a member.

Applicants with higher educational qualification are eligible for this exemption only if he/she can prove that the circumstances were so special that the need for higher education were converted into basic needs like food or employment and in order to receive such prerequisites of living the applicant had extended only minimal support required.

If reason for being a member was to obtain a college education it is inexcusable and not considered as basic essential of living. Hence the applicant should prove that the special circumstances were such that requirement of higher education was like the other very basic needs like food or employment requirements.

Other affiliations affecting naturalization in US

Applicants are not eligible for admission into the United States and are permanently disqualified from naturalization if they are directly or indirectly in association with the Nazi government of Germany or any government which is allied with or occupied by the Nazi government of Germany. Responsibility to prove that the applicant is not ineligible to obtain US citizenship based on involvement in the Nazi party by providing the required proof or support documents to support the claim is with the applicant.

Since he or she is disallowed from establishing good moral character applicant is banned forever from naturalization if he/she was engaged in harassment or genocide. Also prior to being admitted as a lawful permanent resident (LPR) an applicant would become inadmissible if he/she was engaged in either harassment or genocide. In accordance with all the provisions applicable such an applicant would not have lawfully acquired LPR status and hence would not be eligible for naturalization. They could also be deported in such cases.

Connections with national security issues arise from information about applicant’s membership in a terrorist organization. While determining the applicant’s eligibility in terms with the good moral character (GMC) and attachment requirements such information is important.

Register with selective service before filing US citizenship application.

sss selective service

 

With selective service all males in US generally should register after their 18th birthday within 30 days time or anytime before he turns 26 years of age. This registration was suspended by US government in April, 1975 but was again resumed in 1980. Intentionally failing or refusing to register for selective service an applicant contradicts his temperament to the good order and happiness of the United States. Also this shows no attachment to principles of the Constitution, no good moral character, and also no willingness to bear arms on behalf of the United States. By registering applicant benefit even when filing US citizenship application.

How to register?

At their local post office applicants can register for selective service, also by returning a Selective Service registration card received by mail or on Selective Service System website online. By calling (847) 688-6888 or at www.sss.gov, confirmation of registration may be obtained. As proof of registration the officer may also accept other convincing evidence presented by an applicant.

Appropriate data is transmitted by USCIS to the Selective Service System (SSS) for male applicants between the ages of 18 and 26 in order to assist them with the registration process for those who apply for adjustment of status.

USCIS assists with the registration process by transmitting the appropriate data to the Selective Service System (SSS) for male applicants between the ages of 18 and 26 who apply for adjustment of status. As his official proof of Selective Service registration an acknowledgement that is sent by Selective Service to the eligible male who has registered can be used.

Not registered with selective service?

Knowingly and intentionally refusing or failing to register with Selective service during the legal period will lead to USCIS denial of the naturalization application of an applicant. Before concluding that he failed to register a status information letter and registration acknowledgement card will be requested for the applicant by the officer. Same is the case while applying for American citizenship online also.

Whether a requirement to register existed will be indicated in the status information letter. The applicant’s failure to register was not a knowing or intentional act must be shown by a prevalence of the evidence by him. On behalf of the applicant if process is not completed due to failure on the part of USCIS or SSS then it will not constitute a willful failure to register on the part of the applicant.

In addition to failure to register it will show that the applicant is not well inclined to the good order and happiness of the US in cases where denial notice establishes intentional failure to register. Based on age of the applicant at time of US citizenship application filing and till the time of the oath this determination depends.

If aged below 26 years applicants are generally ineligible. If age is between 26 and 31 years for naturalization applicants may be ineligible but USCIS will give an opportunity to the applicant to show that it was not required for him to register or intentionally or knowingly he did not fail to do so. For applicants above 31 years of age they are eligible. Even if the applicant knowingly and intentionally fails to register, outside of the legal period only the applicant would have failed to register and so would be eligible for naturalization.

Registration not required

With selective service following males classes are not required to register:

  • If aged over 26 years
  • Between 18 and 26 years if age those who did not live in the United
  • Living in the US between 18 and 26 years of age but for the whole period maintained lawful non-immigrant status
  • Was born before December 31, 1959 but after March 29, 1957.

US citizenship application after filing is checked thoroughly.

USC application checks

 

Main requirement for an applicant who is filing the US citizenship application is to be a lawful permanent resident and above 18 years of age during naturalization. Also though the applicant has a permanent resident card if the status of lawful permanent resident was not obtainedlegally the applicant is not eligible for US citizenship. Also at the time of filing applicant must have resided continuously in the US for minimum 5 years as a LPR. But 90 days prior to reaching the five years continuous period of residence the naturalization application can be filed.

General Requirements under INA 316

All the applicable requirements of the conditional residence provisions must have been met by a conditional permanent resident (CPR) who is filing for naturalization under the general provision based on his or her permanent resident status for five years. All the conditions on the resident status must have been removed for CPRs to be eligible for naturalization. If not removed it means that in accordance with all applicable Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) provisions the CPR was not admitted to US for permanent residence. The applicant’s Form I-751, Petition to Remove the Conditions of Residence must first be approved and only then the applicant remains will be eligible for naturalization.

Who are given exception?

  1. For non-citizen nationals of the United States law provides an exception to the LPR requirement for naturalization. This means persons who are born in outlying possessions of the United States like American Samoa or Swains Island currently are considered to be nationals of the United States. Applicant who has become a resident of any such State and also fulfills the applicable requirements of naturalization laws may be naturalized though he/she is a non-citizen national of the United States and also does not establish lawful admission for permanent residence. As defined in the INA these nationals are not “aliens” and a Permanent Resident Card (PRC) is not possessed by them.
  2. US armed force personnel are exempted from the LPR requirement if they are members with service under specified conditions.

Documents for evidence

As evidence for his/her status Permanent Resident Card is issued to each person admitted lawfully for permanent residence by USCIS.  As evidence to their status lawful permanent residents (LPRs) who are over 18 years of age should have their Permanent Resident Card (PRC). The date and the classification under which the person was given LPR status are provided in the Permanent Resident Card. But to establish that the applicant has been lawfully admitted for permanent residence in agreement with all applicable provisions of the INA the PRC alone, however, is insufficient.

Continuous residence for at least five years needs to be met by a naturalization applicant. This means an applicant should have maintained a residence as permanent place of dwelling in United States for the required period according to the legal order. Generally the actual physical location of the applicant regardless to their intentions whether he/she declare it as his or her residence is the applicant’s residence.

Need exception from test after filing US citizenship application?

 

USCIS interpreters

Due to a disability an accommodation for taking the English and civics tests may be required by an applicant who has filed US citizenship application.In order to meet the applicant’s specific needs appropriate accommodation should be used by USCIS officer. Applicants could also opt to for applying for American citizenship online. For an exception from taking these naturalization tests also some applicants with disabilities may be qualified additionally.

Reading Test in Large Print if required

For applicants who are partially blind or with low vision the latest naturalization reading test version in larger prints should be provided by an officer.

Writing Test orally

Physically impaired applicants should be allowed to take writing test verbally by officer thus causing less or no use of hands. By spelling out words from the writing test the applicant may satisfy the writing requirements.

Nonverbal Communication

Actions like blinking, shaking or nodding of head, tapping, or other effective forms of communication that are nonverbal should be accepted by officer during the naturalization examination.  To answers on the application the officer should also allow the applicant to point and to the civics test if the applicant is not able to communicate verbally allow the applicant to write out the answers. Form of communication should be decided upon by the officer, the applicant, and also the applicant’s representative if present before the start of the naturalization examination.

Sign Language Interpreters

For applicants with hearing difficulties like being deaf or hard of hearing their requests should be given primary consideration by USCIS while deciding the type of accommodation to a person with disability. An English sign language interpreter should be provided for a deaf or applicant who is hard of hearing by the field officer on his or her request provided the applicant doesn’t opt to bring an interpreter of his or her own choice. As required the officer should use any communication aids available for the deaf or hard of hearing. Also the applicant must be permitted to read lips and also be allowed to answer in writing the officer’s questions.

Unable to take the Oath of Allegiance?

Some applicants may find it difficult to take the Oath of Allegiance at the oath ceremony due to a disability or medical impairment. Accommodations to the Oath of Allegiance are also available. For a waiver of the Oath of Allegiance also some applicants may qualify.

1.       For agreement to the Oath language is simplified

For better understanding of the questions regarding to the oath in a clear, simplified language and a slow manner the officer may question the applicant about the Oath of Allegiance. To agree to the Oath of allegiance and in order to understand that he/she is becoming a US citizen this approach will help the applicant to understand.

2.      Oath schedule is expedited

Due to a medical impairment in case an applicant will never be able to attend the oath ceremony a field office should expedite administration of the Oath of Allegiance. Ceremony on the day of examination itself or as an off-site visit the expedited process may occur.

3.      Oath taking with sign language interpreter

For a judicial ceremony during which a court is not able to provide an English sign language interpreter or during an administrative oath ceremony for an applicant who is deaf or is hard of hearing a field office should provide an English sign language interpreter.

4.      Administration of Oath off-site

Immediately after the off-site examination of an applicant who is unable to attend because of the medical conditions Oath of allegiance should be administered by a field officer. Due to worsening condition some applicants who may have appeared at the field office for the examination might not be able to attend the oath ceremony. To administer the Oath of Allegiance an off-site visit may be scheduled for such cases.

Important to file for US citizenship application hearing on time.

USCIS n336

The request is considered improperly filed if an applicant files a hearing request 30 days after receiving the denial notice by USCIS on a US citizenship application. If USCIS mail it the applicant is given 33 days of time. There is also an option of applying for American citizenship
online
. The hearing request is treated as a motion if the untimely hearing request of the applicant meets either the motion to reopen or the motion to reconsider requirements. In such instances based on the merits of the case USCIS renders a decision. The request is rejected without a fee refund if the request does not meet the motion requirements of the USCIS.

Request for hearing is treated as motion to reopen?

If applicant presents new evidences and facts the USCIS will treat the request filed late as a motion to reopen and only if request is based on the following:

  • There was no issue with the eligibility for the requested evidence which lead to the denial of the application;
  • The required initial evidence was submitted with the application, or the request for initial evidence or additional information or appearance was complied with during the allotted period; or
  • To wrong address USCIS sent the relevant correspondence or before USCIS sent the correspondence change of address was filed by the applicant in a timely manner.

Applicant request for hearing, even though it was filed late, is treated as a motion to reconsider by USCIS if:

  • Reasons for reconsideration is explained by the applicant
  • based on an incorrect application of law or USCIS policy only relevant standard decisions establish that the decision to deny was; and
  • At the time of the decision based on the evidence of record the applicant establishes that the decision to deny was incorrect.

If unauthorized person or entity filed requests USCIS considers the hearing request improperly filed. Without refund of filing fee USCIS rejects these requests.

Authorized person files requests improperly?

Without properly filing a notice of entry appearance permitting that person as applicant’s representative if an attorney or authorized person files request for hearing USCIS considers a hearing request improperly filed. For such cases within 15 days the officer must ask the attorney or representative to submit a proper filed notice.

The hearing request is considered properly filed if the attorney or representative replies with a properly executed notice within 15 days by the USCIS officer. Through the officer’s own motion to reopen the officer may nevertheless make a new decision favorable to the applicant without notifying the attorney or representative if the attorney or representative fails to do so.

After hearing with a USCIS officer if the naturalization application is denied a naturalization applicant may request judicial review before a United States district court. Before the United States District Court having jurisdiction over the applicant’s place of residence the applicant must file the request. As a new trial the district court reviews the case de novo and after its fact findings makes conclusions based on law.

US citizenship application could be approved,denied or examination continued.

congratulations_us_citizenship

 

On a US citizenship application the USCIS has 120 days to decide from the initial naturalization interview date. In a district court the US citizenship applicant can apply for judicial review if decision is not taken within 120 days since the interview. Based on the laws, governing policies, regulations and precedent decisions the officer must make a decision.

As outcome the officer may decide one of the following:

  • The application is approved
  • Office might not make a decision and continue with the examination and for more information will reschedule applicant or for other appropriate reasons
  • The application is denied.

At the end of the interview the applicant will be provided a notice of results by the officer for whatever the result may be. Information about the result of the interview would be provided in the notice along with steps to be followed for cases which require continuation of examination.

Naturalization Application is approved?

The application goes through necessary internal procedures if an officer approves a naturalization application. Then the USCIS office schedules a ceremony for the administration of the Oath of Allegiance for which the applicant should appear. A revaluation of approved application for quality is included in the internal procedures. Re-verification is done by a different officer not the one who conducted the interview. After conducting the re-verification of the US citizenship application the officer does not deliver judgment but any eligibility issues may be raised by him. After approval of the application for cases where USCIS identifies potential information for which it is disqualified the USCIS does not schedule an applicant for the Oath of Allegiance. USCIS will issue a motion to reopen and reanalyze the US citizenship application if the disqualifying information is not resolved and the applicant is not eligible for naturalization.

Examination is to be continued?

Request for more evidence:

In case additional information is needed in order to make a perfect decision on the application the officer issues a written request for evidence to the applicant. To respond to a request for evidence USCIS generally permits a period of 30 days for the applicant.

Following should be included in the request for evidence:

  • According to request of officer the specific documentation or information
  • The applicant might respond  in which ways; and
  • In order to reply the time period given to the applicant.

Within the specified time the applicant must respond to the officer’s request for evidence. On the timely submission of the requested evidence the officer will make a decision on the eligibility of the applicant. Based on the available evidence for the application the officer will be deliver a judgment if evidence as requested is not submitted on time.

Re-examination schedule

A second opportunity must be provided by the officer to the applicant to the test within 60 to 90 days from the initial date of examination if the applicant fails in any portion of the naturalization test.  Based on other grounds if the applicant is legally ineligible this is not possible. To resolve any issues on eligibility also an officer should schedule a re-examination. Subsequently the officer will approve, continue examination or deny the US citizenship application based on the reexamination results.

The application will be denied based on the applicant’s failure to meet educational requirements for US citizenship if the applicant fails to appear for the re-examination and also USCIS does not receive a timely or reasonable request to reschedule.  Within the denial notice other areas of ineligibility also should be included by the officer.

Naturalization Application is denied?

Within 120 days after the initial interview for naturalization application denial notice should be issued by an officer based on ineligibility or lack of prosecution to the applicant and his or her attorney or representative.  The following should be included in the written denial notice:

  • To support decision a clear and brief statement of the facts,
  • Specific details of eligibility requirements the applicant failed to meet should be mentioned, and
  • To request a hearing on the denial the necessary information for the applicant.

What happens to US citizenship application after filing?

FBI

 

The ‘A-file’ of the applicant should be reviewed by the USCIS officer who is designated to conduct the naturalization interview. The US citizenship application should also be reviewed. The records of the interaction the applicant had with the USCIS, legacy INS, and also other organizations under the US government with which the applicant must have had dealings significant to his or her immigration record are included in the A-file. During the naturalization interview the officer deals with all relevant issues. After filing there is also option to check citizenship status online.

What A-file contains?

Along with the applicant’s US citizenship application the applicant’s A-file may include the following information:

  • As proof documents which illustrate how the applicant became permanent resident;
  • Applicant submitted other applications or forms for immigration benefits;
  • Between USCIS and the applicant whatever communication posts or mails;
  • Important communication letters and forms from officers important to the applicant’s eligibility;
  • From DHS or any other agencies resources such as any criminal records, and investigative reports and enforcement actions and correspondence from other agencies.

Authority on Application

At the time of US citizenship application filing the USCIS office having jurisdiction over the applicant’s residence has the responsibility for its processing and also to deliver judgment in most cases. In case after filing the naturalization application the applicant moves to a different location an officer should review whether the jurisdiction of a case has changed. Whenever appropriate the USCIS office must transfer the application to the appropriate office with jurisdiction. As a battered spouse of a U.S. citizen or as a child an applicant for naturalization for safety purposes may use a different address which does not affect the jurisdiction requirements.

The officer may complete the interview and then forward the applicant’s A-file with the pending application to the office having jurisdiction in cases where an officer gets to know of a change in jurisdiction only during the naturalization interview. Also the applicant should be informed that the application’s jurisdiction has changed by the officer. From the current office with jurisdiction the applicant will receive a new appointment notice.

Background and Security Checks results

On the applicant who has filed the US citizenship application an officer should ensure that all of the appropriate background and security checks has been conducted. As part of the record the results of the background and security checks should be included.

Other record documents

  • To accommodate applicant with disability based exceptions the examination process of naturalization is modified by USCIS. The application is reviewed by the officer for any accommodation request or any oath waiver request or for a exception based on a medical disability from the instructive requirements for naturalization.
  • Also check is made to see if an order to show cause, order to remove or any previous notice to appear exists for an applicant by the officer. For this the applicant’s record and databases related to find out if any removal proceeding currently or previously exists and if any decision to remove applicant from US is present. The applicant’s record would have information if he/she is in removal proceedings, has a Notice to Appear or has been previously issued “Order to Show Cause”. For an applicant who is in between a removal proceeding USCIS will not be able to make a decision on his/her naturalization application.

From a immigration judge if the applicant has already received a final order of removal the officer should deny the naturalization application, but:

  • With proper documentation and approval is the applicant has reentered US though was removed from the United States earlier.
  • Under the special military provisions for naturalization the applicant is filing US citizenship application.

How long to become citizen in US depends on interview schedule.

USC t&i

 

Before a USCIS officer all applicants should appear for an in-person interview after the US citizenship application, Form N‑400 is filed. The interview followed by English and civics tests both constitutes the examination of applicant. The central part of the naturalization examination is the applicant’s interview. To review and verify all the factors pertaining to the US citizenship applicant’s eligibility with the applicant the officer conducts the interview. After that the applicant would know time of how long to become citizen approximately.

Applicant is placed under oath and then officer conducts the interview based on questions and data filled in by applicant on US citizenship application. Following checks are done during initial naturalization examination:

  • information provided on the naturalization application by applicant is reviewed by the officer,
  • For naturalization the tests are conducted to verify educational eligibility criteria and
  • About the other eligibility requirements like physical residence an officer’s questions the applicant.

During the interview the testimony provided by the applicant could be recorded by a mechanical, electronic, or videotaped device, a transcript could be made or an affidavit could be prepared according to solely the officer’s choice. Through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) representative, attorney or the applicant may request a copy of the record of proceedings. Invariably a notice of results is provided by the officer at the end of the examination to the applicant. Along with the outcome of examination the notice provides explanation about what steps are next in cases that are to be continued.

Re-examination if required

In order to determine the applicant’s eligibility USCIS may schedule for a subsequent examination, re-examination of the applicant. The re-examination will include:

  • Verification of the evidences which are provided by applicant after request for evidence during or after the interview initially done by the officer.
  • Whether the applicant meets all the eligibility requirements for naturalization is determined by the officer after taking into consideration new oral and written testimony provided by applicant including, if required, the retest to check educational requirements.

In order to overcome deficit in the naturalization application as another opportunity generally a re-examination is done. Reexamination is scheduled between 60 – 90 days after the initial exam if applicants fails the English or/and civics tests.

The naturalization application is denied by the officer if the applicant is unable to overcome the deficiencies in his or her naturalization application. USCIS hearing before an officer may be requested by an applicant or his/her representative if applicant’s naturalization application is denied.

When are application processing expedited?

For the following applicants USCIS will expedite naturalization applications filed:

  • By the Social Security Administration (SSA) those who are having their Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits terminated within one year or less and
  • From the date of receipt by USCIS whose naturalization application has been pending for four months or more.

At the time of filing every applicant must meet all requirements to be eligible for naturalization though USCIS will prioritize processing of these applications. Using an infopass appointment or by US postal mail/courier service such applicants who have pending naturalization applications must inform USCIS of the approaching termination of benefits. Following documents are required:

  • Explaining that their SSI benefits would be terminated within a year or less and that their naturalization application, since date of filing with USCIS, has been pending for more than four months a cover letter or cover sheet and
  • Recent SSA letter photocopy which the applicant’s has received stating the termination of their SSI benefits. At the top of the copy of SSA letter the USCIS alien number must be written.

Just “SSI” must be written at the top page one of the application if applicants have not filed for naturalization. Cover letter or sheet explaining the termination of SSI benefits within a year or less should also be included along with their application.