Posts Tagged ‘naturalization’

Knowledge of English for Citizenship Test

December 1, 2011

One of the requirements of the US Citizenship test is that the applicant demonstrate knowledge of English.  Many applicant, especially with limited knowledge of English take this to mean that if they pass the civics test, that is enough. However knowledge of English is a separate requirement than the knowledge of Civics. The law defines it as, “an understanding of the English language, including the ability to read, write and speak words in ordinary usage in the English language. ”  However the law only requires a “reasonable test of literacy” and that “no extraordinary or unreasonable conditions shall be imposed on the applicant.”

The English written test uses sentences using simple words prescribed by USCIS. Thus those sentences are not unreasonable.  However the oral test is left up to the discretion of individual officers. In my experience, when some officers see applicants with limited knowledge of English, they get harder. I have had several officers ask applicants, after swearing-in to tell the truth, the definition of truth. Everyone knows what the word truth means, but it’s very hard to define a concept.  In fact, we should ask Rick Perry to define it on the spot and see how he does. I have also seen officers ask the definition of what it means to ‘swear allegiance.”  Yes, try define that Mr. Texas Governor.

On the other hand though I come across clients who parrot the answers to the 100 questions, and expect to vomit it out in the exam and pass. And yes, they pass the civics portion, but they don’t understand a word of English. An applicant must know enough English to be able to function in society, (ie do jury duty) and be able to make a reasonable decision during elections. And that means understanding people with somewhat more brain than Rick Perry. 

My best advice is to learn the 100 questions, but also to watch English TV.  TV is a fun and painless way to learn enough English to pass the Naturalization test.


Contact Houston Immigration Lawyer, or Houston Immigration Attorney Annie Banerjee, for more information



Naturalization Interview in the Houston District Office

June 23, 2009

In the Houston District Office this is a three step process.

First you will go with an Officer in a little cubicle and be administered the test of English and Social Science.  The exam consists of about 10 written questions from the Citizenship and Immigration Service list.  After that the Officer will test your English by asking you to read something, or write down a sentence or two.  For a copy of the list please go to Go to Links and click on New Naturalization test.

Provided you pass the test, you will then proceed to the next step. This is the actual interview with an Officer.  The officer will go over the factual elements of the case.  These include whether you had continuous residence, physical presence and whether you have good moral character (ie not convicted of a crime).  They might also ask you whether you affirm the Oath Requirements of Section H on Page 9 of the N-400 Form.  They are:

Do you support the Constitution and form of government of the United States?
Do you understand the full Oath of Allegiance to the United States?
Are you willing to take the full Oath of Allegiance to the United States?
If the law requires it, are you willing to bear arms on behalf of the United States?
If the law requires it, are you willing to perform noncombatant services in the U.S. Armed Forces?
If the law requires it, are you willing to perform work of national importance under civilian direction?

Provided you pass the Second Step, you proceed to the third step.  The Citizenship and Immigration Service will schedule you for the oath ceremony and hand you the necessary papers for the oath ceremony.

After you take the oath, you become an US Citizen.

Contact Houston Immigration Lawyer, Annie Banerjee, for more information

The New Naturalization Test

September 22, 2008

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The New Naturalization test is here. If you have your interview before October 01, 2008, you will be administered the OLD test.

If you file your case before October 01, 2008, you can choose between the old test and the new test. (That is if your interview is before October 01, 2009)

If you file after October 01, 2008, you will take the new test.

There is a rumor that the new test is harder. What I like about the new test is that it is organized into sections, and is therefore easier to remember. The old test was a jumble of questions with no logic or organization.

What I don’t like is that many of the questions are fuzzy. Remember this is the government that gave us “fuzzy math.” It has open ended questions like “what does the constitution do?” The constitution does so much, and there are only three right answers. (Of course this government does not even understand that the Constitution protects rights).

In general the new questions are more detailed and require a more thorough understanding of US Civics and History.

Why don’t you decide for yourself.

Take a look at the new test here:

Take a look at the old test:, go to links, and click on naturalization Questions (fourth from the bottom)

If you find the new test harder, apply BEFORE October 01, 2008. (ie ASAP). If you want us to file, call us at 281-242-9139 or e mail me

For more general information on the New Test go to: