How do I Prepare for a Citizenship Interview?

Jessica Ellis
Jessica Ellis
Jessica Ellis
Jessica Ellis
The more an applicant knows about the country the better off it can be when going through the interview process.
The more an applicant knows about the country the better off it can be when going through the interview process.

A citizenship interview is sometimes part of the procedure for becoming a naturalized citizen of a certain nation. These interviews are usually conducted by government officials, and are often performed after the applicant swears an oath to tell the truth. A citizenship interview can seem somewhat frightening, but good preparation and research can help ensure that the process goes smoothly and without complication.

In some countries, the citizenship interview may include testing. This may involve a test on the laws and government of the country, or may be a language test to ensure that the applicant can read, write, and speak the official language. There are many courses offered through community centers and immigration assistance programs that can help applicants learn the material needed for any testing that accompanies the immigration interview. Some immigration experts recommend spending at least a few weeks studying for the civics test, as well as several months spent learning the language.

It is likely that an applicant will need to bring documentation to his or her citizenship interview. These documents will vary depending on the requirements of the country, but may include proof of employment, proof of legal residence, identification card, records from any arrests or convictions, tax information, and information on dependents. If a person is applying for citizenship because he or she has married a citizen, marriage documentation may also be required. It may be a good idea to visit an immigration lawyer before attending a citizenship interview to ensure that all documents legal and in order. Consider carrying documents in a secure file or briefcase so they cannot be accidentally mislaid.

During the interview, the government official will ask questions about an applicant's background, current residence and employment status. The official may also ask about reasons why becoming a citizen is important to the applicant, and whether he or she is prepared to take an oath of loyalty to the country. Though these questions may seem intrusive, it is important to be polite and honest. Any evidence of lying in a citizenship interview may be grounds for denial.

After the interview is completed, the immigration office may decide to accept or deny citizenship. Some countries have policies ensuring that applicants will be informed of the reason for a denial. Denials can sometimes be appealed in court, so a person may wish to consult an immigration attorney if he or she feels unfairly treated. In some cases, if the immigration official needs more information or if a document is incorrect or incomplete, the application may be continued pending a second interview.

Jessica Ellis
Jessica Ellis

With a B.A. in theater from UCLA and a graduate degree in screenwriting from the American Film Institute, Jessica is passionate about drama and film. She has many other interests, and enjoys learning and writing about a wide range of topics in her role as a wiseGEEK writer.

Jessica Ellis
Jessica Ellis

With a B.A. in theater from UCLA and a graduate degree in screenwriting from the American Film Institute, Jessica is passionate about drama and film. She has many other interests, and enjoys learning and writing about a wide range of topics in her role as a wiseGEEK writer.

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    • The more an applicant knows about the country the better off it can be when going through the interview process.
      The more an applicant knows about the country the better off it can be when going through the interview process.