What to Do If You Fail the U.S. Citizenship Test

Going through the immigration process to receive your U.S. citizenship is not an easy task. Besides applying for the correct and appropriate visa, you will then eventually need to get your biometrics taken, complete an interview with a United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) officer, and pass a test.

Many foreign nationals that are going through the process of naturalization (or obtaining U.S. citizenship) find the U.S. citizenship test difficult. Not all pass the first time. If you have taken the U.S. citizenship test and have failed, or are worried about failing, this blog article will cover your major concerns like, “If I failed the U.S. citizenship test, how can I take the test again?” or “What if I failed the U.S. citizenship test?”. If you have failed the U.S. citizenship test, try not to be too upset. There are options to ensure you can move forward on the path to full U.S. citizenship.


I Failed the US Citizenship Test. How Can I Take the Test Again? 

After you have filed out the appropriate forms to become a naturalized U.S. citizen, the USCIS will invite you in for an interview and ask you to take an English and Civics test. During the naturalization interview, the officer will ask you questions about your application and about your personal history. You will be exempt from taking the English language test if you are aged 50 or older and have lived as a permanent resident in the United States for 20 years; or aged 55 or older and have lived as a permanent resident in the U.S. for 15 years. From there, the USCIS agent will ask you 20 questions from the list of 128 civics test questions. You must answer correctly at least 12 of the 20 in order to pass the civics test.

You are given two chances to pass the English language and civics tests. The USCIS officer will give you a notice of the results (form N-652) at the end of your interview. Depending on which part or parts you failed, you will be retested only on the parts of the test you have failed. Your second test will take place within a maximum of 90 days from the date of your first interview. If you have failed, we would highly recommend studying as much as possible to prepare yourself for the second test. If you have failed the English language portions, try to find a native English-speaking friend or family member to study with and practice your English as much as possible.

Occasionally, the USCIS officer may not be able to make a decision because you have failed to provide supporting documents in your first application (such as bank statements or rental agreements). If this is the case, the officer will give you a written request for the specific documentation and will give you guidance on how to respond with the appropriate information. If anything is unclear, make sure to have the officer explain it to you again.


US Citizenship Test Failed Second Time 

If your second interview and test do not go well and you are denied naturalization, you have two remaining options.

According to USCIS policy, you can appeal the decision by asking for a hearing. You must file form N-336 within 30 days to make this request. This should give you one final opportunity to pass the English exam. The other option is to submit a new N-400 to USCIS as soon as you feel you are ready. There is no waiting period to refile if the only reason you failed was because you could not pass one of the tests. Be aware that if you choose this method, you will need to pass all the exams and go through a full interview again.


If you are worried about failing the U.S. citizenship test and are looking for knowledgeable and accurate advice on how to pass, it is best to speak to an attorney that is extremely familiar with the U.S. immigration system. At Leiva Law Firm, we specialize in immigration and nationality law. We strive to provide the best solution in helping clients navigate through their immigration issues. Contact us today to discuss your specific immigration case.