U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) officers typically draw naturalization interview questions directly from your responses on your Application for Naturalization (Form N-400). In some cases, they may also ask questions related to the contents of your “A-File.” The rest of the questions are those you studied for the citizenship exam.
This guide is intended to familiarize you with the questions that are typically asked by a USCIS officer during the citizenship interview. It is not a comprehensive list of every possible interview question.
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The following is a sample of possible naturalization interview questions (organized by category). You will not be asked all of these questions. Most will already be familiar to you because you’ve previously answered the same questions in your citizenship application.
Although some questions might seem unimportant, such as those in the first two categories, we have listed them in this guide because USCIS officers observe responses to every question, no matter how simple, as part of the citizenship speaking test.
GREETING THE USCIS OFFICER
- How are you?
- How are you feeling?
- How are you doing today?
BEING PLACED UNDER OATH
- Do you promise to tell the truth and nothing but the truth, so help you God?
- Do you understand what an “oath” means?
BASIC PERSONAL INFORMATION
- What is your name?
- Have you used any other names?
- Do you want to legally change your name?
- When is your birthday?
- Where were you born?
- What is your race?
- Are you Hispanic or Latino?
- How tall are you?
- What color are your eyes?
- What color is your hair?
- What is your mother’s name?
- What is your father’s name?
- Is your mother or father a U.S. citizen?
- When did they become U.S. citizens?
- Were they married before you turned 18 years old?
- How many children do you have?
- What are their names?
- Where were your children born?
- Where do they currently live?
- Is your child your biological child, stepchild, or adopted child?
- When are their birthdays?
- Are you currently single, married, divorced, or widowed?
- What is the name of your current spouse?
- When and where were you married?
- Is your spouse a U.S. citizen?
- What is your spouse’s country of citizenship or nationality?
- When is your spouse’s birthday?
- Is your spouse in the military?
- What is your spouse’s current job?
- Where does your spouse currently work?
- How many times have you been married?
- When did your previous marriage end?
- How many times has your spouse been married?
- How did your spouse’s marriage to their previous spouse end?
- Have you ever served in the U.S. military?
- Have you ever left the United States to avoid being drafted into the military?
- Have you ever applied for an exemption from military service?
- Have you ever deserted from the military (left before discharge)?
- Have you lived in the United States or received your green card at any time between the ages of 18 and 26? If so, did you register for Selective Service? (if you’re male)
- When did you register with Selective Service? (if you’re male)
- Why didn’t you register with Selective Service? (if you’re male)
- Are you a citizen of [name of your home country]?
- When were you approved for your green card (permanent residence)?
- How long have you had your green card (permanent resident card)?
- How many times have you left the United States since you became a green card holder/permanent resident?
- Did any of your trips abroad last six months or longer?
- What were the reasons you needed to take trips abroad?
- When was your last trip outside the United States?
- Which countries did you visit?
- Do you remember the day you returned to the United States?
- Where do you currently live?
- How long have you lived there?
- Where else have you lived in the past five (or three) years?
- When did you live there?
EMPLOYMENT AND EDUCATION HISTORY
- Where do you currently work?
- What is your current job?
- Where else have you worked in the past five (or three) years?
- When did you work there?
- Where did you last attend school?
- What is the name of your school?
- When did you attend that school?
INCOME TAX OBLIGATIONS
- Have you ever not filed an income tax return since becoming a green card holder? If yes, did you consider yourself a “non-resident” of the United States?
- Have you ever claimed to be a “non-resident” on a federal, state, or local income tax return since becoming a green card holder?
- Do you owe any taxes to the federal government or to a state or local government?
- Have you ever claimed to be a U.S. citizen?
- Have you ever voted or registered to vote in a federal, state, or local election in the United States?
- Have you ever attacked, discriminated against, or denied the rights of another person because of their nationality, race, religious beliefs, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion?
- Do you support the U.S. Constitution and the U.S. government?
- Will you obey the laws of the United States?
- Do you understand and are you willing to take the Oath of Allegiance to the United States?
- If necessary, would you be willing to defend the United States in a war?
- If necessary, would you be willing to perform noncombatant (civilian) services in the U.S. military or work of national importance in a civilian capacity?
QUESTIONS ABOUT YOUR AFFILIATIONS WITH OR MEMBERSHIPS IN CERTAIN ORGANIZATIONS
- Have you ever been a member of nobility in any country other than the United States? If so, would you be willing to give up your title of nobility upon swearing your allegiance to the United States?
- Have you ever been associated with or a member of any organization, association, fund foundation, party, club, or similar group anywhere in the world? (If you answer “yes,” you may also be asked to the name the group, its purpose, and when you were involved.)
- Have you ever been associated with or a member of the Communist Party, the Nazi Party, or a terrorist organization?
QUESTIONS ABOUT LEGAL ISSUES
The questions related to legal issues are too numerous to list in this guide, but include, for example, questions related to:
- Any previous arrests, citations, charges, convictions, and incarceration
- Involvement in police, rebel, or vigilante groups
- Immigration violations (such as unlawful entry or presence or overstaying)
All such questions can be found under “Part 12. Additional Information About You (Person Applying for Naturalization)” of Form N-400. Your responses to these questions are used to determine whether you have met the “good moral character” requirement of naturalization.
OTHER POSSIBLE QUESTIONS
- Do you understand why you are being interviewed?
- Why do you want to become a U.S. citizen?
- Have you ever been declared legally incompetent or been confined to a mental institution?
- Questions you studied for the citizenship exam (see this guide for more details)
If you anticipate answering “yes” to any of the questions about legal issues or about affiliations with or memberships in certain organizations — except about a title of nobility — it’s essential to seek legal assistance before you apply for naturalization. The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) can help find a licensed immigration attorney near you. Alternatively, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) accredits certain nonprofit organizations that provide low-cost or free immigration legal services.
Do you have confidential questions about how your personal history as a green card holder might affect your citizenship application? With Boundless, you get an experienced, independent immigration attorney who will answer your questions and review all of your application materials — for no additional fee. Learn more, or start your application today. You can also check your eligibility for citizenship through Boundless, without providing any personal or financial information.
Every green card holder in the United States has what is called an “A-File” (short for “Alien Registration Number”) — basically an official collection of records — that USCIS uses to track a green card holder’s immigration history. USCIS identifies your A-File using your A-Number (short for “Alien Registration Number,” which you can find on your green card).
Your A-File contains records of all communications and interactions between you and USCIS, plus communications about you that USCIS has had with other government agencies, such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) or the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
These records generally include the following:
- Records of when and how you became a green card holder
- Records of green card applications and supporting documents for any family members you’ve sponsored
- Records of other forms and documents you’ve submitted to USCIS, such as for work and travel permits
- Records of previous encounters with law enforcement and immigration proceedings (such as a deportation hearing), if any
You can generally request these records by submitting a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to USCIS (see FOIA.gov for instructions on filing a FOIA request).