English language Exemption for the Naturalization test

One of the most important requirements for obtaining U.S. Citizenship is the ability to read, speak and write basic English. These skills will be tested at a naturalization interview.



I get many questions from clients asking if they can take the naturalization exam in their native language. The answer to that depends on your age and green card status.

There are three ways to qualify for an English language exemption:



  • If you are 50 years or older and have had a valid green card for at least 20 years. This is called the 50/20 rule.

  • If you are 55 years or older and have had a valid green card for at least 15 years. This is called the 55/15 rule.

  • If you have a physical or mental disability which would affect your ability to take the test. You would be required to provide documentation for your physician and the approval is based on the discretion of the USCIS.

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