N-400 Pre Interview Checklist
Congratulations on taking the step toward U.S. citizenship! Aloha Immigration is here for you each step of the way. Your interview with USCIS has been, or will be, scheduled soon. Here is a reminder of some of the things to think about as you prepare. Attorney Clare will contact you to schedule a preparation session to prepare you one-on-one for the interview.
Unlike the interview for a permanent residency, the naturalization interview will assess your English communication skills and most applicants have to take a brief test of U.S. civics and history knowledge.
Prior to your interview there are several important steps to be taken:
- Review your application for any “life changes” since your application was filed and gather supporting documents for each change such as:
- Change of employer/school
- Change of marital status (bring your marriage certificate)
- New children
- Any unfortunate incidents since the application: Criminal, traffic incidents, any miscellaneous citations (obtain an updated Traffic Court Report)
- New organizations or groups you’ve joined
- Any foreign trips since the application was filed (have your departure and entry dates)
- Accommodations: If any special accommodations are needed, please let us know in advance so that we can request appropriate accommodations.
- Review exemptions from English and/or Civics & History Test:
- Medical Exemption Certificate: N-648 In rare cases, applicants qualify for an exemption from the English and/or Civics and History test. This might be the case if you have a learning disability, have a medical condition such as Alzheimers or in other situations.
- You may take Civics & History Test in your native language if:
- You are 50 years old at filing and have lived in the US 20 years
- You are 55 years old at filing and have lived in the US 15 years
- You are 65 years old at filing and have lived in the US for 20 years (and those 65 and older receive a “simplified” version of the test.
- Practice your conversational English. The officers are looking to see if you can hold a basic conversation in English, answer questions from your application and understand basic instructions. If you’re not confident, there are many English as a second language schools in Hawaii and community based classes available. Some may combine citizenship classes as well such as classes offered through the Pacific Gateway Center.
- Study for the Civics and History test! This oral exam will be in English unless you qualify for one of the exemptions. You only need to have 6 out of 10 questions correct. However, you will not know which questions you may be asked, so study all of the questions. The USCIS offers a variety of study materials on its website.
- 100 questions and answers
- Study tips:
- If English is not your first language and you did not grow up in the United States, you may find it helpful to learn about the facts and information covered by the test in your native language. This may help you better understand the questions and answers in English, especially since some of the vocabulary may be unfamiliar. USCIS has resources in Arabic, Chinese, Korean, Spanish, Tagalog, and Vietnamese.
- You can also watch television, videos or movies about U.S. history. Many are free or readily available on YouTube or Amazon Prime. Here are some videos that may be helpful to reinforce the information:
- Schoolhouse Rock Videos (short videos), in particular:
- US History/States:
- Scrambled States of America (Amazon Prime), less than 30 minutes.
- This is America Charlie Brown
- America, The Story of US by Ken Burns (Amazon Prime), 2010. 12 episodes, about 45 minutes each.