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Do you need to speak English to become naturalized in the United States?

On Behalf of | May 10, 2021 | Naturalization |

If you are trying to become a naturalized citizen of the United States, it’s a good idea to learn English. English is spoken by the majority of people in the U.S., with over 231,000,000 people using it to communicate every day. The second most prominent language is Spanish, which is spoken by around 37,450,000 people in the United States.

Speaking the country’s primary language is smart because it is respectful to the majority of Americans and helps you communicate better within any community you decide to become a part of. That being said, there is no specific national language, so many people do speak their own native languages every day in their local communities.

Do you have to speak English to become naturalized?

While the United States is a country of immigrants, you do still need to speak English to become naturalized most of the time. There are exceptions for some people, like older individuals coming to the United States.

The reason you’ll need to speak English is because of the English language tests required by the government. These include speaking, reading and writing tests, all of which should be passed to obtain citizenship.

Who can get an exemption from taking the English tests?

Some people are able to avoid taking an English test, such as those who are 50 or older who have lived in the country for 20 years or longer with a Green Card. Those who are 55 or older when applying for naturalization only need to show that they’ve lived in the United States for 15 years on their Green Cards.

What happens if you fail the English test?

The good news is that you can take it again. Applicants have two changes to retake the English portion of the test, so it gives them the opportunity to brush up on specific vocabulary or phrases they may not have been familiar with.

Testing for naturalization is one important step on the road to citizenship. If you have questions, your attorney can help you understand the rules and regulations as well as what to do if you don’t pass when you apply.