The Interview


How many attempts do I get to pass the citizenship interview?

If you fail the exam, you get a second attempt. If you fail the second time, you must submit a new application including the fee.


If I fail the interview once, how long does my case stay open for the second try?

USCIS will give you the next appointment date, if you cannot make it to that second appointment, you must send USCIS a copy of your N-445 along with a letter explaining why you cannot make it to your appointment. You will then receive a new appointment date.


What are the Dictation Sentences?

At the Citizenship Interview, you are asked both questions about U.S. History (which you can find here) and to write a few sentences in English. Only the following sentences are used by the Chicago District for citizenship testing. Other areas of the country may follow different practices.

  1. The President lives in the White House.
  2. The American flag is red, white, and blue.
  3. Citizens have the right to vote.
  4. The President has the power of veto.
  5. There are fifty states in America.
  6. The American flag has thirteen stripes.
  7. The American flag has fifty stars.
  8. The White House is in Washington, DC.
  9. America is the land of the free.
  10. America is the home of the brave.
  11. The House and the Senate are parts of Congress.
  12. There are three branches of government.
  13. The President is elected every four years.
  14. The President must be born in the United States.
  15. Many people come to America for freedom.
  16. The President signs bills into law.
  17. The people have a voice in the government.
  18. Congress passes laws in the United States.
  19. People in America have the right to freedom.
  20. A Senator is elected for six years.
  21. The American flag has stars and stripes.
  22. Many people have died for freedom.
  23. Congress meets in Washington, DC.
  24. People vote for the President in November.
  25. Only Congress can declare war.
  26. Congress is a part of the American government.
  27. The President lives in Washington, DC.
  28. The stars of the American flag are white.
  29. The President must be an American citizen.
  30. The stripes of the American flag are red and white.

What happens at a Citizenship Interview?

The Interview consists of:

  • Questions from the N-400 Application
  • U.S. History and Government Questions

You have the right to bring an attorney.

You can ask the officer:

  • To repeat any question you did not understand
  • Speak with a supervisor if you think that an officer has been unfair
  • His/her name and title

What if I cannot make it to the interview?

It is very important not to miss your interview. If you have to miss your interview, you should notify the office where your interview is scheduled by mail as soon as possible. In your letter, you should ask to have your interview rescheduled. Rescheduling an interview may add several months to the naturalization process, so try not to change your original interview date. If an emergency arises and you absolutely cannot make your interview, call the National Customer Service Center at 1-800-375-5283 to request rescheduling. If you miss your scheduled interview without notifying USCIS, your case will be administratively closed. Unless you contact USCIS to schedule a new interview within one year after USCIS closes your case, they will deny your application. USCIS will not notify you if your case was closed because you missed your interview.



What is a Second Interview?

You need to have a second interview if:

  • You did not pass the English exam.
  • You did not pass the U.S. History and Government Test.
  • USCIS needs more information.

The process for the second interview is as follows:

  • Will be 90 days after your first interview.
  • Will repeat the exams that you did not pass.
  • You can bring an attorney.
  • You will have 30 days to present any missing documents.