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Do I have to know English?

Pat Malone • July 15, 2020

Most people have to know some English to qualify for citizenship. The citizenship interview has a test to see if you can read, write, and speak basic English. (The test has history and government questions too.)

If you are old enough and have had your green card for a long time, you don't have to learn English. You can take the citizenship test in your own language if you are:

  • 50 or older and have had a green card for at least 20 years, or
  • 55 or older and have had a green card for at least 15 years.


What if I have a disability that makes it hard to learn English or take a test? 

USCIS must make "reasonable accommodations" to test a person with disabilities. Examples: sign language interpreter, more time to take the test, off-site testing. To request an accommodation for an interview, use this online USCIS form.

People with some medical conditions may not have to take the test. A doctor must fill out a special form (Form N-648). 

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