Under certain circumstances, an applicant may be exempt from taking the English test, and/or provided special accommodation on the civics/history test.
English Language Exemptions
The applicant is exempt from taking the English test (but is still required to take the civics/history test), if he/she was:
- Age 50 or older at the time of filing for naturalization and have lived as a permanent resident (green card holder) in the United States for 20 years (commonly referred to as the “50/20” exception), or
- Age 55 or older at the time of filing for naturalization and have lived as a permanent resident in the United States for 15 years (commonly referred to as the “55/15” exception).
- The applicant must still take the civics/history test.
- The civics/history may be taken in the applicant’s in your native language (but only if his/her understanding of the spoken English language too insufficient for a valid examination in English.
- If the applicant takes the test in his/her native language, he/she must bring an interpreter to the interview.
- Those who are age 65 or older and have been a permanent resident for at least 20 years at the time of filing for naturalization, will be given special consideration regarding the civics requirement.
Medical Disability Exceptions to English and Civics
An applicant may ask for an exemption from the English and civics naturalization requirements if he/she demonstrates that he/she would be unable to comply with the requirements due to a physical or developmental disability or a mental impairment. The exception just be requested on Form N-648, Medical Certification for Disability Exceptions.