What are Common Citizenship Interview Questions?

Kathy Heydasch

When applying for citizenship to a country, certain legal documents and proof of eligibility for citizenship are required. In most countries, the application process includes a test of the language, history and social customs of that particular country. In the US, this test is accompanied by a naturalization interview, during which a person applying for citizenship proves eligibility status through some common citizenship interview questions.

Someone seeking U.S. citizenship must support the U.S. Constitution.
Someone seeking U.S. citizenship must support the U.S. Constitution.

At the start of the interview with a US Citizenship and Immigration Services officer, an applicant is placed under oath and asked a series of citizenship interview questions related to the forms he or she completed as part of the application process, as well as the documents used to support the statements. Even during the review of the forms, the interviewer is testing the interviewee for their knowledge of the English language and understanding of the forms that he or she has submitted.

A person's date of birth will be asked during a citizenship interview.
A person's date of birth will be asked during a citizenship interview.

The interviewee is asked their legal name and to provide a legal residency card, state identification card, such as a driver’s license, all expired or current passports, and proof of marital status. The interviewer then proceeds to ask the applicant a series of citizenship interview questions which may already be answered in the paperwork provided, such as date and place of birth, and employer information.

Additional citizenship interview questions might concern any trips outside the US and their purpose, criminal history, past marriages, or military service. During the interview, the applicant must swear allegiance to the US and support of the US Constitution. At the close of the interview, the applicant must sign a series of documents, and then proceed to written civics, reading and writing tests. In some cases, the testing will precede the interview.

Most countries do not have a formal interview process with citizenship interview questions, but rather a written test of in-depth knowledge of that country and its language. In England, for example, a person applying for British citizenship must take a test known as “Life in the UK”. It is a 45-minute exam given by designated testing centers which focuses on British society and culture, and the history of the United Kingdom.

The US differs from most other countries in that a child born in the states is automatically given US citizenship status. Around the globe, citizenship to a child born to foreign parents is usually only granted after adulthood, after proving residency, or after stating intent to become a citizen.

Proof of marital status is commonly asked for during a citizenship interview.
Proof of marital status is commonly asked for during a citizenship interview.

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Discussion Comments


I think if you are really worried about your test, you might be able to find some common citizen test questions and answers listed online.

But then it makes me think about the episode of the Simpsons where Apu is trying to become a citizen and they ask him what the cause of the Civil War was.

And he starts to give a very informed answer, when the man interrupts him and says "just say 'to free the slaves'."

In other words, it might be easier than you are expecting!


I have a friend who is trying to move to Canada at the moment.

Not only Canada, which is difficult enough, but he wants to live in Montreal, which is in the French speaking part of Canada.

And until recently, he didn't speak French. He failed the first time around because of that, and didn't even get to the point of the interview.

But, he's not giving up, so he's living in France for a while to get his French skills up to scratch as that will give him a better chance at getting in.

I think he's worried because the citizenship questions and answers will be in French, if he manages to get to that stage of the process, and he might get someone with a difficult accent!


I have friends who want to move to other countries and from listening to their stories, the process is almost always very difficult.

They've told me some horror stories about the interviews. Although I think most of the time, it gets blown out of proportion because of nerves.

I'm pretty lucky, because my father was from the United States, my mother was born in New Zealand and my grandparents are Irish.

So, I can actually live in three different places, Europe, NZ or the USA. I get to have more than one passport as well, which is pretty cool. It makes me feel like James Bond or something.

And I probably won't ever need to sit through one of these interviews! Unless I decide to move to Japan or something which I suppose is not out of the question!

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