There are many standards you have to meet to become a naturalized citizen. You have to enter the country legally through employment, family-sponsored immigration or even asylum. You then need to remain in the country without any major criminal mistakes while waiting to become a permanent resident. Finally, you can take certain tests and make an oath of allegiance to become a naturalized citizen.
Becoming a citizen has many benefits, ranging from the security of knowing you get to stay in the United States forever to the right to run for certain political offices. Still, some people delay or even avoid seeking their citizenship because they think the process is too hard.
Naturalization intimidates some immigrants because of the testing requirements. However, there are some people who qualify for accommodations or waivers when it comes to the Civics and English test required for naturalization.
Those with medical disabilities can request support or waivers
Learning a second language is much more difficult for those with significant disabilities. Those pursuing naturalization can sometimes ask for support during the test-taking process. The law allows special consideration for those with physical disabilities, developmental disabilities and mental impairments.
Some people can ask for support while taking the test, including blind or deaf individuals. Others might qualify to bypass the testing process entirely.
Older permanent residents can be exempt in some cases
The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recognizes what cognitive science says about language learning. Specifically, the older a person becomes, the harder it becomes to proficiently learn a new language. The USCIS does extend testing exemptions and support for older permanent residents.
Those who are at least 50 years old and who have had a Green Card for 20 years and those who are 55 or older and have had a Green Card for at least 15 years can exempt themselves from the English test and only take the Civics test. Those over the age of 65 who have had a Green Card for 20 years or more may also receive special consideration for the Civics testing requirement.
Whether you need help preparing for the naturalization test or gathering documentation to exempt yourself from the testing process, good support as an immigrant hoping to become a naturalized citizen can be invaluable.