Once you submit the immigration naturalization form N-400, you will be called for an interview and then USCIS will schedule an interview with you to complete the naturalization process. The naturalization process consists of two parts, ensuring that you know US civics, US history, and ensuring that you can read, write, and speak the English language. However, to this rule, there is an exception. Again, the rule is you submit your N-400, you will be called for an interview, and at that interview, you need to prove that you speak English and that you know American history or civics. Here are the exceptions. One exception is based on medical disability. So you might not need to take the English and civics portion of the naturalization test if you have a medical disability that prevents you from demonstrating knowledge of English or civics. To apply for this exemption, a doctor must complete immigration form N-648, which is called the Medical Certification for Disability Exception. The time to submit this request for an exception is at the same time that you submit your immigration form N-400. Again, you submit the application for naturalization and alongside with that, you submit immigration form N-648 stating that you want to become a US citizen, but for a medical disability as described by your doctor, you are unable to take the English and civics portion at the interview. Another exception to the civics and English language portion of the test is based on age. You might be exempt from the English language requirement, but you're still required to take the civics test. You can take the civics test in Spanish, Russian, Chinese, whatever your language of origin is. You do need to take the civics test, but it need not be in English. To get this exception, it could be because of the age rule. The statute says that if you are 50 years or older when you apply to become a citizen but you've lived in the US for at least 20 years, you can apply for the exception. So you submit the N-400 and when called for an interview, you state, I've been a lawful permanent resident for 20 years but I'm 50 years of age, which makes it difficult for me to learn English. This is commonly referred to as the 50/20 exception. The statute also says that if you're very old, which is defined in the law as 55, and you've been in the US for 15 years, you can apply for a citizenship, the naturalization exam, but you ask for the exception based on your advanced age of 55. This is known as the 55/15 rule. Again, if you're 50 years old but you've been a lawful permanent resident for at least 20 years, you can apply to become a citizen and ask to take the test in your own language. If you're 55 years old and you've been in the US for at least 15 years, you can apply to take the test in your own language. What is this test all about, whether in your own language or in English? The US Citizenship and Immigration Service has a link which shares with you questions that you might be asked. This is in the uscis.gov website. USCIS stands for United States Citizenship and Immigration Service. Uscis.gov/citizenship is the US government link to all the questions that I'm going through regarding applying to become a naturalized citizen. You've determined that you are eligible to apply, that indeed you're not a citizen, so you have to go through this process, you've determined that you meet the time criteria, you've been continuously residing in the US for at least five years or three years, you submitted the form along with a waiver, if you need a waiver either based on a medical disability or age disability, you take the exam either on your own language or in English or not at all because of medical waiver, and then you receive a decision from the government on the application. If it's granted, you are now eligible to be sworn in as a US citizen. If you're denied, you can appeal and say that you believe that the government incorrectly denied your application and you may request a hearing to appeal this decision or you may wait some time and reapply all over again if maybe the reason you failed is because of the English language portion or the American civics portion of the interview. The processing time from date of filing the N-400 to be called for an interview varies from state to state and from year to year. The government website again lets you know what is the processing time. The website is egov.uscis.gov/processing-times. You can scroll down to the state that you filed the N-400 in and you can see the waiting period. Understandably, cities with large lawful permanent resident populations, Miami, New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, might have a larger waiting time or backlog from the date of submitting the application for naturalization to the date for being called for an interview. When you get the interview and you passed, there will be another waiting period to be called in, to be sworn in, along with others to swear allegiance to the United States. You pass the test, you receive a notice to take the oath of allegiance, you take the oath of allegiance, and then you will be given a certificate of naturalization stating that you are now a citizen of the United States. Being a citizen of the United States comes with rights and it comes with responsibilities. All of the rights of US citizenship are detailed in the United States Constitution, the Bill of Rights, which has several amendments. The Bill of Rights spells out some of the rights of US born citizens as well as those who naturalize. Some of the rights are the freedom to speak, the freedom to worship, the freedom to have a trial by jury, the right to vote, the right to work in the Federal Government since some Federal Government jobs require US citizenship, and now that you are a US citizen, you have the right to run for elected office. In some, you have the right to pursue life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness as stated in the United States Constitution and Declaration of Independence. Along with these rights though, there are responsibilities of people born in the US and people who apply to become naturalized citizens. That is to support and defend the constitution, to stay informed of issues affecting your community, to participate in the democratic process, to respect federal, state, and local laws, to respect the true beliefs and opinions of others, to participate in your local community, and of course, to pay income tax, and to defend the country if the need arises. By becoming a naturalized citizen, you have rights and you have responsibilities.