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Facts about immigration testing exceptions and accommodations

The immigration system in the United States is strict. The rules are pretty straightforward; however, some leniency is offered to those who need a little assistance and meet the necessary qualifications. For example, if you are an immigrant residing in Texas or elsewhere and you are working toward citizenship and naturalization, immigration authorities may allow exceptions and accommodations to help you get through the examination process.

Language barrier struggles

The language barrier is a concern for many individuals who are seeking citizenship. Generally, before immigration approves your citizenship, a petitioner will have to pass the standard civics exam and go through an interview with an immigration agent. You are usually required to do both in the English language. However, individual applicants may not have to prove language proficiency to achieve citizenship.

To qualify for this exemption, you must be 50 years of age or older when you submit your naturalization application and have lived in the country as a permanent resident for a minimum of 20 years. The agency will also make exceptions if you are 55 or older and have resided in the United States as a green card holder for at least 15 years.

Those who meet either of these qualifications may request permission to take any tests in their native languages, and agents may allow them to have interpreters present during their interviews.

Disability accommodations

If you have a medical or physical disability, Immigration can provide accommodations for you if you fill out the appropriate request forms ahead of time. These forms require the signature of a licensed medical or behavioral health specialist. Examples of allowed accommodations include:

  • Extended exam time
  • Extra breaks
  • Aids or interpreters for the hard of hearing
  • Off-site examination
  • The use of nonverbal communication methods

Any or all of these may be granted based on your individual needs. 

Don't put off going through the citizenship and naturalization process

Language barriers and disabilities cause quite a few people to put off going through the citizenship and naturalization process. You do not need to be one of them.

With exceptions and accommodations available to those who qualify, getting through the testing and interview process may be easier than you think. An immigration attorney can assist those residing in Texas who are ready to apply for citizenship but are afraid to do so. With help, it is possible to apply for any exceptions and accommodations for which one is eligible.

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