To be eligible for naturalization, you must have an understanding of the English language, including reading, writing, and speaking. In practice, this means that you need to be able to read and write simple words and phrases, and to be able to do the naturalization interview in English.
The English language requirement does not apply in four cases:
- If you are over 50 years of age and have been a legal permanent resident (LPR) for at least 20 years, you can do the interview and civics test in your native language (with an interpreter).
- Ditto if you are over 55 years of age and have been an LPR for at least 25 years.
- If you are over 65 years of age and have been an LPR for at least 20 years, you can do the interview in your native language and you will be given special consideration on the civics test.
- If you have a disability or mental impairment that prevents you from learning English or the civics information, you can apply for a waiver from this requirement with form N-648.