Applicants for Naturalization to Demonstrate Ability to Read, Write, Speak,and Understand English

Assuming all other criteria are met, under what circumstances will an application for naturalization be denied where the applicant passed the English test and responded meaningfully to all interview questions, but allegedly does not understand the oath of allegiance? Please provide examples, if possible.

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ANSWER: 

USCIS says that applicants for naturalization are required to demonstrate an ability to read, write, speak,and understand English.  The ability to read and write English is determined byadministering the reading and writing tests to the applicant.  An applicant’s ability to understand and speak English is determined by the applicant’s ability to understand and speak English during the interview.  This includes responding to all questions on the application including understanding the oath requirements.  When an applicant cannot demonstrate the ability to understand the oath (or other questions crucial to making aneligibility determination), the application will be denied as not fulfilling the English requirement. It should be noted that officers are trained to give applicants multiple opportunities to respond to questions when they appear to have difficulty understanding.  They do this by restating the question in multiple ways.

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