What are the rules for citizenship over age 65?


Quick Answer

Immigrants 65 or older must comply with the same rules for obtaining U.S. citizenship as younger individuals but have relaxed standards for passing the civics examination and don't have to demonstrate English competency after living in the United States legally for extended periods, according to Nolo. Those living in the country for 20 years or more may take an easier civics examination, and those living in the country for 15 years or more don't have to demonstrate English competency.

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Full Answer

Older immigrants enjoy relaxed citizenship requirements in recognition of the difficulty many older individuals have difficulty learning new languages and memorizing new facts, explains Nolo. To qualify for the easier requirements, older immigrants must have lived in the country with a green card for a total of 15 or 20 years without leaving the country for more than six months at a time.

The civics examination for older immigrants contains 20 questions instead of the 100-question examination younger individuals must pass, according to Nolo. Older immigrants are entitled to the assistance of an interpreter at their citizenship interview and in taking their citizenship examination. Older individuals must request the age-related exceptions prior to their citizenship interview and must provide their own interpreter, who may be a friend or relative.

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