Law Office of Michael Tonder, P.C.

65 Pineville Road, Suite 2
Monroeville, AL 36460

P.O. Box 337
Excel, AL 36439‎


English Requirement

Recently, I spoke to a group of immigrants regarding obtaining citizenship.  The question that kept being asked dealt with the English proficiency requirement.  The audience was concerned about elderly immigrants who never received any type of education.  The audience wondered how such a person would ever pass the English Proficiency Exam and obtain citizenship.

If all the other requirements are met for citizenship, the person applying for citizenship must then pass an English Proficiency Test and Civic Test.  These test prevent many from applying for citizenship.  They think they are too old or uneducated to learn English.  Many of these people are not aware that if someone has been a Legal Permanent Resident (LPR) for 20 years and is 50 years (20/50) or has been an LPR for 15 years and is 55 years old (15/55) then the English proficiency requirement can be waived.

Although the English proficiency requirement can be waived, the Civics test will still have to be taken.  There is a Medical Disability Exception to the civics exam.  Your doctor will need to fill out a form explaining how your medical disability prevents you from taking the civics exam.  If the person applying for citizenship is 65 years old or older and has been a LPR for at least 20 years (65/20) special consideration will be given for the civics test.

If you are a Legal Permanent Resident and wish to obtain citizenship, please contact an immigration attorney to review the requirements for citizenship.