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In order to become a U.S. citizen, does federal law generally require immigrants to prove that they can read and write in English?

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Per U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, "In general, applicants for naturalization must demonstrate an understanding of the English language, including an ability to read, write, and speak words in ordinary usage. ... An applicant may be eligible for an exception to the English requirements if he or she is a certain age and has been an LPR [legal permanent resident] for a certain period of time. In addition, an applicant who has a physical or developmental disability or mental impairment may be eligible for a medical exception of both the English and civics requirements." Congress enacted this English language requirement in 1940.

DocumentationU.S. Citizenship RequirementsU.S. Citizenship History



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