If a foreign national does not pass their initial naturalization interview, they will be given a second opportunity to show that they meet the requirements for U.S. citizenship. Often, this occurs when the foreign national fails one of the tests for citizenship. They might simply need to spend more time studying for the civics test or the English-language test. The second interview will occur within 60 or 90 days from the first interview, so they should make sure to prepare during that time. (Read more here about tests for citizenship.) Other situations can be more complicated, such as when a foreign national needs to submit more materials for USCIS to make a final decision on their application.
You should review the results sheet provided by the USCIS officer to understand the problems that arose in the first interview. Any additional documents or other materials that the officer needs should be listed on a Form N-14. You will get this form with the results sheet if USCIS needs more information. The form will tell you whether to mail the extra materials to USCIS or bring them to your next interview. You should make sure that you understand the Form N-14 because the next officer will review the form to find out what was missing. If you need to mail additional materials, you should attach a copy of the form to the materials and make sure that you comply with any deadline provided for mailing them. It is important to use certified mail or request a return receipt so that you will get proof of sending the materials.
Applicants with Disabilities or Age-Related Conditions
USCIS officers are required to give due consideration to foreign nationals who have certain disabilities or who are elderly. Age or a disability could affect their performance in the civics test or the English-language test. Certain accommodations are available for these people, as discussed in the article on tests for citizenship. If a foreign national is suffering from a severe medical condition, they may not be able to pass these tests at all. This does not mean that they should give up on getting citizenship, though. Instead, they can seek a disability waiver of the tests.
Sometimes a USCIS officer does not provide a foreign national with the proper accommodations for their age or disability. The good news is that a different officer likely will conduct the second interview, and you can bring this situation to their attention. If the same officer conducts the second interview, or if the second officer is equally unsympathetic, the foreign national or a relative accompanying them can ask to talk to a supervisor. You can tell the supervisor about the details of the situation and explain why you think that the officer did not act fairly toward your relative or you when conducting the tests.
If this strategy fails, you can talk to a different USCIS officer in the waiting area. Also, bringing an attorney to the second interview can encourage USCIS to provide proper accommodations.