uscis announces decision to roll back 2020 civics test for naturalization

On February 22, 2021, United States Citizenship and Naturalization Services (“USCIS”) announced that it would be reverting to an earlier version of the civics test required for citizenship. According to USCIS, applicants who filed naturalization applications on or after December 1, 2020, but before March 1, 2021, with a citizenship interview scheduled before April 19, 2021, can choose to either take the 2008 test or the 2020 test. USCIS said it will notify affected applicants.

In its statement, USCIS explained that a recent review of the 2020 test established that the “development process, content, testing procedures, and implementation schedule may inadvertently create potential barriers to the naturalization process.” The decision is a win for immigrants and their advocates, as the 2020 was 50% longer (150 questions compared to 100 questions in the 2008 version) and contained questions that critics had described as unnecessarily confusing.

The test items and study guides can be found on the Citizenship Resource Center on the USCIS website. USCIS has also updated the Policy Manual (PDF, 444.11 KB) accordingly; see Volume 12, Part E, English and Civics Testing and Exceptions, Chapter 2, English and Civics Testing.

Wildes & Weinberg is dedicated to advising and assisting individuals from around the world as they work to build a home in the United States. If you or a loved one have questions regarding he naturalization process, please feel free to contact our ofices at (212) 753 – 3468.

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