USCIS reverts to pre-Trump U.S. citizenship test
WASHINGTON -The 2008 version of the U.S. naturalization civics test will return effective March 1, 2021, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced.
This action complies with President Biden’s Executive Order on Restoring Faith in Our Legal Immigration Systems, directing a comprehensive review of the naturalization process to eliminate barriers and make the process more accessible to all eligible individuals.
On Dec. 1, 2020, USCIS under the Trump administration, had implemented a revised naturalization civics test (2020 civics test); but the agency has now determined that the revised version may pose potential barriers to the naturalization process.
The Trump civics test had increased the number of questions from 100 to 128. It also required that to pass citizenship, applicants are required to answer correctly 12 out of 20 questions. The 2008 naturalization test only required six correct answers out of 10 questions.
The pre-Trump 2008 civics test was thoroughly developed over a multi-year period with the input of more than 150 organizations, which included English as a second language experts, educators, and historians, and was piloted before its implementation.
The civics test is given to applicants who apply for U.S. citizenship through naturalization and is one of the statutory requirements for naturalizing. Applicants must demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of the fundamentals of the history, principles, and form of government of the United States.
Individuals who filed their application for naturalization on or after Dec. 1, 2020, and before March 1, 2021, likely have been studying for the 2020 test; therefore, USCIS will give these applicants the option to take either the 2020 civics test or the 2008 civics test. There will be a transition period where both tests are being offered.
The 2020 test will be phased out on April 19, 2021, for initial test takers. Applicants filing on or after March 1, 2021, will take the 2008 civics test.