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22 Feb 2021

United States

USCIS Reverts to 2008 Civics Test for Naturalization

Today’s Policy Alert from USCIS explains that the agency is stepping back from a 2020 revision to the civics test administered to applicants for naturalization. Becoming a naturalized U.S. citizen generally requires demonstrating a basic understanding of the English language as well as U.S. civics—the history, form, and principles of U.S. government. On December 1, 2020, a revised civics test was released with additional questions and higher standards for passing.  

USCIS received significant public feedback about the revision, which was implemented without advance notice. After consideration of the 2,500 comments—as well as the policy goals that the Biden administration laid out in Executive Order 14012—USCIS chose to revert to the 2008 civics questions and test policy. 

Because some applicants may have been preparing using the 2020 civics test, USCIS will permit them take that test, if they prefer. Applicants whose naturalization applications are filed between 12/1/2020 and 3/1/2021 can choose either the 2008 test or the 2020 test, provided they are scheduled for an interview before April 19, 2021. All naturalization interviews on or after April 19, 2021 will receive the 2008 test regardless of when the application was filed. 

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