USCIS will revert to the 2008 version of the naturalization civics test

February 23, 2021

On February 22, 2021, USCIS announced in its Policy Alert ““Revising Guidance on Naturalization Civics Educational Requirement” that it will revert to the 2008 version of the naturalization civics test beginning March 1, 2021.  Applicants for naturalization must demonstrate a basic understanding of the English language and a knowledge and understanding of civics, and the passing of the civics test is a naturalization requirement.

In the waning days of the Trump Administration, on December 1, 2020, USCIS implemented a revised naturalization civics test.  At the time, as reported in the Washington Post,  immigration advocates worried that the new test was too long, difficult and politicized.  Now, in undertaking a comprehensive review of the naturalization process to eliminate barriers and make the process more accessible to all eligible individuals, USCIS has determined that the 2020 civics test development process, content, testing procedures, and implementation may indeed create barriers to the naturalization process.  Thus, USCIS has reverted to the 2008 naturalization test.  Under the 2008 test, naturalization applicants must study from a number of 100 possible questions (as opposed to 128 in the 2020 test) and answer six out of 10 questions correctly (as opposed to 12 out of 20 in the 2020 test).  There will be a brief period during which USCIS may offer both versions of the test to accommodate certain naturalization applicants who filed on or after December 1, 2020 and before March 1, 2021 and are scheduled for an interview before April 19, 2021. This is because such applicants may have already been studying for the 2020 civics test. USCIS will provide notices to such applicants affected by the policy update.

We will be following further developments closely.  Please monitor our website for updates.


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