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Biden administration reverts to 2008 version of U.S. citizenship test

Applicants who applied for naturalization on or after December 1, 2020 and before March 1, 2021 will have the option of taking the 2020 Civic Education Test or the 2008 Civic Education Test.

The Biden administration has announced to remove the strict Trump-era citizenship test and revert to the simpler version of 2008, making the U.S. naturalization process more accessible to all eligible people.

The new process takes effect on March 1, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) said in a press release on Monday.

On December 1 of last year, USCIS implemented a revised naturalization civic education test, called the 2020 Civic Test, as part of a process to review and update the 10-year tests.

The civic test is administered to applicants who apply for U.S. citizenship by naturalization and is one of the statutory requirements for naturalization. Applicants must demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of the fundamental tenets of United States history, principles and form of government.

The previous Trump administration introduced some changes to the 2020 civic test. It increased the number of questions from 100 to 128, and the correct answers to multiple-choice questions had political and ideological overtones.

Announcing Trump’s policy reversal, USCIS said the 2020 civic testing development process, content, testing procedures, and implementation schedule “may inadvertently create potential obstacles to the naturalization process. “.

“This action is in line with the framework of the Executive Decree on Restoring Faith in Our Legal Immigration Systems, which is leading a comprehensive review of the naturalization process to remove barriers and make the process more accessible to all eligible people,” did he declare.

The federal agency said the 2008 civic education test was “painstakingly developed over a period of several years with the participation of more than 150 organizations, which included ESL experts, educators and teachers. historians, and had been tested before its implementation “.

USCIS aspires to make the process as accessible as possible, in line with President Joe Biden’s request to review the process in depth, he said.

The decision to naturalize demonstrates an investment and commitment to the United States, USCIS said, adding that it is committed to administering a test that is an instrument of civic learning and promotes civic integration in the part of the test preparation process.

Applicants who applied for naturalization on or after December 1, 2020 and before March 1, 2021 have likely studied for the 2020 test; therefore, USCIS will give those applicants the option to take the 2020 Civics Test or the 2008 Civics Test, he said.

“There will be a transition period where both tests will be offered. The 2020 test will be canceled on April 19, 2021 for the first candidates. Applicants who apply on or after March 1, 2021 will take the 2008 civics test, ”USCIS said.

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