The Biden administration announced the reversal of the strict Trump-era policy by reverting to the 2008 version of the Naturalization Testing Module to make the path to U.S. citizenship more accessible to all eligible people. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced on Monday that they are reverting to the 2008 version of the Naturalization Civics Test effective March 1, 2021.
The previous Trump administration introduced some changes to the civic naturalization test, known as the 2020 Civic Test, which increased the number of questions from 100 to 128 and the correct answers to multiple-choice questions had political and ideological overtones. Announcing the reversal, USCIS said the agency had determined that the revised civic test, applicable to people who applied on or after December 1, 2020, “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,” USCIS said in a statement. . “The 2008 Civics Test was developed extensively over a period of several years with input from more than 150 organizations, including ESL experts, educators and historians, and was tested before its implementation. USCIS aspires to implement the process. as accessible as possible in line with President Biden’s request to thoroughly review the process, he said.
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 decision to naturalize demonstrates an investment and commitment in this country. USCIS is committed to administering a test that is an instrument of civic learning and promotes civic integration as part of the test preparation process, indicates the press release.
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 are offered. The 2020 test will be canceled on April 19, 2021 for the first candidates. Applicants who apply from March 1, 2021 will take the 2008 civic education test, the agency said.
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