U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has announced that it is reverting to the 2008 version of the naturalization civics test beginning March 1, 2021.
The action follows President Biden’s Executive Order on Restoring Faith in Our Legal Immigration Systems, aimed at eliminating barriers to naturalization. USCIS determined the 2020 civics test might create such barriers.
The 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 administered to applicants who apply for U.S. citizenship through naturalization and is one of the 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. The decision to naturalize demonstrates an investment in and commitment to this country.
Applicants 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.