Naturalization Test Returning to 2008 Version in March Blog Immigration Blog

Marco Green
Февраля 26, 2021

The Trump administration retired the 2008 version of the test and introduced a new version that became effective on December 1, 2020.

"The new administration decided that the changes made under Trump's zero tolerance were only motivated to place artificial sanctions against new citizens", he added.

The Biden administration has ejected a new test system for USA citizenship introduced by former President Trump on December 1, and the full system of questions and citizenship will be in place from March 1, according to USCIS.

USCIS said it believes the Trump test may be too tough to pass, echoing complaints by immigrant-rights groups.

Officials concluded that the testing process, content, development and rollout of the 2020 version may block people from pursuing citizenship.

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. "Multiple commenters noted that there was little advance notice before implementation of the 2020 civics test, which raised concerns about limited time for study and preparation of training materials and resources", the USCIS wrote.

The National Partnership for New Americans called the Biden cancellation a welcome "course correction".

"This action is consistent with the framework of the Executive Order on Restoring Faith in Our Legal Immigration Systems, which directs a comprehensive review of the naturalisation process to eliminate barriers and make the process more accessible to all eligible individuals", USCIS said in a statement. USCIS aspires to make the process as accessible as possible as directed by President Biden's request to review the process thoroughly.

"It's clearly just an irrational politicization and animosity to anything that came out of the Trump administration", said Mr. Law, who is now director of regulatory affairs and policy at the Center for Immigration Studies. In November, the Donald Trump administration implemented a new test with 128 questions to replace the old exam with 100 questions. But passage rates instead remained high, at above 90%, because migrants took the test seriously and studied for it, he said. But, having worked at USCIS during the time the test was revised, I will show that, in fact, it is just a politically driven move that diminishes the hard work of career professionals and injects uncertainty and confusion into the naturalization process. The legacy Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) and USCIS used that discretion to revise the civics test in 1997 and 2008-2009 respectively.

"So it was basically the band got back together to restart their work", he said.

"Should the backlogs get worse, many applicants won't be able to get an interview or test until months from now".

The Trump-era test was supposed to be used by anyone who applied after December 1.

Applicants for naturalization have two opportunities to pass the English Language Proficiency and Citizenship Examination.

Applicants who fail are given a chance for one retest. Individuals who file naturalization applications with receipt dates on or after March 1, 2021, will take the "old" 2008 version of the test.

In a letter released February 22, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) revised its guidelines on the U.S. citizenship test implemented just under three months ago.

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