Changes Coming to the Naturalization Test

On December 14, 2022, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that the U.S. citizenship test is going to be updated. President Trump’s administration changed the test in 2020, but President Biden’s administration quickly changed it back to its original – and current – version, which was last updated in 2008.

After 15 years, this naturalization test is now being updated. However, the proposed changes have worried some immigrants and advocates as they view that the changes may harm test-takers with lower levels of English proficiency.

USCIS proposes that the new edition of the test adds a speaking section to assess English skills. In this section, an officer would show photos of ordinary scenarios, such as weather, food, or activities, and then ask the applicant to verbally describe the photos presented. In contrast, the current test has the officer ask the applicant questions already answered in the naturalization paperwork.

Another proposed change would see the civics section on U.S. history and government changed from the oral short-answer format that is currently used, to a multiple-choice format. For example, the current civics question, one of a bank 100 civic questions, would have an officer ask the applicant to name a war that the U.S. has fought in during the 1900s. The applicant would be able to say either World War I, World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, or the Gulf War. With the new format, there would be only one correct answer offered and three incorrect options. An applicant must answer six of the 10 questions correctly to pass.

The new test is expected to be introduced late next year.

For More Information:

You can read the announcement from USCIS here.

This blog post does not serve as legal advice and does not establish any client-attorney privilege. Do not take any action based on the information contained in this post without consulting a qualified immigration attorney. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact our legal team directly.

Categories: Immigration News