USCIS Changes The Naturalization Civics Test

On November 13, 2020, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced significant changes to the civics portion of the naturalization test. The changes will go into effect on December 1, 2020 and will only affect those who filed their naturalization application on or after that date.  Those who filed their applications prior to December 1, will still take the current version of the civics test.

Among the changes, USCIS has increased the list of possible questions from 100 questions to 128 questions.

Also, under the new test, USCIS will ask applicants to answer 20 questions, rather than 10 questions.  Applicants must answer 12 questions correctly, rather than 6 questions, in order to pass. Applicants will also have to answer all 20 questions, rather than stopping once they reach the passing score. Those who qualify under the 65/20 exception (at least 65 years of age and a lawful permanent resident for at least 20 years), will still only have to answer 6 out of 10 questions correctly (from a set list of 20 questions), but those questions will come from the new version of the test.

Applicants will still have two opportunities to pass the civics test. If an applicant fails any portion of the civics test at the first interview, he or she will be retested only on that portion between 60 and 90 days later. Those who fail the current version of the test will be retested on the current version. Those who fail the new version of the test will be retested on the new version.

No changes have been made to the English (speaking, reading, and writing) portion of the naturalization test.

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