Applying for Citizenship? New Test Effective December 1, 2020

USCIS announced that the citizenship civics test would be revised as of December 1, 2020. Those applying on December 1st or later, will be subject to the new test. Those who applied previously and are still pending, will be subject to the old test. The government last revised the test in 2008. The government refers to the new test as the “2020 test.”

How much has been revised? According to the USCIS Omsbudsman:

“Candidates must answer 12 questions correctly out of 20 in order to pass.” Formerly, applicants had to correctly answer a minimum of six out of 10 questions to pass.

“The revised test includes more questions that test the applicant’s understanding of U.S. history and civics, in line with the statutory requirements, and covers a variety of topics that provide the applicant with more opportunities to learn about the United States as part of the test preparation process.”  The total set of questions is now 128 versus 100.

Some things will not change. First, the revised test will not change the passing score, which will remain at 60 percent. Second, USCIS maintains the current guidelines for statutorily established special considerations for applicants who are 65 years old or older and have at least 20 years of lawful permanent resident status. According to USCIS, these applicants must correctly answer a minimum of six out of 10 questions to pass.

The English tests and the civics test process will also remain exactly the same. The Civics test process is given orally by the USCIS officer and there are no multiple choice.

For any questions about applying for US citizenship in Colorado or the new 2020 civics test, please contact naturalization attorney Catherine Brown at 303-322-2117!

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