Biden Administration Restores Prior Version of Naturalization Civics Test

The Biden Administration is reversing course on a widely criticized revamp of the naturalization civics test implemented by the Trump administration in its final months in office.

On February 22, 2020, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that effective March 1, 2021, USCIS will revert back to the prior, 2008, version of the civics test.  Applicants for citizenship who applied between December 1, 2020 and February 28, 2021 who are interviewed before or on April 19, 2021 will be able to choose to take either the 2020 or the 2008 version of the test.  Those applying on or after March 1, 2021 or who are interviewed after April 19, 2021 will be tested using the 2008 version of the civics exam.

In its announcement, USCIS said  “(w)e determined the 2020 civics test development process, content, testing procedures, and implementation schedule may inadvertently create potential barriers to the naturalization process. 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 naturalization process to eliminate barriers and make the process more accessible to all eligible individuals.” 

USCIS will conduct public engagement events and send out notices to affected applicants for naturalization to inform them of this change.