Trump Administration's New Citizenship Test, Eventually Rescinded

As the Biden administration took office, anti-immigration policies under the Trump administration were being canceled or suspended. The 2020 Version of Civics Test (“2020 version”), which was released in November last year, has also been announced to be rescinded and that it will return to the previous version.

The new citizenship test, called the 2020 version, released by USCIS on November 13, 2020 under the Trump administration, increased the existing 100 question banks to 128, and among them, the actual number of test questions would be from 10 to 20, so that 20 of the 128 problem pools would be asked to the applicants for the U.S. Citizenship. The purpose of this change was to reduce the number of applicants for the citizenship by increasing the burden of applicants for preparing for the exam, ultimately making it difficult to obtain citizenship.

According to an official announcement by USCIS on February 22, it has finally decided not to implement the 2020 version. In other words, the 2020 version, which was scheduled to be applied to applicants who applied for citizenship after December 1 of last year, disappeared into history before it was actually implemented. The change appears to reflect the part of the immigration law-related pledge made by the Biden administration, “We will simplify the procedure and lower the cost for obtaining citizenship for qualified permanent residents and”

Applicants who have applied for citizenship since December 1st of last year and have been preparing for the exam with the 2020 version according to past announcements by USCIS have been given consideration to choose between the 2020 version and the previous version, the 2008 version. In other words, citizenship applicants who have been preparing for the exam with a new version based on the previous announcements by government agencies will not suffer from sudden policy changes.

Options for choosing between those two test forms are limited to applicants whose citizenship application received by February 28th, 2021. Applicants whose application received by USCIS before December 1st of last year or after March 1st of this year will be tested in the 2008 version consistently.

It is clear that the current progress of the newly inaugurated Biden administration rescinding or suspending the anti-immigration law policies under the Trump administration will be very welcome. However, it is also true that as an immigration attorney, it is time to be more sensitive to policy changes so that we can deliver more accurate information.

The information on the Internet often does not reflect all of these policy changes. Therefore, I advise you who preparing for the immigration process to consult with an expert to proceed with the relevant process based on the immigration law reflecting the most accurate and up-to-date changes.