Following President Biden’s Executive Order 14012 earlier this month, USCIS will continue administering the 2008 version of the civics test required for naturalization. Previously, a 2020 version became effective on December 1.
Individuals who applied for naturalization prior to December 1, 2020, or will file on or after March 1, 2021, will take the 2008 version. So too will those applicants whose interview is scheduled to occur on or after April 19, 2021, without regard for when the application was filed.
The 2020 version will be available by choice and only to those applicants who filed on or after December 1, 2020, but before March 1, 2021, with the interview scheduled to take place before April 19, 2021. Again, anyone falling within this group can instead opt for the 2008 version.
In most cases, then, the civics test, which occurs at the interview following an N-400 application, will now revert to its old form: 10 questions, from a bank of 100, with a passing score of 6. The 2020 version requires 12 correct answers out of 20, with the bank of possible questions totaling 128.
Contrary to the original implementation of the 2020 test, either version of the exam will terminate as soon as a passing score is achieved. The exam would also end if it became impossible for the applicant to pass.
Importantly, the English portion of the civics test is unchanged. Likewise, a second attempt will be afforded to applicants who fail either or both portions of the test between 60 and 90 days after the interview, as has been the case regardless of which version was administered.
Exclusively dedicated to practicing immigration law, Francis Law Center offers assistance with naturalization.
This information is intended to educate and should not be taken as legal advice.