Revisions are coming to the U.S. citizenship test

There are many steps to becoming a naturalized citizen of the United States. From securing the appropriate documentation to come to the U.S. in the first place, a person must also meet the age requirement and have lived as a lawful permanent resident for five years or longer. Another step to becoming a citizen is to pass the citizenship test. Immigrants living in Louisiana who have been studying for that test should be aware that it will be revised soon.

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services recently announced that the revisions are intended to create a more accurate measure of the civics knowledge of applicants and to help new citizens develop a deeper understanding of citizenship and American values. This is not the first revision, either. The 1986 test has been revised multiple times, most recently in 2008. It is not entirely clear when the USCIS will debut the new test, but the current plan is for the new tests to launch around late 2020 or even early 2021, and a pilot version of the revisions will go into use fall of 2019.

The current exam draws from 100 different questions that cover integrated civics, American government and American history. Integrated civics includes holidays, symbols and geography. Applicants are given 10 questions that are randomly generated and must answer six of the 10 correctly. The number of people passing this test hit a five-year high in 2018, with over 750,000 passing the test. There is currently about a 90% pass rate.

Any changes to immigration law can feel unsettling, especially for those who are working toward citizenship. However, a single change is not necessarily cause for concern. Immigrants who pay close attention to changes, remain aware of updated rules and speak with Louisiana attorneys as needed may find that the process is not as difficult as anticipated.