USCIS Introduces Trial for Enhancements to the Naturalization Test

Today, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published a notice in the Federal Register, announcing that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is set to initiate a nationwide trial for updates to the current naturalization test. The naturalization test comprises four components: reading, writing, civics, and English speaking ability. While the reading and writing sections remain standard, the trial aims to evaluate a redesigned civics component and a newly developed English-speaking component.

President Biden's Executive Order 14012, titled "Restoring Faith in Our Legal Immigration Systems and Strengthening Integration and Inclusion Efforts for New Americans," includes a directive to review the naturalization process. In response, USCIS subject matter experts have conducted reviews and recommended changes to enhance the speaking and civics test, aligning with industry testing standards. The proposed revisions reflect input received from various external stakeholder groups.

USCIS Director Ur M. Jaddou emphasized the significance of the naturalization test in the citizenship process, stating, "We welcome input from stakeholders familiar with this important process as we continue to improve and update our naturalization test, ensuring consistency with industry testing standards."

The trial will assess updates to the naturalization test based on feedback regarding standardization and structure. USCIS plans to collaborate with volunteer community-based organizations (CBOs) that work with immigrant English language learners and lawful permanent residents preparing for naturalization. The agency aims to involve approximately 1,500 individuals enrolled in adult education classes to participate in the trial test. The results of the trial may inform changes to the naturalization test.

Interested CBOs can engage in national discussions facilitated by USCIS and respond to a forthcoming request for volunteer participation on the USCIS Citizenship Resource Center. The trial is tentatively scheduled to span a five-month period in 2023.

USCIS encourages all interested parties to submit written data, views, comments, and arguments on all aspects of this trial and test. Comments can be emailed to [email protected].

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