The Trump administration implemented a new citizenship test for interested individuals on December 1, 2020, and subjected applicants to an exam that was twice as long as the previous assessment presented by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The new changes were widely seen as a means to deter applicants.
The Biden administration declared on Monday that it would be scrapping the months-old citizenship test enacted by the Trump White House, instead opting to reinstate a previous version of the exam.
“USCIS aspires to make the process as accessible as possible as directed by President [Joe] Biden’s request to review the process thoroughly,” the release adds.
In order to successfully become a US citizen, individuals need to pass both an English proficiency test and a civics exam. Under the 2008 version of the civics assessment, applicants are instructed to study for 100 potential questions from a list, and correctly answer six out of 12 that are asked by an official.
However, under the Trump administration’s initiative, the list of questions expanded from 100 to 128, with applicants required to successfully answer 12 out of 20 questions in order to pass the civics portion of the citizenship process.
The exam was also blasted over questions containing complex phrasing, many of which could trip up applicants should they fail to consider them carefully.
At the time, one particular question regarding who a US senator represents drew scrutiny. Previously, the answer to the question was “all people of the state,” but under the Trump-era test the answer was “citizens” within the state.
The new changes will take effect on March 1.
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