President’s Executive Order Restoring America’s Welcome to Immigrants

The President has issued an Executive Order which changes the policy direction of the Federal agencies which implement the immigration system. This order, issued February 2, 2021, has already had changed policy in substantial ways, including the recent reversion of the plan to modify the Naturalization Civics test in ways that would have meant substantially more denials, based on a rationale that has now been rejected. As stated by the USCIS in a policy email:

We determined the 2020 civics test development process, content, testing procedures, and implementation schedule may inadvertently create potential barriers to the naturalization process. This action is consistent with the framework of the Executive Order on Restoring Faith in Our Legal Immigration Systems, which directs a comprehensive review of the naturalization process to eliminate barriers and make the process more accessible to all eligible individuals.  

Applicants who filed their naturalization applications on or after Dec. 1, 2020, but before March 1, 2021, with an initial examination (interview) before April 19, 2021, will have the choice to either take the 2008 civics test or the 2020 civics test. We will notify applicants who are affected by the change. If the initial interview is scheduled on or after April 19, 2021, applicants will take the 2008 civic test.