Becoming a naturalized citizen is the dream of many lawful permanent residents who are living in New York. However, it is not enough to be a lawful resident who is of the right age and good moral character. Although people who are applying for citizenship must meet these requirements, they also have to pass the citizenship test administered by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
In 2018, there was a 90% pass rate for the citizenship test. Around 750,000 people successfully passed, marking the highest rate over the past five years. In order to successfully pass the test, a person must correctly answer six of 10 questions that are randomly generated. There are 100 questions in total which address things like American history, government, geography, holidays and symbols. Even though applicants only have to know the answer to six questions, a wide range of knowledge on these various topics is necessary.
The USCIS plans to revamp aspects of the test to both help new citizens develop a fuller understanding of U.S. citizenship, and to better measure applicants' knowledge. A pilot version of the revised test is set to be introduced later on in 2019. The fully revised test will not go into use until Dec. 2020, although it might be delayed until early 2021.
The citizenship exam has been revised multiple times since it was first introduced in 1986, with the most recent changes from 2008. Changes to the immigration process can be alarming, but they are not always as concerning as some may think. For those who want to explore the implications of these and other changes, speaking with knowledgeable New York attorneys may be an appropriate course of action.