Before leaving office, the Trump administration has instituted yet another restrictive measure on immigration. This change, which will apply to naturalization or citizenship applications filed on or after December 1, 2020, involves amending the civics test for naturalization (Form N-400) to make it more difficult to pass. 

There will not be changes to the English portion of the naturalization civics test. You still must demonstrate an understanding of the English language, including the ability to read, write, and speak basic English.

  • Speaking: A USCIS officer will determine your ability to speak and understand English during your eligibility interview.
  • Reading: You must read aloud one out of three sentences correctly to demonstrate an ability to read in English. 
  • Writing: You must write one out of three sentences correctly to demonstrate the  ability to write in English. 

Even though the passing citizenship test score will remain at 60%, on the revised test, USCIS immigration officers will ask naturalization applicants 20 questions instead of 10, so the immigrant must satisfactorily answer 12 to pass.

Also, in the previous test, if an immigrant answered six questions correctly before reaching the last one, this part of the exam ended. In the revised test, even if the immigrant answers 12 questions correctly, the immigration officer must continue to ask all 20 questions.

There is one exception: USCIS’ policy alert clarifies that the agency will continue to administer 10 questions, with six correct answers needed, to immigrants who qualify for special consideration because they are age 65 or older and have been a lawful permanent resident (green card holder) for at least 20 years.


Take advantage of the pocket study guide and flashcards made available on the immigration website. See link.

You should also give serious consideration to hiring an immigration lawyer to handle your naturalization application. Beyond the  helpful assistance in form and exhibit preparation, your Austin immigration lawyer can provide peace of mind by serving as a liaison between you and immigration until you are sworn in as a naturalized citizen of the United States.

To speak with an experienced Austin immigration lawyer about filing for citizenship, i.e. filing for N-400 application for naturalization,  please call experienced Austin immigration lawyer Michael G. Murray, of Michael G.Murray, P.A. You can call today at (512) 215-4407, or contact the firm online, to learn more.

Call Us Today to Schedule a Consultation with an Austin Immigration Attorney

Coronavirus update: We are safely open for business! USCIS is still accepting new filings for all applications. Our office is offering virtual consultations for new clients so that you don't have to come to our office in person. Call us to schedule your virtual meeting today.
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