Updates on Naturalization Requirements

USCIS has made some changes regarding the eligibility requirements for U.S. citizenship. Among other requirements, applicants for U.S. citizenship must pass a government and civics test. In November 2020, USCIS updated policy guidance on the naturalization civics test, increasing the general bank of questions to 128, the number of exam questions to 20, the number of correct answers needed to pass to 12, and providing for officers to ask all 20 test items even if applicants achieve a passing score.

There has been another recent update to the policy guidance regarding eligibility for naturalization. In addition to meeting other requirements, a naturalization applicant has the burden of establishing that he or she was lawfully admitted to the United States for permanent residence in accordance with all applicable provisions under the immigration laws at the time of filing the naturalization application. For example, an applicant is ineligible if he or she obtained lawful permanent resident (LPR) status in error, by fraud, or if the admission was otherwise not in compliance with the law. The new policy guidance affirms that an applicant is ineligible for naturalization in cases where they did not obtain LPR status lawfully including cases where the U.S. government was unaware of disqualifying facts and granted adjustment of status to that of an LPR or admitted the applicant as an LPR.


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