There is going to be a change in the test for the citizenship of United States and now this test will be more standard and difficult than before. The US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has proposed to this effect. It is believed that these changes will be approved after following the necessary procedure.
Before this, an attempt was made to change this exam during the last phase of former President Donald Trump’s tenure, but President Joe Biden had withdrawn these changes as soon as he came. After fifteen years, once again the process of change in this examination has started. USCIS has said that before implementing the changes, they will take feedback from the general public and then after they are reviewed by an expert panel, they will be implemented in 2024.
US officials said in December that changes to the test were last made in 2008 and that a review of the test was now pending. Along with this, it was said to standardize the process by linking the proposed changes with the adoption of the latest formats of test design.
There will be two major changes in the test of Americanization
As the last step before being granted US citizenship, applicants who have been living legally in the US for years have to take a test, which takes about a month. Under this, information about the applicant’s English knowledge of his American history is tested. It’s called the naturalization test. According to the proposal of USCIS, now there will be mainly two changes in this examination.
1. Have to see the picture and speak: To test proficiency in English, an English-speaking section is also proposed to be added. Under this, the applicant will be shown a picture of normal weather or any food etc. and he will be asked to say anything about it in English. Whereas in the current naturalization interview, the applicant was asked questions about himself. These were questions that the applicant had already answered in the application paperwork.
But in the new test, the applicant has to speak immediately about a completely new picture. It is believed that with this the USCIS officials will be able to better test the applicant’s ability to speak English as well as his/her mindset. In this way, this phase of the exam will become tougher than before.
2. Changes in the written test as well: The second proposed change in the test is in the civics section involving knowledge of American history and governance. At present, this multiple-answer test is oral and in this, the applicant was given several options in response to a question, out of which he had to choose one. But now these multiple answer questions will not be oral but written. In this way, the English reading proficiency of the applicant will also be tested, which was not done till now. Till now the applicant had to answer 6 of these 10 questions asked orally. It has not been disclosed how many questions will have to be answered in the new written test.
Experts say that there are many times older women-men, refugees and less educated people who apply for US citizenship. But this new process of examination can increase the difficulties of these people.
Record people got citizenship last year
According to USCIS data, more than one million applicants were granted US citizenship in fiscal year 2022, a record number since 1907. USCIS reduced the backlog of naturalization applications by more than 60% last year.