Permanent residents in Kentucky and around the country who wish to become U.S. citizens must go through the naturalization process. This involves visiting a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services office for an interview. During this interview, permanent residents will take two tests. The first test will assess their ability to speak, read and write English. The second test measures their understanding of the U.S. Constitution and American history. This is often referred to as the civics test.
New civics test
The civics test was revised recently, and permanent residents who filed their naturalization applications on or after Dec. 1, 2020, will take the new test. The USCIS officer who conducts the test will select 20 questions from a list of 128 questions. Permanent residents must answer at least 12 questions correctly to pass the test. While this may sound daunting, most of the questions are fairly simple, and the USCIS provides online tools to help permanent residents prepare.
The civics test questions deal with the geography, history, government and laws of the United States. Permanent residents may be asked to name the oceans to the east and west of the country or the person who would become president if the elected president was unable to serve. They could also be asked to give the filing deadline for submitting tax returns to the IRS or name a war that America fought in the 19th or 20th century.
Preparing for the civics test
Attorneys who handle naturalization and citizenship cases may help a permanent resident to prepare for the civics test by going over the questions during practice sessions. They may also provide them with assistance with the N-400 Application for Naturalization form and ensure that the completed form is submitted along with supporting documents such as birth and marriage certificates.