USCIS Citizenship Education: Resources and Initiatives
The USCIS Office of Citizenship promotes instruction and training about the rights and responsibilities of United States citizenship. We provide permanent residents with information and other tools to help them successfully integrate into American civic culture. Established by the Homeland Security Act of 2002, the Office of Citizenship:
See the four sections below for more information.
During fiscal years (FY) 2004-2013, 7.1 million lawful permanent residents became U.S. citizens. In FY 2013, USCIS naturalized almost 780,000 new Americans.
To become a naturalized citizen of the United States, an applicant must meet all eligibility requirements, including (with limited exceptions) the ability to read, write, and speak words ordinarily used in English and to demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of U.S. history and government.
Applicants meet these requirements by passing an English language and civics test. To ensure the naturalization process and testing requirements are fair, meaningful, and transparent, USCIS redesigned the naturalization test to achieve two basic outcomes:
The redesigned version, mandatory for citizenship applicants since October 1, 2009, emphasizes the founding principles of American democracy and the rights and responsibilities of citizenship.
Along with this redesign, USCIS introduced new training requirements for its officers. All new USCIS officers now receive training on test administration, and all officers who administer the test must pass annual refresher training on test administration and scoring guidelines.
As a final step in the test redesign process, USCIS conducted a series of records studies to evaluate applicant performance.
The Office of Citizenship has developed a variety of educational initiatives to promote awareness of the naturalization process, the naturalization test, and the rights and responsibilities of U.S. citizenship. Test study materials promote civic learning and build a strong foundation for successful integration into American civic culture.
These initiatives include:
Supporting organizations that help prepare immigrants for citizenship is critical to the mission of USCIS and the Office of Citizenship. Highlights in this area include:
USCIS celebrates the importance of citizenship, the achievements of new Americans, and the outstanding contributions of immigrants by:
Highlights in this area include:
To learn more about the USCIS Office of Citizenship’s educational programs and initiatives, please visit the Citizenship Resource Center at www.uscis.gov/citizenship.
Last Reviewed/Updated: 09/24/2014