Local Governments

Important Updates Regarding the 2020 Version of the Civics Test

On Dec. 1, 2020, USCIS implemented a revised version of the civics test for naturalization (2020 civics test). Due to recent policy changes, some applicants required to take the 2020 civics test may now have a choice to take the 2020 test or the 2008 civics test. Please note that beginning on April 19, 2021, USCIS will only offer the 2008 civics test at the initial interview appointment regardless of filing date.

For more information, visit The 2020 Version of the Civics Test page.
 

Citizenship and Civic Integration Resources for Local Governments

Local communities play an important role in welcoming and assisting immigrants. USCIS has developed a list of resources for municipal governments interested in supporting citizenship and preventing immigration scams. Below are ways we can work together to strengthen civic integration efforts in your community.

Outreach Events and Community Engagement
  1. Hold an information session on naturalization for aspiring citizens and invite a local USCIS representative to present on immigration topics relevant to your community. USCIS sessions are free of charge and open to the public. Topics covered at USCIS sessions will include naturalization eligibility requirements, the naturalization process, the naturalization test, and the rights and responsibilities of U.S. citizenship. To request an event in your area, contact USCIS-IGAOutreach@uscis.dhs.gov.
  2. Host a naturalization ceremony. The naturalization ceremony is a pivotal milestone in the naturalization process. USCIS aims to make naturalization ceremonies meaningful events in the lives of the participants. If you are interested in participating in a ceremony, please contact USCIS-IGAOutreach@uscis.dhs.gov.

  3. Post naturalization information on your government’s website to direct users to USCIS web-based resources. We have found the Internet to be an effective and important tool to reach audiences interested in naturalization. To assist you, we have sample web page content (PDF, 44.83 KB) with helpful links to key USCIS resources and information.

  4. Add a widget to your website to easily link to USCIS naturalization information and resources. The widgets are small online applications in English and Spanish that can be embedded on social media sites, blogs, or other web pages to direct users to USCIS web content.

  5. Visit the Citizenship Public Education and Awareness page to print and distribute outreach materials and posters. You will also find promotional radio and television PSAs that can be added to your webpage.

  6. Combat immigration scams. Immigration scams and the unauthorized practice of immigration law pose a serious threat to immigrant communities. A variety of educational tools, public service announcements, and information on finding authorized legal assistance are available for distribution on our Avoid Scams web page.

  7. Work with your public libraries to create a Citizenship Corner. This is a dedicated space where immigrants can find information about becoming a U.S. citizen. Citizenship Corners may also be established at community centers, adult education sites, and other city facilities.

  8. Order one free copy of the Civics and Citizenship Toolkit. The Toolkit contains immigration and citizenship publications, handbooks, and multimedia tools designed for new and experienced organizations. You may use the Toolkit to provide basic information to the immigrant community, develop content for citizenship classes, and train staff and volunteers. Additional copies are available for purchase through the U.S. Government Bookstore. You can share information about the Toolkit with organizations that serve immigrants in your community. Note: At this time, we are making updates to the Civics and Citizenship Toolkit and its contents. Until the toolkit is updated, we will halt distribution. Please check back regularly.

  9. Use the office locator to find an office in your area. 

Training and Technical Assistance
  1. Request a USCIS training event. We offer free citizenship-focused training seminars for adult educators, volunteers, and teachers. These seminars are designed to enhance the skills needed to teach U.S. history, civics, and the naturalization process to immigrant students. They include hands-on practice developing effective citizenship curriculum, lesson plans, and classroom activities incorporating civics content.

  2. Download a program development guide (PDF, 8.19 MB) that provides a step-by-step process to create or maintain a high-quality adult citizenship education program. It also includes USCIS products and resources that you can use at each step of the process.

  3. Engage volunteers in adult citizenship education classrooms with a series of training modules developed by USCIS. These training modules are designed to equip adult citizenship education volunteers in government or community programs with a basic understanding of adult second language acquisition and the naturalization process, including the interview and test. After reviewing the modules, volunteers will be able to use this information and additional USCIS resources to prepare learners for the naturalization process.

    You can plan a training and discussion session for volunteers using the training modules, or share the training modules with government and civic volunteer coordinators through your communication channels such as internal and external websites, mailing lists, and resource guides.

Citizenship Education and Naturalization Preparation Grants

Apply for federal funding under the Citizenship and Integration Grant Program. Public schools, local public education agencies, and state and local governments can apply for a competitive grant opportunity as long as they have demonstrated experience providing citizenship education and/or naturalization preparation services to permanent residents. Future funding opportunities are dependent upon congressional action.

Educational Resources
  1. Visit and link to the Citizenship Resource Center. This website provides comprehensive naturalization information, study materials, and resources for adult learners, teachers, and organizations that serve immigrants.

    The Citizenship Resource Center also includes downloadable posters and flyers promoting the rights, responsibilities, and importance of U.S. citizenship. You can hang posters and distribute flyers in public areas of the community such as visitor centers, recreational centers, community centers, and public schools.

  2. Visit and link to Settling in the U.S.which provides new immigrants with basic information about living in the United States.On this page, you will also find the  Welcome to the United States: A Guide for New Immigrants (PDF, 3.57 MB). This guide contains practical information to help immigrants settle into everyday life in the United States, as well as basic civics information that introduces new immigrants to the U.S. system of government. We offer the guide in 14 languages online or you may purchase it in English, Spanish, and Chinese through the U.S. Government Bookstore.

Additional Resources

 

 

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