Changes to Answers on Naturalization Test as a Result of the November Elections

Alexander J. Segal's picture

On January 23, 2017, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) released a document titled “Civics Test Answer Updates” for those currently studying for the naturalization test [link]. The update addresses questions to which the answers have changed due to the results of the November elections.

Note: The information provided in this article is current as of January 27, 2017, and is intended only to give readers information on answers to the naturalization test as of this date. An individual studying for the naturalization test should always consult the appropriate websites for up-to-date information regarding his or her U.S. senators, representatives, and governor. It is not at all uncommon for changes to occur.

The following are the answers that may have changed:

20. Who is one of your state's U.S. senators now?

34 of the 100 United States Senate seats were contested in the last election. Each state has two U.S. senators. The USCIS advises naturalization applicants to check to find one of their current senators.

For your convenience, the following is a list of U.S. senators that changed as a result of the November elections.

California: Senator Kamala Harris replaced Barbara Boxer;
Illinois: Senator Tammy Duckworth defeated Mark Kirk;
Indiana: Senator Todd Young replaced Dan Coats;
Louisiana: Senator John Kennedy replaced David Vitter;
Maryland: Senator Chris Van Hollen replaced Barbara Mikulski;
Nevada: Senator Catherine Cortez Masto replaced Harry Reid; and
Senator Maggie Hassan defeated Kelly Ayotte.

The incumbent senator prevailed in the other 27 U.S. Senate elections last November.

Additionally, Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions has been nominated by President Donald Trump to be the next Attorney General of the United States. Senator Sessions is very likely to be confirmed. Until he is confirmed, he remains in the United States Senate. Individuals seeking naturalization from Alabama are well advised to remember that the other Senator from Alabama is Richard Shelby. If Senator Sessions is confirmed, a replacement will be selected by Governor Robert Bentley of Alabama.

23. Name your U.S. representative

All 435 United States House seats were up for election in November. Each Congressional District has one U.S. representative. The USCIS recommends that naturalization applicants use to find their representative.

24. What is the name of the President of the United States now?

The following answers are acceptable:

Donald J. Trump;
Donald Trump; or

25. What is the name of the Vice President of the United States now?

The following answers are acceptable:

Michael R. Pence;
Mike Pence; or

43. Who is the governor of your state now?

12 states and territories held gubernatorial elections in November of 2016. The USCIS advises that individuals taking the naturalization test visit for the name of their current governor.

For your convenience, the following is a list of states and territories with a different governor than before the November 2016 elections:

Delaware: Governor John Carney replaced Jack Markell;
Indiana: Governor Eric Holcomb replaced Mike Pence;
Missouri: Governor Eric Greitens replaced Jay Nixon;
New Hampshire: Governor Chris Sununu replaced Maggie Hassan;
North Carolina: Governor Roy Cooper defeated Pat McCrory;
North Dakota: Governor Doug Burgum replaced Jack Darlymple;
Vermont: Governor Phil Scott replaced Peter Shumlin;
West Virginia: Governor Jim Justice replaced Earl Ray Tomblin;
Puerto Rico: Governor Ricky Rosselló replaced Alejandro Garcia Padilla.

Additionally, the following governorships changed due to the then-incumbent being confirmed as the Ambassador to the United Nations:

South Carolina: Governor Henry McMaster replaced Nikki Haley.

Finally, the current Governor for Iowa, Terry Branstad, has been nominated by President Trump to be the next Ambassador to China. He is likely to be confirmed to this position when his nomination comes up for a vote. When he is confirmed, he will likely be succeeded by the Lieutenant Governor of Iowa, Kim Reynolds.


It is important for any naturalization applicants to study in advance of taking the civics test. Test-takers should know their current U.S. senators, representative, and governor. The USCIS provides resources for those looking to study for the civics test. Those seeking naturalization may consult with their immigration attorney for advice on finding a test preparation service or for guidance on whether they would be eligible to take the test in their native language.

We would like to remind readers that the information in this article is current as of January 27, 2017. Test-takers should find the most current information at the time they are taking the test.

Changes to Answers on Naturalization Test as a Result of the November Elections