TESTY OBYWATELSKIE. NARZĘDZIE INTEGRACJI CZY BARIERA DLA NATURALIZACJI?
CITIZENSHIP TESTS. AN INSTRUMENT OF CIVIC INTEGRATION OR A BARRIER TO NATURALIZATION?
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The debate on adding stricter requirements of civic knowledge to previously existing language tests, shows how diverse the expectations towards citizenship applicants are. The paper explains why the recent introduction of citizenship tests has raised controversy. The tests are questioned in two ways. Firstly, there are doubts whether applicants for naturalization should be tested at all. The most problematic aspect of those requirements is the intention or effect of raising barriers to naturalization among long-term resident immigrants. It is debatable whether a citizenship test is an instrument of civic integration, or just on the contrary, of exclusion from the community. Secondly, the controversy focuses on the kinds and contents of the citizenship tests. The study shows that the requirements and expectations toward new citizens are varied. Although, in some cases civic tests are a serious obstacle to citizenship acquisition, the question whether they also might be a tool of integration is still open.
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