Naturalization is the highest benefit offered by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). It requires at least five years of lawful residence, a clean criminal background, a green card, a petition, an interview and an exam that tests an immigrant’s knowledge of the English language and American civics.
The test to obtain U.S. citizenship by means of naturalization is something that many Americans believe they would not be able to pass. This is mostly because television and radio news stations are known to send journalists to the field so that they can quiz passerby with questions from the exam.
It so happens that many natural-born U.S. citizens with high school degrees would not pass the civics portion of the naturalization test on the first try, and this is something that happens to some immigrants as well. Applicants are given two opportunities to pass the test on their initial interview, but they may retake the exam within 60 to 90 days later.
The naturalization test consists of an English language component as well as a civics component. The language portion of the test consists of reading and writing three sentences, of which at least one must indicate proper command of English comprehension and diction. The civics portion consists of 10 questions from a pool of 100 that the USCIS makes available to the public. These questions deal with civics, geography, politics and American history, and the applicant must answer at least six of them correctly before he or she can be invited to a naturalization ceremony.
Some of the civics questions are quite simple, for example:
- What is the capital of the U.S.?
- Why does the American flag have a field of 50 stars?
- How often is a new President elected?
Other questions are not so simple, such as:
- Why are there 100 Senators in Congress?
- What are the first three words of the Declaration of Independence?
- What type of economic system is practiced in the U.S.?
Applicants may be exempted from taking the test under limited circumstances such as elderly age and disability. After the test and interview, the applicant must attend a ceremony to take the oath of naturalization to get his or her certificate.
If you or a loved one is trying to gain U.S. citizenship, turn to the San Diego immigration attorneys at KS Visa Law. Our immigration experts can be reached at (858) 874-0711 to schedule a free consultation.