“I am thankful to the USA who took us into this country and gave us the possibility to live a peaceful life.” – Anna Voskanova
Could you pass the test to become a United States citizen? You’d have to correctly answer 6 out of 10 questions like these:
- The House of Representatives has how many voting members?
- What are two Cabinet-level positions?
- When was the Constitution written?
- The Federalist Papers supported the passage of the U.S. Constitution. Name one of the writers.
- Who was President during World War I?
- Name two national U.S. holidays.
Citizenship offers new rights and privileges, and comes with equally important responsibilities. Becoming a U.S. citizen allows a person to vote, serve on a jury, bring family members to the U.S., apply for federal jobs and obtain government benefits. Naturalization is the process by which U.S. citizenship is granted to a foreign citizen or national after he or she fulfills the requirements established by Congress in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).
Becoming a naturalized U.S. citizen requires many steps and can take years to complete. It can also be a costly process, with fees starting at $680. Applicants are required to pass an English proficiency test as well as a Civics test.
Only legal permanent residents of the U.S. can become citizens. Legal immigrants include those who have come to the U.S. with official refugee status.
An aspiring citizen must remain in the United States and establish permanent residency for five years, without extended absences. After five years, a person can apply for naturalization.
So, could you become a citizen if you had to take a test? Give it a try!
Citizenship classes and assistance with the naturalization process are just two of the services JFS provides to help refugees and immigrants make a successful transition to self-sufficiency. Learn more here.
By Leslie Sugiura
Savvy cook, extreme clam digger, urban gardener and mom to Stella the dog are just a few of the titles Leslie Sugiura keeps in rotation. She’s also the Director of Special Events for JFS where she spearheads the annual Community of Caring Luncheon.
Feature photo by Timo Kohlenberg