Greater Wilmington Business Journal – Insights: Citizenship 101

Citizenship 101

Posted June 30, 2017

This Insights article was contributed by Melanie Nelson, ESL Program Director for the Cape Fear Literacy Council.

The House of Representatives has how many voting members?
Uh, good question!

Who was president during World War I?
You know, I should know this one, but….

The above exchange resembles a game of Trivial Pursuit. However, these questions aren’t part of a game and the ability to answer correctly is not a trivial matter. The examples above come from the list of 100 civics questions that are part of the process for applying for naturalization.

To apply for citizenship, a person must have been living in the United States on a green card for five years, unless he or she is married to a U.S. citizen. In that case, the application may be submitted after three years. The cost of an application is $725. However, an applicant may be able to apply for a fee waiver or a fee reduction. Other requirements for citizenship may be found at www.uscis.gov.

The test actually begins once a candidate arrives for his appointment. Navigating small talk with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) officers is the first chance for an applicant to demonstrate competence in the English language. English proficiency is a requirement for citizenship, unless the candidate meets certain age requirements, in which case he or she may use an interpreter to complete the process in a different language.

 

Click here to read the full article