Lessons in ESL
Yesterday, I gave some information about the path to receiving a permanent resident card. The following are the steps to become a citizen.
Once a resident has received their Permanent Resident card, they must wait five years to become a citizen. The exceptions to the time limits are people naturalizing through marriage. That takes 3 years.
· You must be at least 18 years old.
· Have your permanent resident card at least 5 years (three) if married.
· Show that you have lived for at least 3 months in the state or USCIS district where you apply.
· Demonstrate continuous residence in the United States for at least 5 years immediately preceding the date of filing Form N-400.
· Show that you have been physically present in the United States for at least 30 months out of the 5 years immediately preceding the date of filing Form N-400.
· Be able to read, write, and speak basic English.
There is a written exam. The resident has three attempts to correctly identify words and to correctly write a sentence in English.
· Have a basic understanding of U.S. History and government (civics).
The civics exam is a test of US history. There are 100 questions to study. Out of these 100 questions, ten will be asked. To pass the test, the resident must answer six questions correctly.
Exemptions for the Civics Exam. The following are exempt from the English Language requirement, but still must take the Civics test:
a. 50/20 rule. If you are fifty and over at the time of filing and have lived in the US for more than 20 years.
b. 55/15 rule. If you are 55 and over and have lived in the United States as a permanent resident for 15 years
c. If you are age 65 or older and have been a permanent resident for at least 20 years at the time of filing for naturalization, you will be given special consideration regarding the civics requirement. You can take the test in your mother language.
Be a person of good moral character.
Demonstrate an attachment to the principles and ideals of the U.S. Constitution.
It is not cheap to become a citizen. There’s the fees associated with getting TO the US, the fee to resettle in the United States, and the fees that are charged by the United States Citizenship and Immigrations Services. The fee for the initial Green Card is $1070. The fee to become a citizen is $685.00.
Immigration should not be a dirty word. After all, most of us has an ancestor who came from another country.