Published Saturday, November 10, 2012
From Special Reports
Americans born in the USA might take their citizenship for granted, but those from elsewhere seeking citizenship through official, legal channels must meet strict requirements before taking the Oath of Allegiance.
According to the U.S. Citizen and Immigration website, those who have held green cards for five years must meet the following requirements to apply for naturalization:
• Be 18 or older.
• Be a green card holder for at least five years immediately preceding the date of filing the Form N-400, Application for Naturalization.
• Have lived within the state, or USCIS district with jurisdiction over the applicant’s place of residence, for at least three months prior to the date of filing the application.
• Have continuous residence in the United States as a green card holder for at least five years immediately preceding the date of the filing the application.
• Be physically present in the United States for at least 30 months out of the five years immediately preceding the date of filing the application.
• Reside continuously within the United States from the date of application for naturalization up to the time of naturalization.
• Be able to read, write, and speak English and have knowledge and an understanding of U.S. history and government (civics).
• Be a person of good moral character, attached to the principles of the Constitution of the United States, and well disposed to the good order and happiness of the United States during all relevant periods under the law.
Applicants for citizenship must also pass an English vocabulary test and undergo a verbal interview to demonstrate their language skills and knowledge of their new country’s right and responsibilities.
Applicants must pass a written civics test. Some of the questions include:
A: Principles of American Democracy
1. What is the supreme law of the land?
— The Constitution.
2. What does the Constitution do?
— sets up the government.
— defines the government.
— protects basic rights of Americans.
3. The idea of self-government is in the first three words of the Constitution. What are these words?
— We the People.
4. What is an amendment?
— a change (to the Constitution).
— an addition (to the Constitution).
5. What do we call the first ten amendments to the Constitution?
— the Bill of Rights.
6. What is one right or freedom from the First Amendment?
— petition the government.
7. How many amendments does the Constitution have?
— 27, twenty-seven.
8. What did the Declaration of Independence do?
— announced our independence (from Great Britain).
— declared our independence (from Great Britain).
— said that the United States is free (from Great Britain).
9. What are two rights in the Declaration of Independence?
— pursuit of happiness.
10. What is freedom of religion?
— You can practice any religion, or not practice a religion.
11. What is the economic system in the United States?
— capitalist economy.
— market economy.
12. What is the “rule of law”?
— Everyone must follow the law.
— Leaders must obey the law.
— Government must obey the law.
—No one is above the law.
B: System of Government
13. Name one branch or part of the government.
— the courts.
14. What stops one branch of government from becoming too powerful?
— checks and balances.
— separation of powers.