Amanda Russell is an elementary-school teacher in Lakeland, Florida, who recently became a U.S. citizen with some help from her students. Russell is originally from the Bahamas and has lived in the U.S. since 1996. When she began the naturalization process, she shared her experience with her third-grade students as a civics lesson. Russell’s students helped her prepare for her naturalization test, quizzing her on U.S. history and government.
For the final step of the naturalization process, officers from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services came to Russell’s school to administer the oath of citizenship in a special ceremony. Russell’s students cheered and applauded as soon as their teacher completed her oath to become a United States citizen.
Russell is fortunate to have had the support of her students in the final stages of her naturalization. For some people, these last steps, which include an exam, can provoke anxiety.
To become a U.S. citizen, most people must pass a test of English language and U.S. civics. The language portion tests you ability to speak, read, write and understand English. To pass, you must adequately answer interview questions in English and demonstrate the ability to read and write English sentences. The civics portion tests your knowledge of U.S. history and government. To pass, you must correctly answer at least six out of ten civics questions. Study materials for the naturalization test are available online.
After passing the test, you complete the citizenship process by swearing the oath of allegiance. Once you take the oath, you receive a certificate of naturalization which is your official proof of U.S. citizenship. You can use your certificate to apply for a passport and obtain a social security card.
Helping people become U.S. citizens is a very gratifying part of my practice. I am honored to assist people from around the world in achieving their dreams of citizenship. Contact my office if you have any questions about naturalization.