Immigrants wishing to become permanent citizens of the United States may find the process a tad easier with the new funding changes set to take place as early as December 2020. The legal process is called citizenship through naturalization, and the Trump administration is allocating $10 million to the Citizenship and Assimilation Grant Program for communities across the country.
The US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced it is accepting applications for two funding opportunities under the grant program: the Citizenship Instruction and Naturalization Application Services and the Refugee and Asylee Assimilation Program. The first will fund up to 36 organizations that offer both citizenship instruction and naturalization application services to lawful, permanent residents. The Refugee and Asylee grant will fund up to four organizations that provide individualized services to residents who entered the country under the US Refugee Admissions Program or to those who were granted asylum. Both have an application deadline of August 13.
Becoming a Naturalized Citizen
One of the hardest things about becoming a citizen is the time it takes for the entire process, but the actual steps may not be as difficult as some think. Here are the main requirements:
- Live in the US as a permanent legal resident (not illegal immigrant) for five continuous years.
- Show physical presence in the United States for at least 30 months during the last five years.
- Have good moral character, which means a clean criminal record for the previous five years and not submitting false information as part of any immigration procedure.
- Able to read, write, and speak basic English, and have some knowledge of US history and government.
- Be willing to support and defend the United States and the Constitution.
One of the fears of the process of becoming naturalized is taking the tests, which requires the applicant to be able to read, write, and understand basic English. A USCIS representative will conduct an interview to determine command of the English language. The reading portion of the test will require the person to read one out of three sentences correctly, while the writing section has a requirement of getting one out of three sentences correct.
The civics test is comprised of ten questions from a list of 100. Applicants must correctly answer six to pass. Study guides with all the possible questions and answers are available for free.
There are organizations that assist low-income foreigners in obtaining citizenship, and the newly allotted funding and grants can be awarded to these programs.
Despite the constant negativity surrounding the Trump administration’s immigration policies, USCIS said more than 750,000 people became American citizens in fiscal year 2018, “a five-year high in new oaths of citizenship.”
While many on the left will complain that this will do nothing to help those here illegally, it is another step in the right direction in helping people to legally become citizens.