Immigrants who want to become permanent citizens of the United States may find it a little easier with the new funding changes that could take place as early as December 2020. The Trump administration is dedicating $10 million to the Citizenship and Assimilation Grant Program for communities across the country. The idea behind this is to offer a helping hand to people born overseas who want to become Americans.
“Being a citizen gives you all of the same rights and protections as someone who was born in the USA. So, what does it take to become a naturalized citizen?”
One of the hardest things about the process is how long it takes, 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.
The civics test has ten questions picked from a list of 100. Applicants must correctly answer six to pass. Study guides with all the possible questions and answers are free.
There are organizations that help low-income foreigners in obtaining citizenship, and the new funding can be awarded to these programs.
Some do feel that, because this only helps people who have already been living in the United States as a legal resident for five years, it is unfair to those who cross illegally or overstay their visas. Whether or not those who violate the law to come to or remain in this country have any right to citizenship is a hotly contested topic in American politics. However, while this money won’t help anyone who doesn’t qualify for citizenship, it can, at least, improve the lives of those who do.
More than 750,000 people became American citizens in 2018, “a five-year high in new oaths of citizenship.” With this additional funding, that number is likely to grow.