Thursday, February 24, 2011

U.S. Citizenship

In case you don't know, I'm a Canadian citizen. I was born in Toronto and when I was 10, my family relocated to Seattle for my Dad's job. We've been resident aliens (aka green card holders) since I was 12. Since all of our green cards are expiring in 2012, we decided to finally become dual citizens.

We downloaded the application forms and over Thanksgiving, spent about two days filling them out and reviewing. The hardest part was listing every single time we've left the country since arriving. You guys, we are AVID TRAVELERS. This was ridiculous and we had to use additional pages! Not only to you have to list the dates you were out of the country for, but where you went and how many days you were gone. When we thought we were done, I ended up remembering about two trips that we all managed to miss. What a process, but it was really fun to go "Oh yeah, remember that?!" :) Applications and fees were sent in at the beginning of December.

By early January I received a letter telling me to report for fingerprinting, the first part of the process. It was relatively painless minus the waiting time (no cell phones AT ALL) and the fact that the appointment, of course, was in the middle of my work day. Not even two weeks after that I received my notification to come in for the citizenship exam! It's a week from today and they gave me a basic civics study guide...which takes me all the way back to 8th grade social studies and my high school AP U.S. History classes. The interview/exam is broken down into four components:

  • Civics Test (answer 6 out of 10 questions correctly from a bank of 100 questions)
  • Speaking Test (various questions asked to you by a USCIS officer)
  • Reading Test (read 1 out of 3 sentences to demonstrate English reading ability)
  • Writing Test (write 1 out of 3 sentences to demonstrate English writing ability)
My exam is scheduled for early in the morning and takes approximately 2-3 hours. Time to start some light studying! And yes, the Civics Test is the portion that the majority of Americans would (unfortunately) most likely fail...sad.


curls-and-pearls February 24, 2011 at 8:32 AM  

Wow what a process! I'm sure new immigrants to Canada probably know more about Canadian history and facts as well. Something that unfortunately isn't really a focus in school.

Good luck!

Anonymous February 24, 2011 at 9:04 AM  


Frugalista February 24, 2011 at 11:16 AM  

How exciting! I'm sure you'll pass the exam and no more about the US then those who wore born citizens in the process.

TWG February 24, 2011 at 2:23 PM  

Oh wow. Crazy process. Good luck with it all!

LC February 24, 2011 at 6:11 PM  

How exciting! Traitor ;) haha kidding... good luck with studying and the test! Can't wait to hear the results :)

Anonymous February 25, 2011 at 1:39 AM  

Good luck! How exciting :)

Jerry February 25, 2011 at 11:39 AM  

Best wishes! The great thing is you can head over the border any time you need to use your free health insurance. I'm waiting for that to come to us. I think the new plan will only lead to more problems, though.

Anonymous February 28, 2011 at 8:54 PM  


But seriously, that's really cool that you're able to get dual citizenship. A lot of times, if people want to become U.S. citizens, they have to give up their old citizenship.

And that "when did you leave the country and where did you go" questionnaire can be pretty annoying. I have friends that needed to apply for security clearances, and they had to include that list. Some of those friends had studied abroad for a year, and while in England they traveled all over Europe and north they also had a difficult time getting all of their trips written down!

Good luck with the rest of your process!

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