Naturalization process explained at CMPL event

By: Alex Szwarc | Fraser - Clinton Township Chronicle | Published April 27, 2021


MACOMB COUNTY — “Demystifying the Naturalization Process” was the focus of a recent presentation hosted by the Clinton-Macomb Public Library.  

On April 21, the presentation was virtually given by Frank Castria, a community relations officer at United States Citizenship and Immigration Services in Detroit. He spoke about understanding and demystifying the naturalization and citizenship process.

The agency is part of the United States Department of Homeland Security and administers the country’s naturalization and immigration system.

Those interested in obtaining U.S. citizenship, notably permanent residents awaiting their naturalization interview or who are interested in applying for naturalization, were asked to attend.

Topics covered included permanent residency, the naturalization process, and rights and responsibilities of U.S. citizenship.

Naturalization is the process that people who were not born in the U.S. go through if they want to become a citizen. The process includes a test and interview before a USCIS agent inside a federal building.

Castria explained the processes for applying, interviewing and testing and described the oath ceremony to become an American citizen.

Application eligibility requirements include an individual being at least 18 years old, spending at least five years as a permanent resident, having good moral character and having attachment to the U.S. Constitution.

At the time of an interview, folks are expected to have a basic understanding of the English language, knowledge of U.S. civics and the ability to pass a basic reading and writing exam.

The naturalization test is 100 questions, and people are required to correctly answer six of 10 questions correctly.

Castria wrapped up the presentation, noting that if any portion of the interview is failed, they will be re-examined. If someone fails a second time, the application is denied.   

An August annual report from the Department of Homeland Security notes that the number of U.S. naturalizations rose to 843,593 persons in 2019, up 11% from 2018.