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The Benefits of Becoming a U.S. Citizen

Video transcript:

VOICE: Every year some 700,000 people become U.S. citizens at naturalization ceremonies across the country. By taking the Oath of Allegiance you pledge to be faithful to the Constitution and to serve your new country when needed. In exchange you will enjoy many of the benefits and privileges [CHEERING] of being a citizen of the United States.

OFFICIAL: Well one of the most obvious benefits is the ability to vote. Only U.S. Citizens are allowed to vote in federal elections and in most state and local elections.

VOICE: In addition, children of new citizens who are under the age of 18 are automatically given U.S. citizenship. They also enjoy special privileges when it comes to bringing other family members to the country.

OFFICIAL: Permanent residents can bring family members to the United States, but the benefit of being a U.S. citizen is that U.S. citizens get priority when they want to bring immediate family members permanently to the United States.

VOICE: The United States protects its citizens abroad through its embassies and consulates, and that is another benefit of taking the Oath of Allegiance. The U.S. Government offers assistance to victims of crime overseas and can also assist with information on what to do if there is an emergency in the country you are visiting or living.

Other benefits include working for the federal government, the right to be a member of a federal jury, and access to certain types of academic scholarships available only to U.S. citizens.

There are several requisites to becoming a US citizen. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Servicesí website has several resources that can help you with the process.

OFFICIAL: Two major things that you can do: one, go to our website where we have all kinds of study materials. Or you can also attend one of our naturalization workshops which we run at offices throughout the country.

VOICE: This video was produced by in collaboration with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services.

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Video description: This video shows our Sun over several weeks during a period of highly unusual solar activity.  It is comprised of images taken by a device called the Solar X-Ray Imager (SXI), which is aboard one of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association’s (NOAA) weather satellites.  NOAA monitors the Sun with the SXI in order to predict when solar flares may cause dangerous problems on Earth, such as communications failures and power outages.

The 5 Most Common Mistakes People Make When Applying for Citizenship

Watch an accessible version of this video.

Video transcript:

VOICE: Becoming a naturalized citizen can be one of the most important milestones in an immigrant’s life. But it’s not always easy. There’s lots of paperwork to fill out, appointments to keep and tests to pass.

The following are the five most common mistakes people make when applying for citizenship. By avoiding these you’ll be able to save money, time and perhaps most importantly, stress.

Mistake number 1, sending the application without double checking it.

OFFICER: One common thing that we do notice is that when an applicant files for naturalization they do focus a lot on the 100 civic questions, the 100 civic questions that need to be studied for that portion of the test, but rarely do they go over the entire N-400 application that was more than likely completed by somebody else.

VOICE: Mistake number 2, forgetting to provide proof of spouse’s citizenship.

OFFICER: The application needs to be submitted with a copy of the spouse’s proof of citizenship as well as a marriage certificate.

VOICE: Mistake number 3, failing to send the application fee or sending the wrong amount.

Applications submitted without the fee or with the wrong amount will be rejected. The applicant is asked to resubmit the application with the correct fee.

VOICE: Mistake number 4, Neglecting to send additional documents in a timely manner.

OFFICER: It is important that the applicant returns the documents within the specified amount of time and that when they resubmit the documents, that they are being resubmitted with the letter that was given to them during the time of the interview. This will help the paperwork arrived to the file a lot faster.

VOICE: Mistake number 5, submitting an application before meeting certain requirements.

VOICE: When the person applying for citizenship wants to take the civic portion of the test in his or her native language, the applicant must satisfy the age and residency requirements at the time the application is submitted. Failure to do so might result in the application being rejected and the application fee lost.

This video was produced by and the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services.

Learn more about avoiding mistakes when applying for citizenship.

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