For many people living in Los Angeles, becoming a U.S. citizen may seem like an unobtainable dream. However, with only a handful of requirements, it may be easier than you think. In order to obtain citizenship, a person has to be 18 years old or older and have lived for at least five years in the U.S. as a lawful permanent resident. He or she is also required to have a green card and to have been physically in the country for a minimum of two-and-a-half years.
Prior to taking the Oath of Allegiance, people seeking citizenship must also show that they know how to speak, read and write English and know certain facts about the history and government of the U.S. According to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, there have already been 500,000 people who have become U.S. citizens so far this year.
Three people who met these qualifications were recently awarded citizenship after they swore the oath. The three include a father, mother and daughter from Russia. The father and mother competed as pair figure skaters in the Olympics during the 80s, where they won a bronze metal. In 2001, they moved to the U.S. in order to become skating coaches for national skaters.
Their 20-year-old daughter, also a figure skater, competed in the Olympics in 2010. Because she had yet to obtain U.S. citizenship, she represented Russia. She hopes to one day become a detective or FBI agent, careers where her citizenship will be required.
If you are interested in becoming a U.S. citizen, an immigration attorney can help you get the ball rolling and talk to you about what you need to do to apply.
Source: MSNBC, “Ahead of Sochi, Former Russian Olympians become US citizens,” Michele Richinick, Aug. 16, 2013