More than 14,000 immigrants from around the world celebrate America’s Independence Day by becoming some of the nation’s newest citizens through naturalization ceremonies. The ceremonies, taking place between June 28 and July 10, coincide with the nation’s 242nd anniversary of the Founding Fathers’ signing of the Declaration of Independence.
Over the 12-day period, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will conduct nearly 175 naturalization ceremonies. The activities began with a naturalization ceremony held at Bexar County Courthouse, located in San Antonio, Texas. At the event, USCIS Director Francis Cissna delivered congratulatory marks as 37 new Americans prepare to celebrate the Independence Day holiday.
“The naturalization ceremony marks the end of the journey toward citizenship, just as it marks the start of new lives as American citizens,” said Cissna. “We are humbled to be able to share in this moment of pride, joy, and personal triumph.”
USCIS invites new citizens and their family and friends to share photos and memories of their special day through social media using the hashtags #newUScitizen and #4thofJuly.
The Declaration of Independence, along with Independence Day, hold prominent positions in the naturalization test immigrants are required to pass before becoming U.S. citizens. The civics portion of the naturalization test includes potentially 6 different questions about these topics, including “What did the Declaration of Independence do?” and “When do we celebrate Independence Day?”
In order to help, USCIS offers a variety of resources that are free to both immigrant applicants and to teachers to promote awareness and understanding of citizenship and the process of becoming a U.S. citizen. These materials include information such as the Establishing Independence lesson plan in the Citizenship Resource Center. Organizations serving the immigrant community can register to receive the Civics and Citizenship Toolkit at no cost to help lawful permanent residents prepare for naturalization.
In addition to study and guidance resources, USCIS assists applicants in their practice for the civics test through a USCIS mobile app available on Google Play and iTunes., Immigrants preparing for civics testing for naturalization can download USCIS: Civics Test and Study Tools, the only official USCIS civics test application. Features within the app include keeping old tests for review, a challenge game testing civics knowledge, and a list of all 100 potential questions and answers naturalization candidates could see on their test.