Many eligible residents avoid applying for citizenship

Many legal permanent residents of the U.S., also known as green card-holders, are eligible to apply for citizenship. However, only a small percentage actually do so. For many, immigration and naturalization are daunting processes. Some eligible residents are unaware of the benefits of citizenship, USA Today reported. Between learning to speak English, filing paper work, paying fees and studying for the test, it is no wonder many put it off. The important thing to remember is that naturalization is a long process, so there is time to learn. And there are ways to make it easier.

Paperwork​: The N-400 form can be filed online, giving you the option to work from home. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has created and posted a checklist online that allows you to plan ahead and keep track of your progress. You don’t have to worry whether you have everything you need, as long as you have marked in that the task is complete on your list. As long as you stay organized and keep calm, you will get through the paperwork with only small amounts of stress.

Learning English: Attempting to learn a new language is difficult for anyone, but if you are reading through this, you are well on your way. Remember that practice makes perfect. Go through vocabulary everyday. The fastest way to learn is to speak to another person in English. Challenge yourself when you go out to the grocery store to speak to the clerk in English.

Citizenship test: English proficiency is the first part of the test. The second part is a 10-question oral exam about the history of the U.S. You can take multiple choice self examinations on the USCIS website. The self-led quiz randomizes the questions so you will not be able to focus on the ones you struggle with. Although having to memorize information for an oral exam may seem difficult, the test is designed to focus on understanding concepts more than simply committing dates to memory.