US to welcome thousands of new citizens for President’s Day

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) will celebrate next week’s President’s Day with a series of naturalisation ceremonies being held across the country over the next seven days.

Celebrated on 16th February each year, Presidents Day honours the birth date of America’s first president, George Washington, and is a day to remember all presidents who have led the country.

Each year, USCIS marks this holiday with a week of special naturalization ceremonies held nationwide. This year, it is estimated that approximately 5,000 people will become new citizens at nearly 40 Presidents Day-themed naturalisation ceremonies held between today and 22nd February.

Typically, to qualify for US citizenship, you must have lived legally in the US as a permanent resident for five years (three years for spouses of American citizens), and  have been physically present in the United States for at least 30 months out of the five years immediately preceding the date of filing the application.

You will also need to have lived within the state, or USCIS district with jurisdiction over your intended place of residence, for at least three months prior to the date of filing the application, be a competent English language communicator, and have been judged a person of ‘good moral character’.

In 2012, 18.7 million immigrants were naturalised US citizens, accounting for 46 per cent of America’s foreign-born population (40.8 million) and 6 per cent of the total US population (313.9 million) according to American Community Survey estimates.

According to Department of Homeland Security figures, 757,434 immigrants became US citizens in 2012.