More than 7,000 people will become new citizens of the United States at nearly 100 naturalisation ceremonies across the country during the Fourth of July weekend, officials announced. New citizens must pass a 100-question civics exam, prove they are proficient in English and pass an FBI background check as well as an face-to-face interview.
"As we celebrate the birth of our country on July Fourth, more than 7,000 new Americans will also celebrate the fulfilment of their dreams of citizenship," US Citizenship and Immigration Services Director León Rodríguez said.
"These new Americans will strengthen the fabric of our nation with their contributions to American society and prosperity, and be able to enjoy all the rights, privileges and responsibilities of US citizenship."
In a naturalisation ceremony held at the New York Public Library on Friday 1 July, 55 people from 55 countries became US citizens, the library announced on Facebook. Other ceremonies include one at Thomas Jefferson's Monticello in Charlottesville, Virginia, on Monday 4 July and another at the federal courthouse in Boston.
According to CBS Boston, 50 individuals from 31 countries will take the Oath of Allegiance in a ceremony presided by US District Judge George O'Toole Jr. Individuals from Argentina, Bangladesh, Cuba, El Salvador, Guatemala, Iran, Kenya, Mexico and Nicaragua will take part in the ceremony.
In order to become a naturalised citizen, individuals must live in the US for three years if married to an American or five years if single prior to applying, UPI reported. The USCIS has launched a series of 100 short videos on YouTube to help applicants prepare for the civics exam, officials announced.
The USCIS is encouraging new citizens and their friends and families to document the naturalisation ceremonies on social media using the hashtag #newUScitizens.