How to Become a U.S. Citizen Essay

  • Last Edited: February 13, 2018
how to become a u.s. citizen essay

Essay Prompt

Naturalize Me
Click the link below to visit the Naturalization page:
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
Complete the following:
Define naturalization.
In your own words, list the requirements to become a naturalized citizen of the United States.
Review the sample Naturalization Self Test that may be asked on the naturalization exam.
Answer the first twenty questions. Be sure to include the questions in your assignment submission (for your instructor).
Which question(s) did you find to be challenging?
Are the questions asked of those persons wishing to become naturalized citizens fair?
Do you think most U.S. born citizens could answer these questions? Why or why not?


Most of the people in the United States on a permanent basis are born as United States citizens. However, there are many other people that are present in the United States on temporary visas, on permanent resident cards or that have become naturalized subsequent to their birth rather than being born as a citizen. This essay will summarize and address the last of that listing and what goes into the same. Indeed, there are many people that go through the process of naturalization and/or wish to do the same. At the same time, there are legitimate questions as to whether native-born citizens could navigate the process if their citizenship depend on it. While the naturalization process can be daunting and arduous to many, it is absolutely possible to get though and this report shall describe how this would occur.


Per the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) agency, one can find and review what naturalization is and how it can be completed. First, the word “naturalization” should be defined. As described on the USCIS website, naturalization is “the process by which U.S. citizenship is granted to a foreign citizen or national after he or she fulfills requirements established by Congress in the Immigration and Nationality Act, otherwise referred to as the INA. The process to become naturalized starts with a person filling out what is called N-400. The title of the form is Application for Naturalization. Military people that are interested in the process need to procure and read the M-599, which is the Naturalization Information for Military. People can qualify for naturalization if they have been a permanent resident of the country for five years and meet all other requirements, have been a resident for three years and can qualify as a spouse, have qualifying experience with the United States armed forces or one is the child of a United States citizen. Regardless, there is a test that must be taken to ensure that the people applying for citizenship meet a minimum level of understanding when it comes to how the United States is structured, how it works and its history.

As for the test itself, the author of this report took the first twenty questions of the practice test and the author got most of them right. The only thing the author was unsure or “fuzzy” on is when the Constitution was written, the author of the Federalist papers and things like that. The author knows much of the debate and details of that debate but was just a little fuzzy on the names and dates involved when it came to some of those subjects. The federalist question was probably the hardest. It is absolutely fair that people trying to become citizens to know the answers these questions. The problem is that many United States citizens are woefully unprepared and unknowledgeable when it comes to government and civics. In short, it is entirely reasonable for new citizens to know the basics, ins and outs of the government and history of the United States. At the same time, it is entirely fair and reasonable to expect current citizens to learn that material, and learn it well, when they themselves go to school. A reason for this is that anyone engaging in government or voting should know these sorts of things at a bare minimum because it is insulting and painful to watch to witness someone that has not a clue what they are talking about.


In the end, it is clear that being born in the United States (or countries like it) is a bit of genetic luck. On the other hand, there are others that are born in poor countries such as those in Central America, South America and others. While this is sad to recognize, the United States cannot take on everyone as they are only 330 million people in number and the world population is about seven billion. Even so, it is entirely reasonable and possible to regulate who comes into the country based on what they would add to the country, its industry and its people.


Boston Globe. (2014). American’s grasp on civic knowledge is shaky at best, study finds – The Boston Globe. Retrieved 3 August 2016, from

USCIS. (2016). Homepage. USCIS. Retrieved 3 August 2016, from


1.  What are two rights in the Declaration of Independence?

life and pursuit of happiness

2.  The Federalist Papers supported the passage of the U.S. Constitution. Name one of the writers.

Thomas Jefferson

James Madison

James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, and John Jay wrote the Federalist Papers. 

The U.S. Constitution was written at the Constitutional Convention in 1787. People at the Constitutional Convention decided how the government should work. Then James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, and John Jay wrote the Federalist Papers. 

The Federalist Papers explained the new government. They said that the new United States needed the Constitution. Newspapers all over the United States published the Federalist Papers.

3.  What stops one branch of government from becoming too powerful?

checks and balances

4.  Name one branch or part of the government.


5.  What does the Constitution do?

all of these answers

6.  What is the name of the President of the United States now?

Donald Trump

7.  Who wrote the Declaration of Independence?

Thomas Jefferson

8.  What is the capital of the United States?

Washington, D.C.

9.  What does the judicial branch do?

all of these answers

10.  The House of Representatives has how many voting members?

four hundred thirty-five (435)

11.  What is the economic system in the United States?

capitalist economy

12.  When was the Constitution written?


13.  What was one important thing that Abraham Lincoln did?

saved (or preserved) the Union

14.  Why does the flag have 50 stars?

because there is one star for each state

15.  What did the Declaration of Independence do?

declared our independence from Great Britain

16.  We elect a U.S. Senator for how many years?

six (6)

17.  Who is the Commander in Chief of the military?

the President

18.  What is one promise you make when you become a United States citizen?

give up loyalty to other countries

19.  Who makes federal laws?


20.  The idea of self-government is in the first three words of the Constitution. What are these words?

We the People

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