Sunday, September 30, 2007

Naturalization Test

Would you be eligible for citizenship to the United States if you were an immigrant?

This week, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigrations Services, unveiled some of the 100 questions of the new test.

But before you take the test you, you have to be eligible for it:

one must be a legally admitted permanent resident for at least five years (three years if married to a citizen), demonstrate "good moral character," facility with basic English, and "basic knowledge of U.S history, government, and civic principles," among other requirements. (Times of India)

The idea of the new test is to “go beyond the facts and figures that applicants knew to memorize (How many branches are there in the United States government?) to probe their understanding of fundamental principles of U.S. democracy (What stops one branch of government from becoming too powerful?)

As far as English goes, the applicants should be able to understand the question with a “high-beginning” level of fluency in English.

Just to refresh your knowledge of the naturalization process sin the United-States:

Legal immigrants who are eligible to become citizens must pass the civics exam as well as a test of English proficiency in reading and writing.

In a one-on-one oral examination, an immigration officer asks the applicant 10 questions of varying degrees of difficulty selected from the list of 100. To pass, the applicant must answer 6 of those 10 questions correctly.

Is the aim of the new test to better integration or toughen immigration? Hard to tell. In France, there is no question that the new immigration bill which was adopted last week by the French National Assembly is aimed at curbing immigration.

In addition to a controversial clause allowing DNA testing for proving family relations of those who seek to join their relatives,:

…. the immigration bill asks that people who want to come to France be tested for knowledge of the French language and values of the Republic in their home countries.
If they fail this knowledge test, more training will be given after which a new test will take place.
This test will apply to people aged 65 years or less, including spouses, wanting to go to France to rejoin their families, says Le Monde.
Moreover, the applicant will have to have more financial resources at their disposal, according to the new rules.
(EU Observer)

While emigration has been a central issue in most of the developing world for decades, immigration has now become one of the most pressing issues in all Western societies.

Now, if you want to know how well you’d do on the new test, here it is. Personally, I passed – I only failed one question (on the number of amendments to the constitution). What about you?

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