28 September 2007

New citizenship test for permanent American immigration

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The US has introduced a new citizenship quiz for American visa holders wishing to become citizens. The new test has taken several years and $6.5 million (£3.2 million) to develop and is designed to reflect US history, civics and foundational principles, reports the Houston Chronicle.

Emilio Gonzalez, director of US Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS), commented: "It's no longer a test about how many stars are on the flag or how many stripes. It's a test that genuinely talks about those things that make America what it is."

Examples of the 100 questions are "Who lived in America before Europeans arrived?", "What was the role of women's rights leader Susan B Anthony?", "How many voting members are in the House of Representatives?" and "When is the last day you can send in federal income tax forms?"

The aim is to encourage prospective citizens to understand the "landmark moments" of American history and the defining principles of the country, said Alfonso Aguilar, head of CIS' Office of Citizenship. The new test will come into effect in October 2008 and is an example of the shift towards immigration reform that many American immigration officials are trying to move towards, despite reluctance from US congress resulting in previous legislation changes failing to be passed.

The new test will come into effect in October 2008.

Anyone applying for an American visa should begin by taking the American Visa Bureau's online American visa application to see if they meet the basic legislative requirements.

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