Sunday, July 31, 2016

Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

VOANews: Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
Originally published at -

Saturday, July 30, 2016

USCIS Rule to Extend Process to All Individuals Who Are Statutorily Eligible for the Waiver

USCIS Rule to Extend Process to All Individuals Who Are Statutorily Eligible for the Waiver

WASHINGTON—U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced a final rule expanding the existing provisional waiver process to allow certain individuals who are family members of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents (LPRs), and who are statutorily eligible for immigrant visas, to more easily navigate the immigration process.  The provisional waiver process promotes family unity by reducing the time that eligible individuals are separated from their family members while they complete immigration processing abroad, while also improving administrative efficiency.

This final rule builds on a process established in 2013 to support family unity.  Under that process, certain immediate relatives of U.S. citizens can apply for provisional waivers of the unlawful presence ground of inadmissibility, based on the extreme hardship their U.S. citizen spouses or parents would suffer if the waiver were not granted.  The rule announced today, which goes into effect on Aug. 29, 2016, expands eligibility for the provisional waiver process to all individuals who are statutorily eligible for the waiver of the unlawful presence ground of inadmissibility. USCIS expects to update its Policy Manual to provide guidance on how USCIS makes “extreme hardship” determinations in the coming weeks.

Until now, only immediate relatives of U.S. citizens were eligible to seek such provisional waivers before departing the United States for the processing of their immigrant visas.  Those eligible for the provisional waiver process under the 2013 rule are only a subset of those eligible for the waiver under the statute.  This regulation expands eligibility for the process to all individuals who are statutorily eligible for the waiver.
To qualify for a provisional waiver, applicants must establish that their U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident spouses or parents would experience “extreme hardship” if the applicants are not allowed to return to the United States. 

The final rule also makes changes to Form I-601A, Application for Provisional Unlawful Presence Waiver.  These changes will go into effect along with the final rule.  The updated form will be posted on USCIS’ website at onAugust 29, 2016.

Applicants should not submit a request for a provisional waiver under the expanded guidelines until the final rule takes effect on Aug. 29, 2016.  If you do so before that date, USCIS may deny the application.
For more information on USCIS and its programs, please visit or follow us on Twitter (@uscis), YouTube (/uscis), Facebook(/uscis), and the USCIS blog The Beacon

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Citizenship Summer 2016: Oath of Allegiance

USCIS: Oath of Allegiance - Constitution Week 2013 (video)The Oath of Allegiance recited by #newUSCitizens at Oath Ceremonies across America. Very inspirational!

Also check out: USCIS: Civics Questions Playlist.  Kudos to USCIS!

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Citizenship Summer 2016: Preparing for the Oath: Preparing for the Oath

A joint resource of the Smithsonian National American History Museum and the USCIS.  A collection of mini-videos, activities, and quizzes for each of the 100 question.  BEST! RESOURCE! EVER!

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Citizenship Summer 2016: N-400 Application for Naturalization

On April 13, 2016, USCIS revised Form N-400, Application for Naturalization. The revised version is available at 

You may continue to use the 9/13/13 edition of the form until August 9, 2016. USCIS will reject and return previous versions of Form N-400 submitted on or after August 10, 2016.

You can watch uscitizenpod: THE NEW N-400 VIDEO or listen to uscitizenpod's podcast about the new N-400.

Also check out: Julie Pittman NEW 2016 Naturalization Practice Playlist 

Also checkout: ILRC: Annotated N-400 and Translations in Spanish and Other Languages
This is an outstanding collection translations of the N-400 by the The Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC) and its partners.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

VOANews: Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
Originally published at -

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Citizenship Summer 2016: ListenandReadAlong: US Citizenship Test Material Playlist

ListenandReadAlong: US Citizenship Test Material Playlist
As the announcer reads the USCIS 100 Civics and History Questions and the M638: Study Booklet: Learn About the United States Quick Civics Lessons, the words are highlighted!

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Citizenship Summer 2016: Julie Pittman NEW 2016 Naturalization Practice Playulist

Julie Pittman NEW 2016 Naturalization Practice Playlist 
Last updated on Jun 25, 2016
This playlist is for the NEW 2016 version of the Form N-400. It was created as a tool for practice and pronunciation in preparing for the Naturalization Interview. (NOTE: Starting 8/9/16, USCIS will only accept the 03/26/16 edition. Until then, you can still use the 09/13/13 edition.) Thanks for watching!

Monday, July 18, 2016

Citizenship Summer 2016: America's National Treasures

VOANews: America's National Treasures

Every year millions of people in the US and overseas visit America's national parks to witness its spectacular vistas, ancient trees and seashores and unique wildlife. As the National Park Service celebrates its 100 year anniversary, its director Jonathan Jarvis shared some of the insights he’s gained during 40 years with the agency. During an in-depth interview with VOA's Julie Taboh, the director talked about the joys and challenges of his job and his hopes for the future.
Originally published at -

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Obama, Bush Urge Americans to Take Personal Responsibility

VOANews: Obama, Bush Urge Americans to Take Personal Responsibility

President Barack Obama and his predecessor George W. Bush joined mourners in Dallas at the memorial service to honor five slain police officers. The president praised members of law enforcement for the hard work they do to keep communities safe, but he noted that prejudices exist and must be addressed. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Originally published at -

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Citizenship Summer 2016: ESL Podcast

ESLPod Blog: Your Guide to the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election Series:
Vocabulary, Idioms, and Politics!

Also check out 
ESL Podcast 1185 – Smuggling Across Borders 
When you go to another country, be sure not to bring something you shouldn’t.

ESL Podcast: Introduction to the United States course
This course uses the 100 questions from U.S. naturalization test, the test that people take to become a citizen of the United States. It focuses on how the U.S. was formed and how it works, who the important people are in its history and in the current government, and the different parts of this very big and diverse country.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

New Exhibit Explores Power of Press in Revolutionary America

VOANews: New Exhibit Explores Power of Press in Revolutionary America

When America declared its independence from Britain in 1776, colonists learned about the ground-breaking news through newspapers. The first paper to publish the newly adopted Declaration of Independence is the centerpiece of a multi-media exhibit in Washington that explores the power of a press that set the path for revolution. VOA’s Julie Taboh has more.
Originally published at -

Friday, July 8, 2016

USCIS Civics Questions Playlist

USCIS: Civics Questions Playlist

USCIS has put together a YouTube playlist (Civics Questions Playlist) to help you prepare for the civics test during your naturalization interview.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Practice for Your Naturalization Interview with US Citizenship Podcast

US Citizenship Podcast's ebook US CITIZENSHIP BOOTCAMP is now FREE at Smashwords. 
Use the code SFREE at checkout

Also check out

Wednesday, July 6, 2016


Exercises and Quizzes 

to Pass the Naturalization Interview 

By Jennifer Gagliard,

US Citizenship Podcast

is now FREE at Smashwords

Use the code SFREE at checkout. 

(Offer good through July 31, 2016) 

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

NEW EBOOK: US Citizenship Bootcamp!

Use the code SFREE at checkout to get this book for free
during our site-wide promotion! (Offer good through July 31, 2016)

Jennifer Gagliardi, US Citizenship Podcast

Prepare for the US Citizenship interview by completing a series of interviews based on the USCIS N-400 Application for Naturalization (released 03/26/16). The first interview includes five simple questions and five civics questions. The next seven interviews gradually introduce new vocabulary and grammar patterns. Includes civics and history quizzes, Citizenship resources, and much, much more!

Use the code SFREE at checkout to get this book for free during our site-wide promotion!
(Offer good through July 31, 2016)

Sunday, July 3, 2016

US Citizenship Bootcamp: Exercises and Quizzes to Pass the Naturalization Interview

By Jennifer Gagliardi

Prepare for the US Citizenship interview by completing a series of interviews based on the USCIS N-400 Application for Naturalization (released 03/26/16 and expires 03/31/19). 

]The first interview includes five basic questions in Simple English that represents the N-400 sections 1 through 12; the subsequent interviews expand on these questions and gradually introduce new vocabulary and grammar patterns. 

Paired with each interview are questions from the USCIS Civics and History questions. Also included are a ESL/Citizenship resource list, a special chapter entitled "How to Study for Your Citizenship Interview," and much, much more!

Available formats: epub mobi pdf lrf pdb txt html
Available at Apple iBooks, Barnes and Noble, Indigo Kobo, Smashwords, and coming soon to Amazon.

Becoming American

Teacher Jennifer: "I am so proud of Alejandro, on of Citizenship students at the Gilroy Library. special thanks to Kimberly Ewertz of the Gilroy Dispatch, Gilroy Library, Morgan Hill Library, and Siren Bay Area, and most importantly, Alejandro--Thanks for sharing your story."

Becoming American
Kimberly Ewertz, Gilroy Dispatch

"Imagine taking an exam that will permanently alter the status of your life. Imagine that you’ve taken the classes, completed the homework, and invested hours of time studying for this test. Imagine that the exam is in a language that isn’t your own, and that a translator is forbidden. Imagine having to sit down face to face with a government officer who questions you, repeatedly, in a language foreign from your own. Imagine that this is the only way to achieve a goal you’ve been striving for years to attain. Imagine."

"This scenario is a reality for millions of individuals each year. According to the Department of Homeland Security, 20 million immigrants became naturalized U.S. citizens in 2014." (read more)

Friday, July 1, 2016

Citizenship Resources for Independence Day

USCIS: For Independence Day, USCIS highlights some of the resources for learners and teachers that are related to this important holiday. Preparing for the Oath: U.S. History and Civics for Citizenship
This web resource provides online videos and activities on the 100 civics questions from the naturalization test and highlights museum objects from the Smithsonian Institution. Visit the “Establishing Independence” and “Symbols and Holidays” themes for information on Independence Day.

NEW: Civics Questions Playlist 

USCIS helps you prepare for the civics test by posting a new paylist: one video for each civics and history question asked by different examiners.  For Independence Day, check out 100:08, 09, 61, 62, 63, 64, 96, 97, 98, 99, 100.  Good job, USCIS!

USCIS: Lesson Plans and Activities

Visit this page to find lesson plans, student handouts, and answer keys on a variety of topics, including Thomas Jefferson and the Declaration of Independence (Beginning Level), American Symbols and Celebrations (Beginning and Intermediate Levels), Establishing Independence (Intermediate Level).

USCIS: Independence Day 2015 - Declaration of Independence

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services ( thanks everyone who participated in our video project to celebrate the nation's 239th birthday on July 4. To find naturalization ceremony photos and immigrant stories posted by some of the more than 700,000 people each year who become U.S. citizens, check #newUScitizen and #newAmericans on social media.

Follow American English at State on FaceBook

More Resources

American English at State: Celebrate Independence Day (pdf)
Americans celebrate Independence Day on July 4 because on July 4, 1776, the Continental Congress approved the Declaration of Independence, officially breaking bonds with England and forming a new independent nation, the United States of America.

TED-ED: What you might not know about the Declaration of Independence - Kenneth C. Davis (video)
In June 1776, a little over a year after the start of the American Revolutionary War, the US Continental Congress huddled together in a hot room in Philadelphia to talk independence. Kenneth C. Davis dives into some of the lesser known facts about the process of writing the Declaration of Independence and questions one very controversial omission.

VOANews: Americans Reflect on Meaning of Independence Day

Savoring freedoms and hoping others worldwide will soon be able to do the same

VOA Learning English: America's Birthplace: Independence National Historical Park (mp3 and article)

This week, our U.S. National Parks journey takes us to the eastern city of Philadelphia, an important place in American history.

uscitizenpod: A Quick Interview Based on the N-400r plus 10qs for Independence Day
New for 2016: 24 questions based on the N-400r plus 10 civics question.

uscitizenpod: US Citizenship Podcast Independence Day Quiz (video)
Celebrate Independence Day with uscitizenpod. Here is a quiz based on USCIS 100:08, 09, 61, 62, 63, 64, 96, 97, 98, 99, 100.