Thursday, January 2, 2020

Step Up to 2020: New Year, New U.S. Citizen!

uscitizenpod: Step Up to 2020: New Year, New U.S. Citizen!

A quick preview of three major events for those preparing for US Citizenship in 2020.

The first major event is the 2020 U.S. Census.
  • April 1 is National Census Day.
  • In mid-March, households will receive a form to participate in the 2020 Census. There are three options for responding: online, by mail, or by phone.  The printed Census form is available in 12 non-English languages (Arabic, Chinese, French, Haitian Creole, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Tagalog, and Vietnamese)There are also 59 non-English language guides that explain the Census form in your language.
  • It is very important that you respond to the Census.  The information that you give is private. This information can change the number of our representatives in Congress and the money needed for our schools, roads, and social services.
  • In May 2020: The Census Bureau begins following up with households that have not responded.  December 2020: The Census Bureau delivers Census count to the president.

The second major event is related to Civics and voting.
  • In January, America will begin a year-long celebration of 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment which gave women the right to vote.  Local civics groups will mark the anniversary with voting drives in preparation for the November presidential election.
  • From February to June, each state will hold a primary election or caucus to choose candidates for the Democratic, Republican, and third-party parties.
  • In July, the Democrats will hold their presidential nominating convention and the Republicans will hold theirs in August.
  • In September and October, the presidential candidates will meet for three debates.
  • On Tuesday, November 3, U.S. citizens will vote in the the 2020 United States presidential election.  On this date, people will also vote for federal, state, and local officials and on proposed laws.

The third major event is related to Citizenship.
  • The processing fees related to Citizenship and immigration forms will increase.  For example, the fee for form N-400 Application for Naturalization will increase from $725 (including $640 for processing and $85 for biometrics services) to approximately $1200.  Most fee-reduction petitions will no longer be accepted.The requirements for fee-waivers have been increased.  No date for USCIS fee increase has been announced yet.
  • Also, in late 2020 or early 2021, USCIS will release a new set of 100 Civics and History questions.  Before USCIS releases the new set of questions, USCIS will travel to many Citizenship Preparation classes.  USCIS will test the questions for appropriate language level and civics content.  After the new 100 questions are released, there will also be a transition period during which new citizens can be asked the old or new questions.

Don't worry! You will have time to prepare.
  • Study a little English, civics, and history every day.
  • Save a little bit more for the new USCIS fees every week.
  • In mid-March, complete the Census--those questions are like the questions on the first part of the N-400.
  • As we get closer to November, pay attention to the news, especially the 2020 Elections.  That will really help you get ready for the new 100 Civics and History questions.
  • And check back with and for the latest Citizenship news.

Step Up to 2020: New Year, New U.S. Citizen!

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