Helping You Navigate the Naturalization Process

By FPL_Conor

Becoming an American citizen is a huge deal! It’s a process that very few people could even consider making a reality.  Preparing for the citizenship test can be daunting for anyone! Not to fear, we’ve got plenty of resources here at the library to help you pass with flying colors (red, white, and blue, that is!). We’ll cover all of the resources at your disposal, as well as some of the barriers you may face in our challenging times.

USCIS Online Materials

The USCIS website provides a vast array of materials that can be accessed in a variety of languages. The USCIS website also provides the most up to date information on test questions, as some questions on the civics portion of the test can change. To see the resources available on the USCIS website, visit the link below:

https://www.uscis.gov/citizenship/find-study-materials-and-resources/study-for-the-test

For test updates, visit the test updates page on the USCIS website here:

https://www.uscis.gov/citizenship/find-study-materials-and-resources/check-for-test-updates

If you need study resources in a language other than English, visit the Multilingual Resources page on the USCIS website here:

https://www.uscis.gov/citizenship/find-study-materials-and-resources/citizenship-multilingual-resources

Library Items for Checkout

I’ve created a list with items we have for check out here at the library that will help you study for the citizenship test. Keep in mind that some of the materials may not be the most up to date. The list can be found using this link:

https://friscolibrary.bibliocommons.com/list/share/1523766449_fpl_conor/1741942279_citizenship_study_resources

Practice Tests with Learning Express

Learning Express is an online database that contains various test prep courses and resources. Learning Express has practice materials for the civics portion of the citizenship test in both English and Spanish. In order to use this resource, you will have to create an account with Learning Express. To check out the course, flashcards, eBooks, and more, click on the link below:

https://www.learningexpresshub.com/ProductEngine/LELIndex.html#/center/learningexpresslibrary/adult-learning-center/home/become-a-u-s--citizen

ESL @ the Frisco Public Library

Unfortunately, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, we are currently not hosting in-person classes here at the library, including our English as a Second Language (ESL) classes. We are hosting a virtual ESL chat through Zoom! These chats give you an opportunity to practice speaking English with other people at any level. Registration for these chats is required. For more information and to register, visit the link below:

https://friscolibrary.com/esl/

Mango Languages

Work on your English skills using Mango languages. Mango allows you to learn English from 21 different languages. There is an app available for Android and iOS so you can practice on the go. You have free access when you sign up using the link from the library website here:

https://friscolibrary.com/learning-tools/learn-a-language/

On-going Issues facing USCIS

With immigration being at the forefront of national politics, combined with the Covid-19 pandemic, USCIS is facing some difficult challenges. These are issues to keep in mind if you file for naturalization. To see news updates directly from USCIS, visit the link below:

https://www.uscis.gov/news

For USCIS response to Covid-19 pandemic updates, use the link below:

https://www.uscis.gov/about-us/uscis-response-to-covid-19

Application Processing Delays

Before the Covid-19 pandemic, applicants from Texas’ major cities were already seeing application wait times of over a year. There are now reports that application can now take to two years in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.  

To check USCIS processing times, use the link below:

https://egov.uscis.gov/processing-times/

I would like to underscore that the processing wait times are quite long. Dallas-Fort Worth is a large draw for immigrants coming to the United States, with a booming economy and high quality of life. As more immigrants apply for naturalization, the Dallas USCIS office in Irving will continue to be overloaded with the number of cases it needs to process.

When I completed my naturalization application in April 2018, I was originally told that my application would not be processed until June 2020. Thankfully, I did not have to wait that long and I was sworn in as an American citizen in May 2019. The USCIS agent in charge of my naturalization ceremony made it very clear that the Dallas field office is one of the busiest in the country, hence the long waiting times.

Increase in Filing Fees

USCIS announced in July 2020 that starting on October 2, 2020, the cost to file Form N-400, the form used to apply for naturalization, would be increasing from $640 to $1170, an 83% increase. USCIS justified such a steep increase because the agency is primarily funded through filing fees. At the time of writing this, USCIS was temporarily prevented from increasing fees by a federal judge in California.

Learn more about the USCIS fee increase:

https://www.uscis.gov/news/news-releases/uscis-adjusts-fees-to-help-meet-operational-needs

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