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Citizenship Day 9/17 2016 Welcomes Thousands of New Americans

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Constitution Day and Citizenship Day is celebrated nation wide on September 17,  2016. It is dedicated to all U.S. citizens, including those who have become naturalized U.S. citizens. The day commemorates the formation and signing of the U.S Constitution on September 17, 1787.  Ceremonies and celebrations are had around the country, including nearly 240 naturalization ceremonies.  In Fiscal year 2014,a total of 653,416 people naturalized, according to the Department of Homeland Security’s 2016 Annual Report.

In order to naturalize, non-U.S. citizens must meet the eligibility requirements as outlined by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).  These requirements include: be at least 18 years old; be a lawful permanent resident (LPR); speak, read, and write in English; and pass a U.S. history and civics exam; and demonstrate good moral character. There is also a filing fee of $680, which includes an $85 biometric fee.  However, there is a proposed fee hike that would increase the naturalization filing fee from $680 to $725 on October  1, 2016.

According to the Pew Research Center, the number of LPRs applying for naturalization has increased since October 2015 and is at its highest level in four years. Researchers have found that naturalized citizens have higher incomes and contribute more in taxes. A recent report found that if all LPRs that are eligible to naturalize in 21 cities would become citizens, their earnings would increase 8.9 percent and federal, state, and city tax revenue would increase $2 billion.

This year, many groups are holding naturalization events to encourage eligible individuals to become citizens. To read more about Constitution Day and Citizenship Day Click here

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