On the table, a red, white, and blue cake.
A shirt with “USA” embellishing the chest.
The message, “Congratulations, Mutiatu!” written on the whiteboard.
After months of hard work and preparation, Mutiatu passed her citizenship test.
She’s come to celebrate with her teachers and peers during the citizenship class. She enters the room with a wide, toothy smile, a round cake in her hands. Cheers and congratulations erupt and hugs are exchanged.
She’s a new person. The considerable stress she felt just a week before has vanished and been replaced by weightless relief.
“They asked me, ‘What is the supreme law of the land?’ and I said, ‘The constitution,’” Mutiatu proudly tells the room. She goes on to list the rest of the questions she was asked, in the order she was asked, with the correct answers she gave.
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services officer will ask a maximum of ten questions during the citizenship test, which you must answer six of correctly. But once you’ve answered six right, you won’t be asked any more questions. Mutiatu hoped to answer the first six questions correctly and she’s thrilled she reached her goal.
Right now, she doesn’t know which ceremony she will need to attend, but she knows it will be soon. And although she passed her citizenship test, she won’t officially become a citizen until she recites the oath at her naturalization ceremony.
Mutiatu takes a moment to look back on her progress. “I remember in my first class, I didn’t know how to write anything. My husband got me a book. My kids helped me. Teachers here explained all the history, reading, writing, and speaking. Now my writing is better for the first time. It’s making me happy,” Mutiatu smiles.