ANCHORAGE, Alaska—Dozens of men and women from around the world took an oath Friday morning and pledged to uphold their new responsibilities as Americans at a naturalization ceremony.
Family and friends filled the Wilda Marston Theatre to see 67 people become new U.S. citizens. The immigrants came from 26 nations, including Kenya, Peru, and Taiwan.
"I just feel overwhelmed,” said Daniel Sorono, from the Philippines and has waited for six years. “I feel great, finally I'm a U.S. citizen."
Candidates, who seek to gain citizenship, must be a permanent resident of the U.S. for at least five years or three years if they are married to a U.S. citizen in order to apply to become a naturalized citizen.
In addition, applicants must complete background checks, an interview, and study 100 questions and successfully answer six out of 10 questions correct to pass a test in order to receive citizenship.
According to immigration officials, about 80 applications will be submitted each month and about 1,000 to 1,200 immigrants will be naturalized each year.
"A lot of people have traveled a very rocky road to get to this point, so you don't really realize when you look out at a sea of happy faces that have endured some pretty awful things to get to this point,” said Sara Hardgrove, Immigration Services Officer at Anchorage Field Office. “Those of us that were born here, don't really think about it too much, or pay too much attention to it, kind of lose sight of the fact that it's an amazing place to be.”
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