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Perhaps the most important test for which you'll ever study

Moving to Colorado from another country can be exciting and stressful at the same time. As an immigrant, you may experience a significant learning curve. You have to learn to speak, write and read English. You may also struggle to adjust to certain cultural norms. However, millions of other people can relate to your struggle and have been able to carve out happy, successful lives for themselves in the United States.

If your ultimate goal is to become a naturalized citizen, you definitely have your work cut out for you. It's true that many legal obstacles can arise to threaten your legal status or impede your ability to achieve your goals. In fact, some issues are serious enough to warrant deportation. To avoid such problems, it's always best to make sure you clearly understand the requirements associated with citizenship and that you fulfill each one.

The interview

You can't become a U.S. citizen without appearing at an immigration interview. Immigration officials will ask you all sorts of questions regarding your background, your application process and other, sometimes highly personal, issues. If, for some reason, something you say or do raises their concerns, you may experience delays or rejection of your application.

Things you must know besides English

Showing that you can read, write and speak English isn't the only task involved in becoming a naturalized citizen of the United States. You must also take tests to prove that you have basic knowledge of other topics, as well. For instance, you must understand the three basic branches of U.S. government and how they function.

You must also possess knowledge of important historical facts and events. There may be as many as 100 questions on your civics test. While you won't have to answer all of them, you must be prepared to do so because you'll have no idea which ones immigration officials will ask. They typically ask 10 out of the 100.

If you don't score so well the first time

The good news about taking the tests for citizenship is that you can try again if you don't fare well the first time around. You may make a second attempt on both the English and civics portions of the test. The re-test will take place anywhere from 60 to 90 days after your initial immigration interview.

How to handle legal obstacles

If you don't know the answer to an interview question or you are missing certain documents that officials have asked to review, it's always best to be honest and forthright rather than try to make up an answer or fool officials. Doing either of these things can not only delay your application, it may land you in an immigration detention center, in line for deportation.

Many immigrants in Colorado speak to others who have successfully navigated the citizenship process before filing their own petitions. Many also seek guidance and support from immigration law attorneys if they run into legal status problems along the way.

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