Wednesday, February 13, 2008


Although I was born in England, I've lived most of my adult life in the US, but never as a citizen: I'm a Legal Permanent Resident with a 'green card', married to a US national. Last week, after a decade of internal debate, I made the decision to start the citizenship process.

Why? You can blame Obama, Clinton, McCain and the rest - the primaries have mostly infuriated me, but they've also made me realize that I can't be a passive critic anymore. And last weekend I found myself outside the local post office encouraging people to vote for a tax override to fund the school system - and I couldn't even vote myself. And my eldest daughter has dual citizenship, but my youngest is just a Yank. And so on...

So I visited the INS website and downloaded the mammoth forms I need to complete. It all reminded me of my original application for permanant resident status over 20 years ago: I was surprised they still asked "if you are, or have ever been, a member of a communist party." Seem a little anachronistic to you?

I also discovered I need to get a move on. I want to vote in the election this year, but I've been told the process can take 6 months to complete. And cost $600. And I have to pass a test.

I'll keep you posted on my progress - and let me know if you've experienced this firsthand.

No comments: