Citizenship Process

Students imagine that the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services has chosen them to redesign the citizenship process. The goal is to critique its current components and come up with unique reforms to address them.

Task Force: Citizenship Process


The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services has chosen you to redesign the citizenship process. Your goal is to critique its current components and come up with unique reforms to address them. 

Why Are We Doing This?

There are a series of steps involved in becoming a citizen in the United States. They include preparing your Form N-400 form, submitting an application for naturalization, paying your fees, completing an interview, passing an exam, taking the Oath of Allegiance, and way more! In recent years, the process of citizenship has faced scrutiny. Here, we ask you to consider some of the criticisms and challenge yourself to try and create appropriate reforms. 


  1. Research what the citizenship process looks like in the United States. What are some of the challenges/criticisms the process faces? 
    1. What are some historical instances of limiting citizenship in the United States?
    2. Who is allowed to be considered for citizenship? Would you add/remove requirements from the list? Why?
    3. What are the costs associated with citizenship? How might you address them?
      1. Are there fee waivers available? What do they look like?
    4. Check out this list of most common reasons citizenship is denied. 
      1. What would you add or remove from the reasons? Why?
      2. How might you justify your decision to do so?
    5. What is some of the content covered in the citizenship test? Would you change anything?
    6. What are some other changes you would make to the citizenship process? Why?
  2. Think through the possible objections about your reformed citizenship process that someone could have and how you would answer them.  
  3. Share with the group and see if you can convince them that your reformed citizenship process best addresses various issues currently surrounding it.

Things to Keep in Mind:

  • You do not have to come up with an exhaustive list of changes. It’s better to come up with a few ideas that you feel confident with and spend time thinking through possible objections to them.
  • You don’t have to worry about answering all possible objections, but you should have some defense of why you think your reasons are more important.
  • Your requirements should be things that the government could realistically implement.