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Photo Gallery | Smiles on the Path to Citizenship

SACRAMENTO -- As President Barack Obama promises sincere support for overdue immigration reform clarifying the Path to Citizenship for millions of undocumented residents, Don Monte and his Citizenship Class students meet at the Charles Jones Skills and Education Center in South Sacramento to study for Citizenship Interviews, a requirement to become a United States citizen.

During the past 20 years, Don Monte successfully instructed 3,000 students who earned their citizenship as Americans.  

Known as "Mr. Monte" to his students, they meet Tuesdays from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the Jones Center, 5451 Lemon Hill Avenue in South Sacramento near the Boys & Girls Club, Teichert Branch, a few blocks north of SCUSD's Serna Administration Center.  

Cost for the semester Citizenship Class is $50 and must be paid at the Jones Center main office before 3:30 p.m. Monday - Thursday and before noon Fridays.

 "Everyone's welcome in my class!" exclaims Mr. Monte.  "Anyone can join my class regardless of where he or she lives."

Basic Requirements for U.S. Citizenship:

  • Be at least 18 years old;
  • Be a permanent U.S. resident for at least 5 years -- or 3 years if married to a U.S. citizen;
  • Submit an Application for Naturalization, known as Form N-400, to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS);
  • Pay the $595 fee when submitting the application;
  • Submit photocopies of both sides of the Permanent Resident Card (aka "Green Card");
  • Submit two identical color photographs similar to passport photos with the application to the USCIS. 

When the Application for Naturalization and supporting documents have passed the initial review by USCIS, notice will be sent to the applicant who must then submit his or her fingerprints at an additional cost of $85.

After fingerprint clearance, the Citizenship Interview is scheduled. To pass this interview, an applicant must:

  • Answer questions pertaining to information on his or her Application for Naturalization;
  • Answer questions about U.S. History and Government;
  • Read and write sentences in English.

Applicants who pass the Citizenship Interview are sworn in at an official ceremony.

Those who do not pass are permitted one additional interview at no additional cost.  If unsuccessful the second time, applicants must reapply with a new Form N-400,  pay the $595 fee again, then start over by attending Citizenship Class.

Mr. Monte points out that current fees and requirements may soon change, depending on what President Obama and Congress hammer out to pave a new Path to Citizenship for millions of undocumented residents.