A 105-year-old Cuban man has become a U.S. citizen, a request he has wished for since he was a child. Jose Temprana was born in Pinar del Rio on September 26, 1901. He worked as a sponge diver and lobster fisherman to support his eight children with his first wife. She died giving birth to their youngest child. He remarried, and his second wife died in 2002. In 1964, he was imprisoned in Cuba for smuggling weapons from the US into the island for an insurrection against Fidel Castro. He spent 30 years in Cuban jails before he was released at age 93. He then applied for a humanitarian visa and moved to Miami. There, he worked on getting his citizenship but was denied twice. Twelve years later, he celebrated by drinking champagne with friends at the Hispanic Community Center in Miami on Friday.

There is a detailed process that takes place before one can become a U.S. citizen. This process is managed by the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services, also called (USCIS). To be considered for citizenship, a person must first spend at least five years as a legal resident of the United States with no trips abroad for more than six months and were present for no less than half of that time. This time may be cut down if the person is married to a U.S. citizen. They must also be at least 18 years old, have resided in the state that they are applying in for at least three months, be in good moral character, be able to read and write in English at an elementary level, unless the person is over 50 years old, have a basic knowledge of U.S. government and history, obtain and complete a citizenship application form, and attend an appointment to be fingerprinted. There, they must provide any documentation requested by the USCIS, demonstrate a basic knowledge of the English language, pass a civics test on history and government of the U.S., and answer questions about their background, residence, and willingness to take an oath of allegiance to the United States.

Afterwards, a person will be told whether or not they are granted, continued, or denied citizenship. If granted, they may be able to take the oath ceremony on the date of their appointment. If continued, their application is placed on hold to work out certain problems or issues, such as a failed test. They will then be sent a letter to inform them of what steps they must take in order to complete the application process. If denied, an applicant will receive a letter explaining why and be given a process of appeals. When a person becomes a U.S. citizen, they are given the right to vote in U.S. elections, the right to participate in government programs such as Social Security, and the right to obtain a U.S. passport.

For related articles visit http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/19525020/ and http://www.expertlaw.com/library/immigration/naturalization.html.

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