Idea for Use in the Classroom

Explain to students that the infographic shows the standard process to become a naturalized U.S. citizen after obtaining a green card. Have volunteers read each space and tell how the image relates. Encourage students to provide a rationale for the requirements of each of the first six spaces. Then prompt students to brainstorm examples of how people could approach their path to citizenship differently, while still meeting all the requirements.

Next, tell students that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) allows for exceptions and accommodations under certain circumstances:

  • Certain people who are older than 50 years old and have lived in the United States for more than 15 years may be exempted from the English language requirement.
  • A medical disability may provide exemption from the English and/or civics requirements.
  • Certain kinds of overseas employment may allow for an exemption of the continuous residence requirement.
  • In addition, modifications can be made as needed, based on any reported physical or mental disability listed on the application.

Ask students to suggest a rationale for each type of exception.

Finally, explain that people may qualify for citizenship through a citizen spouse, through their parents, or if they are family members of a member of the U.S. armed forces, rather than through the regular green-card process. Divide students into seven groups (two each for citizen spouses and parents inside and outside the U.S.; three for the three categories of family members) to have them research the requirements (see Resources) and make their own game board infographic for each way of qualifying for U.S. citizenship. When they are done, work as a class to compare and contrast all the paths to citizenship.



member of a country, state, or town who shares responsibilities for the area and benefits from being a member.


behavior of a person in terms of their community.


physical or psychological handicap.

green card

official identification card, originally green, issued by the U.S. government to foreign nationals permitting them to work in the U.S. Officially called the United States Permanent Resident Card.


process that allows someone to become a citizen of a country


something that is needed.