It could be worse

Periodically, journalists and others look at the test of U.S. History and Government given to aspiring U.S. citizens. The questions is asked, “How well do native-born Americans know this material?” The answer invariably is, not well.

Still, the U.S. citizenship process is straightforward and simple in comparison to some other countries.

SwissflagIn the Swiss National Museum in Zurich, there is a fascinating display of Swiss citizenship requirements. According to the exhibit, while there is a national uniform naturalization law, the majority of the 2,600 political communities (cantons—equivalent to our states—and municipalities) apply their own naturalization policy.

When an applicant is ready for citizenship, he or she is often interviewed and questioned about the municipality, the canton, and the nation. Sometimes, the process includes a surprise home visit. In some cantons, the interview is replaced by a test.

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