NORWICH – As voting day draws near, this election season means much more than ever for 34-year-old Philippines native Don Currie, who for the first time, will be eligible to head to the polls as an official United States citizen. This year, the Norwich resident is among a wave of new citizens who look forward to finally having a voice in the November elections.
For Currie, taking the United States Citizenship test was a long time coming. His endeavor began nearly eight years ago when he started collecting the required paperwork and looking into the federal mandates. It was an intimidating process, he remembered, and one he wasn’t willing to jump into right away. He obliged the federal residency laws, renewing his Visa every eight years since first moving to Norwich 25 years ago, but it wasn’t until April of this year when Currie seriously considered taking the test. With overwhelming support from his wife, Teresa, he paid the required $800 fee, showed evidence of enlisting in a military draft, and finally began the months-long process.
“A lot of what we had to fill out was about his background and personal information,” recalled Teresa. “It was about a 20-page form about his personal history.” Forms were followed up by a series of biometric tests, including Don’s background checks and fingerprinting, all of which were the easiest part of a drawn-out process, he recalled.