Nearly 80 granted U.S. citizenship in Southport ceremony

Nicola Sharp proudly holds her certificate of citizenship on 7/3/19. Photo: Matt Bennett/WWAY)

SOUTHPORT, NC (WWAY) — Gaining U.S. citizenship is not easy for thousands who come into our country. On Wednesday, nearly 80 new Americans were given legal status in Southport after months or years of going through the process.

For 23 years, Southport has hosted a naturalization of immigrants who have lived and work in the U.S. and applied to gain their citizenship.

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There are a host of eligibility requirements that take three to five years of living in the U.S. before someone can begin the naturalization process.

After applying and testing, these people take that oath of citizenship.

New citizen Nicola Sharp moved to the U.S. from Quebec in 1978, and says this has been a long time coming.​

“It’s wonderful that it happened on the holiday. It’s fantastic, a feeling of relief as well as a feeling of achievement, and I’m just very excited to begin this new chapter in my life,” Sharp said.

The new Americans then got to take pictures with their certificates of citizenship and eat with their families.

Some fought back tears as they finally received those certificates.