Many hurdles await those trudging the path to legal U.S. citizenship, and thousands of immigrants - 680,000 in 2009 - successfully scale them each year.
On the weekend of the nation's 234th birthday, more than 3,800 candidates were sworn in at 55 ceremonies, including one Friday at Middleton Place in Charleston, home of Arthur Middleton, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, according to Ana Santiago, a Department of Homeland Security spokeswoman.
Among the hurdles tackled by virtually all of those candidates was an exam designed to test their knowledge of America's history and government.
Some, especially those born and educated here, might be tempted to think that's no big deal. After all, applicants must answer only six of 10 questions correctly. But here's the catch: They don't know which 10 of the 100 possible topics in the study booklet will appear on the exam. Plus, it's administered orally, which means you must answer the examiner directly.
For Jan Dobr, however, it was all just an opportunity for the aspiring American to learn more about his adopted country.