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Becoming a citizen: from Norway to Napoleon, North Dakota

Published: Sep. 14, 2021 at 7:15 PM CDT
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - For many people who move to the United States for work or for family, the next step is to apply for citizenship. Naturalization follows a lengthy process where applicants get interviewed, fingerprinted, and take an examination before they are accepted as citizens.

Napoleon, North Dakota is now Roger Kristiansen’s home away from home.

He moved from Sandefjord, Norway, ten years ago. He is proud to work for the city of Napoleon and is even more excited to finally be a U.S. citizen.

“You know, when I was younger, I was looking at movies and the ‘land of opportunity,’ I think, still stands and there’s a pride to be a U.S. citizen,” said Roger Kristiansen of Napoleon.

Roger and his wife Jody have taken several big steps together. They got married, lived in Norway, started a family, and moved across the world to settle in North Dakota.

“Once he was done with school, we decided to settle in Napoleon because this is where my dad was,” said Jody Kristiansen.

All members of the family have Norwegian heritage, but Roger now holds dual citizenship. They are eager to keep both American and Norwegian traditions alive.

“We keep quite a few traditions, as many as we can so [the kids] remember that side of their heritage,” added Jody.

The naturalization was the next logical step for Roger.

“The difference between just a regular green card and U.S. citizenship is that you get the rights to vote. And I think your vote is important in the time we live in,” said Roger.

The family is extremely supportive.

“For me it’s an honor to be U.S. citizen. My dad served in the Marine Corps. My uncle served in the Marine Corps. Had a cousin in the Army. So, to me, it’s just a great honor. I am very proud of him,” said Jody.

Roger says he is proud to be a U.S. citizen and he is happy to continue serving the people of Napoleon.

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services naturalized approximately 625,000 people in 2020.

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