Garbo wants to be a citizen


Before 1952, the first step of the naturalization process for a lawful permanent resident was filing a Declaration of Intention with the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS). Immigrants could file this "first paper" after living in the United States for two years. Using a standard INS form, actress Greta Garbo filed her declaration of intention to become a citizen in 1948. This document informed her that "not less than 2 nor more than 7 years after the original date of this declaration was made, and after you have lived in the U.S. for at least 5 years, and in the State for at least 6 months," she could file a Petition for Naturalization, or "second papers." Garbo did file her petition to become a citizen in 1951. Text adapted from “Declaration of Intention and Petition for Naturalization” in the November/December 1998 National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) publication Social Education.

National Archives – Pacific Region (Laguna Niguel), Records of District Courts of the United States


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