WORTH THE WAIT: Panique celebrates becoming U.S. citizen

Published 9:15 am Thursday, April 20, 2023

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

When Roshee Panique moved to the United States, she set her sights on becoming an American citizen and saw that dream become reality when she passed her citizenship test.

Originally from Bacolod in the Philippines, her family moved to the United States in May 2016. Bacolod is the capital of the province of Negros Occidental in the Western Visayas region of the Philippines. She was a sophomore when they arrived and graduated from Andalusia High School in 2019.

“Being a United States citizen means I can vote and participate in the democratic process. I can enjoy the rights and the privilege of U.S. citizens. I can stay and work here as much as I like to pursue my dreams and ambitions. I chose to become a U.S. citizen because I believed in freedom and liberty,” Panique said.

She stated her path toward American citizenship was a fairly simple process. “When I applied online, I received an appointment for my biometrics in Montgomery right away. After a week or two, I had an appointment for my interview. The interview didn’t take long at all. The most difficult part was having to wait five years to apply for the citizenship, but for me, everything else was very easy.”

According to Panique, there are several differences between living in America versus the Philippines.

“The United States has the most diverse economy in the world, and that gives people a wider range of job opportunities. The United States also has advanced technology, education, reliable transportation, and healthcare. There are limited job opportunities in the Philippines, which makes it harder for people to find a reliable source of income. The Philippines is also facing corruption and poverty. Citizens don’t get the best care possible that they deserve,” she said.

Although her native homeland remains close to her heart, she supports her family’s decision to move to the United States.

“America is a great place to live because you have the access to life that you deserve, and you worked hard for. I’m very grateful to live here because I have access to the things I could not possibly have in the Philippines like a good paying job, a good education, and a lot more opportunities,” she said.

Panique has reached this point in her life because of the Lord in addition to her mother and father.

“I owe everything to God; He is always there for me and has given me everything I prayed for. I’m very grateful to my parents for being supportive to me. Lastly, I’m grateful to my family in the Philippines for the love and support that they have been giving me.”

She offered some helpful advice to anyone who is interested in becoming a citizen of the United States of America.

“Becoming a U.S. citizen is a big responsibility that requires careful consideration. Be patient and persistent. Sometimes, it will take time for the citizenship to process. Don’t lose hope and be strong,” Panique said.