HELENA – Becoming a naturalized U.S. citizen can be a stressful and time consuming process.

But now, 40 people from around the globe can call themselves Americans.

It was standing room only as family and friends packed the Federal Courthouse in Helena Thursday to watch applicants take Oath of Allegiance.

After brief introductions and remarks by U.S. District Court Judge Charles Lovell, the 40 candidates received their certificate of naturalization.

Story continues below

For some, this is the culmination of years of work.

Samba Thiem came to the U.S. from Mauritania nearly two decades ago.

“It’s there now. It never goes away. It’s your home. It’s what I want to be my home,” Thiem said. “It can be a long process but it’s worth it.”

After a long wait, they can now relax.

Elvira Roncalli came to the U.S. from Italy 15 years ago.

“It is very stressful,” Roncalli said.  “On the day that we had the interview, several people were quiet nervous.”

Not everyone is accepted to become a citizen.

“At least one person, maybe more, perhaps were not admitted,” Roncalli said.

These new citizens were greeted by the Sons and Daughters of the American Revolution.

After reminding the group of the basics of the U.S. constitution, Judge Lovell congratulated the new citizens.

“I’ve been living in the U.S. for fifteen years now, and today I became a U.S. citizen,” Roncalli said.