After passing the citizenship examination in Indianapolis this week, everything is looking up for Phillip Tran.
He is living the all-Amercan dream in a small city in the Midwest.
"Freedom," Tran said, holding up a clenched fist, explaining the importance of passing the exam.
With several regulars coming in to get their nails done at his Brazil salon, business is good and the vietnamese native plans to marry his sweetheart, Rachel Nguyn, also of Vitnam, in about a year or so.
To be eligible for naturalization, the process by which lawful permanent residents become U.S. citizens, immigrants must have lived in the United States for a certain number of years, learned English, be able to demonstrate a knowledge of history and government, be free of any criminal history and have a good moral character, according to the Immigration and Naturalization Sevice.
Tran meets all of the above requirements perfectly. The 30-year-old will take the official oath of allegiance to America in about three months, when he'll receive his certificate of citizenship.
"Everything is OK," Tran said. "I already feel like an American."
He came to the county 16 years ago with his brother, who now lives in New York. Tran originally took up residency in North Carolina, but job opportunities led him to Terre Haute. His nail salon business, U.S. Nails, 45 Forest Park Plaza, brought him to Brazil. There, his customers opt for a variety of services, including nail art, air brushing, french manicures and pedicures.
He thinks the city will be a nice place to settle down and start a family. His fiancee will take the citizenship exam soon.
"Brazil is very good," he said. "I like it here. The people are very nice."