Sidney resident earns American citizenship


By Amantha Garpiel - [email protected]



Petra Sloan on the day of her naturalization at the University of Dayton School of Law.

Petra Sloan on the day of her naturalization at the University of Dayton School of Law.


Courtesy photo

Petra and her husband Jim Sloan at the celebration of Petra’s naturalization.


Courtesy photo

SIDNEY — Petra Sloan, 44, of Sidney recently earned a full American citizenship status. She chose to come to the U.S. from northern Italy to be with her husband, James “Jim” Robert Sloan.

The couple originally met on Facebook and became close internet friends for about two years before she finally came to Ohio to meet him in person at the end of 2014. The couple married on June 3, 2017, about three years after finally meeting in person. After marrying Jim, Petra could have began her citizenship process in 2020, three years after their marriage but due to the pandemic and having heard of its effects in Italy before it truly hit the U.S., Petra chose to wait.

She began her citizenship process in May 2022 after having a temporary green card for two years. When Petra first filed for citizenship she was told that the expected wait time to hear back from the government was 18-20 months. However, she received an email on June 22 inviting her to interview and test for her citizenship in August 2022.

Petra studied hard for the two months leading up to her interview. She created flash cards covering all of the American history material that was provided to her online; Petra created over 100 flash cards to study from. Her method of studying might seem unconventional, Petra carried her flash cards with her every day and would use any amount of free time she found to quiz herself on the material.

The interview or citizenship test was a 10 question test, but once a citizenship candidate answered six questions correctly they did not have answer any further questions. Following the test, the proctor proposed her name as a candidate for citizenship.

Her test was on Aug. 11 and the oath ceremony was held on Sept. 19, 2022. She beccame an American citizen alongside 19 other individuals that day.

“Overall the process has been long, but if I have to talk about my specific case, I would say that I have probably been very lucky. I saw online many other cases of other people that take years and years and years to go through each of these steps. Instead to me it’s been fairly quick let’s say. Of course you have to wait, you can’t speed up the government… I can’t complain about the speed of the American government at all,” said Petra.

Petra is currently in school for her bachelor’s degree in urban planning online through Arizona State University and is hoping to graduate in May of 2023. One of the reasons she chose to leave her home in Italy, other than for love, was because the language barrier is less complicated for her to overcome than for her husband to overcome in Italy. She already had a small base knowledge of English before she met Jim and since then she has built upon it and become nearly fluent in speaking English. Being in school has also helped her learn and experience the English language.

Since her naturalization as an American citizen, Petra wants to give back to the community that has accepted her. As part of a class project, before her naturalization, she attended a meeting of the Sidney Tree Board and offered to volunteer and the former Mayor of Sidney Mike Barhorst offered her a position on the Zoning Board of Appeals. Her appointment was put off until after her naturalization because citizenship is required to sit on the board.

“One Monday I was in Dayton for my citizenship and the following Monday I was there (Sidney City Council) with this chance, which I see as a chance, an opportunity, even though it’s not paid, it’s something I can just do for the community, but it’s a great thing for me,” said Petra.

Petra Sloan on the day of her naturalization at the University of Dayton School of Law.
https://www.sidneydailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2022/11/web1_PetraSloan.jpgPetra Sloan on the day of her naturalization at the University of Dayton School of Law. Courtesy photo

Petra and her husband Jim Sloan at the celebration of Petra’s naturalization.
https://www.sidneydailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2022/11/web1_JimAndPetra.jpgPetra and her husband Jim Sloan at the celebration of Petra’s naturalization. Courtesy photo

By Amantha Garpiel

[email protected]