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It is my turn today to share Citizenship interview experience with you guys, which was indeed a pleasant one.
Citizenship Journey started on 8/3/09 with submission of application via Fedex Overnight. My interview was at 8:30AM, reached there around 7:30AM, submitted the interview letter at the receptionist window and name was called by a courteous immigration officer at ~ 8:15AM. He just interviewed lady from India and escorted her back to waiting room before calling in my name.
After approaching his office and before sitting, asked me to take the oath to tell truth. As soon as we sat he asked for my GC & DL and said "Let's have the tough part of the interview first". I was like "??????". He then said "What does the cabinet do?". "sighhhh..."I thought and answered "Advises the President"; which he wrote with red pen on paper where he read the question from. He then asked 5 more questions which I answered all correctly. "Good you passed the test" He said. Now Lets move to the second part. "Can you read this sentence?". Columbus came to America (or something of that sort). He said "Good, you part second part too. Now last and final. Write down here (on a piece of paper) Columbus day is in October". I wrote that and test finished. "Very Good, so you cleared the exam".
Application review process started after successful completion of the test. Started going over all the pages in order and marking information with red pen. He said "You just went to India once ?". "Yes, for 13 days including travel time" I replied, and he moved forward to next section. Note that, I visited COP just once with my renewed NP and for very genuine reason. I had my passport, reason for the visit and documents related to it available but was never asked for. Went over the traffic ticket information. I had printout from DMV and Traffic ticket payment records from online. I offered him the papers, he simply punched them and added to the file without even reviewing or asking about any tickets. Then he asked section H very clearly and I responded "YES" to all; asked me to sign section 13 and 14. Took my pictures from a small ziploc bag (which I did not used during application submission, seems like USCIS takes good care for you picture ) and asked to write first and last name on both of them.
And there comes final long awaited words which were like music to the ears "I am approving your application, are you feeling better now?". I was like "Yes. Thank you." and in my mind "dude, are you kidding me ? ". Printer did its intended operation and there comes N-652, "Here is the proof that your application is approved today". He ticked out 2 options "# 1 "and section "A) Congratulations ......". Gave me another piece of paper about information on oath ceremony to review and asked if I have any question, to which I quickly reviewed and said "No". He then quickly mentioned about time it takes for ceremony to occur (4-5 hours and parking related stuff) and welcome to bring family and guests at the ceremony. I inquired about if he is going to give me Oath letter same day (yeah rite, you wish ) or I will get in mail, to which he responded that I should get it in mail and oath could be any time between now and January.
After all this he closed my file which was about 4-5 inches thick and I bet has all my application and papers submitted to USCIS till date. He started talking about housing market and economy and we chatted around 7-10 minutes on this topic. I think this took more time then actual review of the application . He then escorted me back to the waiting area and wish good luck. I thanked him again, wish him nice day & weekend and left.
Remember that every case, individual situation, immigration officer and information submitted in application is unique. So please don't compare and apply one's situation and outcome of case to yours. Keep your response & answer simple, clear and to the point. Avoid offering long answers and explanations unless asked for, this can warrant for more questions. Go over your application before interview to ensure you remember what you have written and submitted with application.
So folks this is my interview experience, hope this will help some. I would like to thank each one of you for your contributions to the forum, sharing experiences and making it a successful community. This has been a great journey, it still reminds me of those GC days and long waits in 2005. Hope I will get my oath letter and oath ceremony done soon.
Wish you all, best of luck to achieve this important goal in land of the free and the home of the brave!.
(0) arrive at USCIS building (1) pass secuty check (2) go to designated floor (3) check in with the receptionist (4) sit in the pew, waiting to be called (5) Go to an IO's office or cubicle you can overhear other interviews (6) If represented by a lawyer but layer is not present, sign the release form (7) Take an oath to tell truth. (8) IO ask some questions, verify your ID (9) THE IO ask if any thing changes since you sent N-400 (10) IO go over some N-400 questions and you answer verbally, if some Yes to seom sesitive question g to (11) otherwise go to (12) (11) give your explanation why you answer Yes to certain questions (12) civic tests - up to 10 questions (13) read one English sentence (14) Write down one Enlish sentence the IO read (15) be handeed the intervie result letter (16) Say good bye and thanks. If the same day oath is there go to (17) otherwise go to (18) (17) Oath , the detailed experience of which can be another topic (18) Exit the IO's office (19) Exit the floor by stair or elevator (20) exit the USCIS building (21) go home
03/25/2009 - N400 sent 04/28/2009 - FP 05/15/2009 - IL received but interview was descheduled three times over a 7 month period 01/07/2010 - The USCIS interview receptionist called by phone for interview appointment next tuesday 01/12/2010 - Interview (20 min - decision can not be made) 02/06/2010 - Oath letter received 02/24/2010 - Oath 03/04/2010 - Passport application 03/24/2010 - passport book received 03/26/2010 - passport card received & certificate returned
Hi to all! I want to tell you my experince. My interview was on 2/2/2006 in Plaza,NY. I was called after 5 hours, but interview lasted for 15 minutes only.. Immigration lady spoke with a heavy accesent, like russian or slovakian and so fast!!? I can hardly understand her! Anyway, I passed the Interview, but to my surprise she asked for more documents, like phone bills,morgage, lights bill, joint account, health insurance since 2002! I was lucky to have most of papers like health insurance, joint account, but who has morgage, phone, light bills since 2002? Legally you destroy all this after 3 years! And the way we moved to so many states, who need to keep them? After Interview she gave me a form N-652, that I passed, but decision pending! When I got this form I told her, that I have most documents with me, so do you, because I send them before and saw my file was full. Anyway, dont argue with them, I just felt she did not want to spend time looking througth! Her answer was to "go to the girls and they will help you"!My citizenship was based marriage to an American, who was in the Navy for 25 years serving his country! Is that the way to treat us like skam bags?
Anyway, we went to the "girls window'' as was described. We met a superviser, but a lady in her 50th, took our documents, and promised will be fine. She said the letter for my oat to be expected a in 30-60 days time. Im happy, that its almost over, with former INS, and I and my husband still feel disgusted, the attitude, overall, I said all!!!!!! I wish to say something positive!
Step 1 I had my Citizenship Interview today at 1450 Coleman Ave Santa Clara CA -95050 Got through the civic & english tests But the officer gave me a N-14 and N-652 Naturalization/Interview Results forms
Step 2 The N-14 form says The fingerprints you have taken were rejected twice by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, as unclassifiable. In lieu of obtaining another set of fingerpritns, USCIS regulations require you to obtain police clearances form all cities that you have lived in from 01/07/2008 to the present. This includes, but npt limited to: Sanjose, California, Santa Clara California, Sunnyvale California or Santa Clara County, California.
Step 3 I went to Santa Clara Sheriff's Office at 55 W.Younger Ave San Jose, CA 95110 Showed them the N-14 letter.
Step 4 The officer at their gave me a sealed letter and told me that she mentioned the current address only (in the sealed letter addressed to USDeoartment of Homeland Security 1887 Monterey Road Sanjoe CA - 95112)
Step 5 I requested the officer to add/mention the other address I last lived in the letter. But she said "she can't do that" coz the driver license has the current address only.
Step 6 Now the question is what should I do? Since the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (as given above) said they need police clearance for the past five where I lived.
Though both the places I lived (Santa Clara and Currently Sanjose) come under Santa Clara County Sheriff Department.
I am confussed whether to just mail the sealed letter (which I got from the sheriff's office) along with the letter (N-14) to the US Department of Homeland Security office.
I mailed the Police Clearance letter on Apr-09-2013 to US Department of Homeland Security 1887 Monterey Road Sanjose CA - 95112
Today I checked my case status and it shows as given under.
Oath Ceremony On May 1, 2013, we scheduled you for your oath ceremony and sent a notice providing the date, time, and location. If you move prior to the scheduled ceremony, please use our Change of Address online tool to update your case with your new address or call our customer service center at 1-800-375-5283.
Naturalization Applicants: you will receive your certificate at your oath ceremony. You can expect to be scheduled for an oath ceremony within 45 days of receiving your recommended approval. Many offices schedule approved applicants for the oath ceremony on the same day as the day of the interview. Please check the local office profile page on our website to determine if the office where you will be interviewed schedules same day oath ceremonies.
Yesterday myself and my wife oath was completed. I had my interview on 18 Sept @ 2:30 but I didn't received the oath letter since it was too late. My wife got a call from Atlanta USCIS this Monday and was called for the oath ceremony on Wednesday. My wife requested them to have oath with me. USCIA call us again on Wednesday morning and scheduled oath for both of us on Thursday @ 1:30 PM. I never received the oath letter in mail. We went to oath on Thursday around 12:00. They give and told us to fill the form N445 about all the trips, citation, arrests and other details since we had interview. By the time oath is complete it is almost 4:30 Pm. I am glad it is over now.
This forum made me sleep better on many nights and told me what to expect at every step. Nothing was a surprise from Asylum to US Passport.
Waited many many years and got my Asylum I485 approved in 2002. Applied N400 in Aug 07, FP in Jan 08, Citizenship interview in April 08 and got my Oath in May 08. Applied for passport routine service at the oath ceremony and got my passport in 9 days. My online status still shows my case pending since Oct 2007 !!
The interview was taken by an officer who had good country specific knowledge of my COP. The officer had a thick file which had every application I ever sent to INS/BCIS/USCIS in Nebraska. He went thru my asylum application in detail and asked me several questions on whether I was ever arrested, any organization I joined in COP, whether I had visited my COP and what was my last date of visit to COP. When I said I never went to COP and my last date was in 1997 sometime the officer said "then its no problem" and went thru my N400 application and I was done in 10 min from that point. All the questioning and concerns were about my old presence in COP and whether I ever visited after my asylum application. My passport was seen in detail and he was comparing it to a printout of some sort in the file. While giving me a congratulation letter he said my file is being sent to an supervisor for review as it was an asylum case. My oath letter came 15 days later than other family members who gave interview on same date. All of us were interviewed by different officers at the same time in different rooms.
During last several years I have met several people who had applied for asylum and we kept in touch. All of them had similar experience in Citizenship interview about COP. DUI, Misdemenors in Traffic were also problems that some faced.
Visiting COP is a bad idea and I would advise you not to unless it is an emergency because it will come up and you will have to give a logical reason for your visits. During my citizenship interview I realized how vulnerable we are even with GC if it was thru asylum. The GC can be cancelled anytime if fraud is suspected.
My experience with USCIS has been very good and everyone was very efficient and helpful when I called or met or gave interview. Every file is unique and every officer has a lot of discretionary powers so time lines can be a little different.
Thanks to all of you who ever posted anything as feedback whatever it is is very helpful. Thanks to Rajeev for this free servive....Highly Appreciated.
NB: If you feel your timeline has many different results on the forum call USCIS and insist to be connected to an IO. The CSR who picks up initial calls when you call USCIS are all civilian employees who have the same access to info you see online. The IO can read the actual file and tell you current status and resend lost or misplaced letters etc. Patience is the key !!
Application sent: June 12 2012 Applied on my own, no lawyers. Submitted the following documents - N400 - G-1145 - 2 color photo - GC photocopy - Birth cerficate photocopy - check for $680 - Cover letter
FP done: July 25 2012 - location: 170, Portland st, Boston - went there 1 hour earlier than interview time, no issues. was allowed in the line right away. - took around 1 hour total including waiting time and FP
Interview : Sep 14 2012 2pm. - location: JFK building, Boston - went there on time, had to wait for around 30 mins even though there were less than 10 people in-line. - the interview was for 20 mins, the officer was very polite. - standard questions from the application about travel outside country, any convictions etc. - was asked 6 civic questions and had to write a sentence in english. - was asked wait for few mins for the oath letter - after 10 mins wait, was handed over the oath letter. - took around 1 hour
Oath: Sep 20 2012 - location: merchants row, fanueil hall - total time: around 3 hours - number of people: 300 - first the each everyone, participants in the main hall, visitors in gallary. - then checkin participants, check the oath letter for signature etc, punch a hole in GC (invalidate) and hand it over again, to be seated. - Oath, pledge of alligence, speech by a judge and some other person - after all these are done, certificate is issued by the seating order
Interview today in Seattle. Arrived 8:10am was called in at 8:30 - really nice guy reviewed my file, asked me a couple questions about my name change. Questions:
Name 1 war America fought in the 1900's - WW2 Who is the chief Justice - Don't know How many representatives in the house - 435 How often do we vote for them - every 2 years When do we vote for the president - November He asked me one more but I can't remember right now
Then he asked if I was free today for the Oath
So, Oath today, hours from now I will be a citizen!
DO: Seattle 07/15/2012 -- N400 Sent 07/17/2012 -- Received/Priority date 07/19/2012 -- Notice date 07/26/2012 -- Received FP notice 08/16/2012 -- Completed FP as per schedule 08/20/2012 -- In line for interview, was emailed/texted 8/28/12 with the update - I think they must be behind with online updates 08/28/2012 -- SMS received, interview has been scheduled, waiting for notice to arrive. 09/01/2012 -- Received IL, scheduled for 10/04/12
Just wanted to update you all, Yesterday afternoon completed our interviews at Irving,TX.
Mine was at 230 pm and wife's at 300 pm went there around 2pm and a white male IO called me at 345 pm and started going thru the application very quickly and asked me to sign the application and photos that was mailed previously along with application and asked civic questions then said your application is approved will mail you oath letter in 2-3 weeks time, same is the case with my wife incidently same IO interviewed her too. Does anyone know how long it takes to receive the oath letter, there was no paper stating that approved other than his words..Is it common not to give the oath letter right after the interview ? I checked this morning no case update on the online.. Do I need to be worried or be happy -
1) What Ocean near east coast 2) What is freedom of religion 3) How many no of senators 4) What state borders Canada 5) When was the constitution written 6) When must all men register for selective service
June'07: GC DO: Dallas,TX PD 07/25/12
07/24/12: Day0 N-400 sent by FedEx Standard Overnight to Lewisville, TX 07/25/12: Day1 delivered 07/27/12: Day3 received email that application is received 07/30/12: Day6 Check Cashed 07/31/12: Day7 NOA received 08/02/12: Day9 FP Notice received with a scheduled date of 08/27/12 08/27/12: Day34 FP done 08/29/12: Day36 Online Status changed to "In Line for Interview Scheduling" 08/30/12: Day37 Online Status changed to "Scheduled for Interview" 09/04/12: Day42 IL Received with interview scheduled date of 10/04/12 10/04/12: Day52 Interview done waiting for the oath letter
Just came back with my wife from biometrics. I live near Buffalo NY (like my nickname doesn't hint that ), so it took us just 20 min to get there. You can park in the back of the building as there is paid parking ($15 for the day, no hourly option- ripoff!) As we entered the building at around 8:15 AM we were asked by the guard to state the nature of our visit, we showed him the fingerprint appointment notices, then we had to go through the metal detector. Then we were directed to the large lobby where we found fingerprinting area. We signed in. There were about 5 names above ours. While filling out documents, we were asked to show our Biometric Notification. The lady noticed that our appointment is not till next Monday. She asked why we were there. I explained that my wife has college on Mondays and she doesn't want to miss school. It was not a pleasant experience for me since then. The Fingerprinting and photo was pretty much silent. There is much more to it but i will not mention anything until after oath. My wife on the other hand had a very nice younger lady taking care of her. The walk-in experience in Buffalo leaves me bitter-sweet. I'm glad that I did it. I hope this older lady is not so mean to every person that goes there. People are stressed already and they don't need anybody adding to it. The best thing is that they did not have anybody after us! So it was not like they had 20 people in the line! My advice- go early, before a lot of people get there. My original time was @10 AM, I assume that is when most people have their appointments.