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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.
So I just got back from my interview. I passed!! I know I know but one gets so nervous for no reason, even fully prepared. And it does not help when you see someone coming back from the interview indicating they have not passed (even if others who come out did).
So here is my interview experience. Overall, not bad, just really really really long wait time. I went over an extended lunch break figuring the most it would take would be 1.5 -2 hours. Ha ha. I arrived at about 10:55am and my scheduled interview time was 11:30am (following the instructions not to arrive more than 30min prior). My interview was at the Federal Plaza building in Lower Manhattan. First there is a line to go through security but that goes pretty fast. Then you go to the 7th Floor and you enter a huuge room full of maybe 500 people (I am guessing it was 500 because that was the max capacity posted on the wall and the room looked really full). You hand in your letter and wait for them to call your name. Now, given all the foreign names, that may not be the best system. Either way, I was called in about 25 min and I got very excited. It was about 1125pm by then. An officer took me to another smaller room this time. This one was very crowded and I would estimate had about 200 people, most of them seemed to be waiting for their oath letter. And I guess few of us for the interview. I was told to wait to be called again. And waited and waited. Most often they came in calling out people for their oath letters and few times swearing in minors. A lady sitting next to me said her interview time was for 1030am and she was done by 1045am but she had been waiting for her oath letter ever since then. One hour passed, second, and I was starting to get really nervous as I had to go back to work. I could not believe it was taking this long. But there is not much you can do about that. Finally at about 145pm (2 hours 45 min after arriving) I was called in. My IO was very nice though she was taking a really long time. I spent with her maybe 25 minuts, the test was done within the first 5-7 minutes and was very fast. First though, after swearing me in, she asked me for my passport, greencard, driver ID and social security card. luckily, I brought my SScard though it was nowhere mentioned you need to bring that one in. So just make sure you bring yours to the interview as well. She did not want to see any other documents I brought in. The test was very easy and fast. She asked me to read the sentence: "Who was George Washington?" and then write down "George Washington was the first president". Then she asked me the following 6 questions; 1) The House of Representatives has how many voting members? 2) We elect US Representative for how many years? 3) In what month we vote for President? 4) Who is Chief Justice of the United States now? 5) Who is the Father of Our Country? 6) Name one war fought by the United States in 1900s.
After I answered all the questions correctly, she congratulated me on passing the test. The remaining 20 minutes was spent on going over my application in detail, any changes and corrections, and asking me all the yes/no questions at the back. And then I had to sign couple pieces of paper, my photos and she kept checking the application and her file. Finally she left to make copies of my ID. She was friendly and easygoing, even chatting with me about my profession and job, my new middle names I am adding that were her kids name as well etc. Then she said I was done and handing me the paper confirming I passed and would receive my oath letter in 30 to 60 days. I asked her then if it would be ok for me to leave the country for short time at the end of December and she said that should be fine and that I might receive my oath letter by then and that I just need to mention at the oath that I travelled. that was it. I went back to the 'hold room" where people were still waiting for their oath letters but by then I really had to get back to work and decided to just wait for mine to be mailed. I did ask while waiting for the interview before the officer who was handing out the oath letters when my oath could possibly be scheduled for and he mentioned that because I was Manhattan and had a name change (even if a minor one), the earliest would be Dec. 7. Whether I get that date still if they mail it, who knows. I will just wait and see. If I do get the oath for 7th, then I will have to pay special expedited passport service to get mine in time before leaving. by the time i left the builing it was 230pm, so only about 3 1/2 hour later. So just come prepared for the wait. Other location may not be so bad and it may be the Manhattan thing, but one never knows. And bring your SScard too. Good luck to all!
My I-140 was filed in February 2004. The National Visa Centre, in its letter dated 24th June 2010, informed that they had completed processing of my petition seeking immigration to the USA and had forwarded it to the American Embassy/Consulate at New Delhi. I was informed that an immigrant visa interview had been scheduled at the US Consulate, New Delhi on the 9th of August, 2010 at 10.45 am. I reached the US Consulate, Chanakya Puri, New Delhi, (hereinafter Consulate) a little before the scheduled time. I was given a token bearing a number at which the concerned Official of the Consulate would interview me. Once inside the Consulate, the assisting staff promptly verified my token number and advised me to wait for my turn. I was informed that token number and the counter number were being displayed on an electronic screen at the end of the hall. The waiting area had seating arrangement in rows and was very practically furnished. The air conditioning was comfortable, considering that it was sweltering hot outside. While I was waiting for my turn, time seemed to have stopped; it was a long wait. On my number being shown at the relevant window, I appeared before the official and handed over the token given to me at the entrance. At the first instance, I submitted my documents to the Consular Officer. The Official started looking through the documents submitted by me, which in fact gave me time to be at ease. The Consular Official, after going through the documents asked me questions relating to my profession in India. On my responding to the said questions, the official asked me questions relating to the kind of work I was expected to do in the US. The Consular Officer also asked my about why I wanted to immigrate after 20 years of practicing law in India! There were also questions asked about my relationship with the applicant/employer. What was I going to do in the US (what was my role/job profile)? I was asked about my familiarity with preparing websites et al. I answered all the questions honestly and told them that I was not conversant with the technical aspects of a web site; my job would be to provide content for the same. The interview lasted about 45 minutes and throughout the concerned official was very practical and to the point. Finally, I was handed a letter along with an annexure and was politely informed that I would be required to provide the information sought therein before my application could be processed further. As per letter dated 9th of August, 2010, I was asked to provide the following documents: a) Original job letter from my US employer. b) Updated DS 230 part I for myself. c) Since I was married now, in order to process immigrant VISA for my wife and daughter and son, they needed to come on any working day along with their passports, DS-230 I & II, birth certificate, marriage certificate, two photographs and immigrant visa fee $ 404 or Rs. 19,393/-. In addition, I was also required to furnish certain documents from the employer as per annexure to the said letter. I arranged the relevant documents as per letter dated 9th of August, 2010 and approached the US Consulate at New Delhi on the 12th of July 2012, along with my wife and children. I was given a token number and was asked to wait for my turn by the assisting staff at the consulate. The wait was long. My daughter, just about two years old, was restless. The assisting staff observed her and requested us to take her to the play area for kids. It did help, as she got busy with the toys there and with the other kids almost her age. We were amongst the last to be called for interview by the Consular Officer. The wait was tiring considering we had with us a two year old child. The Consular Officer accepted our DS 230’s and thereafter requested my wife and children to wait as he proceeded to interview me. I was asked questions about my employer, the kind of work done by him etc. It appeared that while I was being questioned, the Consular Officer was looking at my employer’s website, as he did say it was impressive. He also asked questions about my work, how it correlated with employment sought by me! I answered the questions to the best of my ability and honestly. The whole process may have lasted about 40-45 minutes. At the end of the interview, the Consular Officer handed me a letter wherein it was mentioned that I could not be issued a VISA at this time, and I was required to provide: a) Police clearance from Regional Passport Office for myself and my wife. b) Medical clearance from an embassy-approved panel physician for my wife and children. c) Recent job letter from my employer. I submitted the aforesaid documents along with our passports to the VFS, Nehru Place, New Delhi. The duly stamped Passports, along with a sealed envelope in each immigrant’s name, containing documents were returned to us by courier. We arrived at Dulles, Washington, DC on December 24th, 2012. On board our flight, we had been given blue forms by the crew, and we were informed that the duly filled forms were to be submitted to the immigration official on arrival at destination. This blue form was basically a declaration to the effect that we were not carrying any food article(s), had not visited a farm within a specified period before our journey, etc. Upon arrival, we followed the queue for non-US citizens. It was a rather long winding queue and my daughter, who was just about two years and few months, was very restless. The assisting staff was quick to observe my restless daughter and promptly guided us to an immigration counter ahead of other waiting passengers. At the immigration counter, we handed over our passports, the sealed envelopes received by us from the US Consulate in New Delhi and the blue form given to us on board our flight, to the immigration officer. The Officer examined our passports and documents, one by one, and, on being satisfied, put the immigration stamp on our passports. We were informed that this would serve as our green card, until we actually received one. We were then directed to another counter for finger printing and submission of the sealed envelopes. The blue forms were also stamped and handed over to us. The counter at one end of the row was meant for immigrants. The officer at this counter once again examined our passports and opened the sealed envelopes. I was asked questions about my job and the nature of duties that I would be required to perform. The officer carefully went through the documents that were in the sealed envelope handed over to him by us. Thereafter, our fingerprints were taken. While we were going through the process, an airport staff approached the officer and wished him Merry Christmas. He handed over a few chocolates to him and then enquired from us about the airline through which we had arrived. When we informed him about our flight details, he enquired about the kind and number of bags we were carrying. When I informed him about our baggage details, he pointed through the glass window, towards the conveyor belts and said that since ours was the only unclaimed baggage so far, he had put our bags together at a particular place. He wished us a Merry Christmas and walked away. Once the immigration formalities had been completed the Officer looked up, smiled, handed over a chocolate to my daughter and wished us Merry Christmas. We then proceeded to claim our baggage. The airport staff, who had informed us about our baggage at the immigration counter earlier, was standing by our baggage. Once we reached to collect our bags, he wished us Merry Christmas and moved away. At the exit, we were directed to another counter where we handed over the blue forms to the officer. She asked us specifically that the declaration signed by us was correct. On receiving our answer in the affirmative, our bags were put through the scanner. Once the scan was complete, we were signaled towards the exit.
I had my oath ceremony at Cadman Plaza on April 5th, 2007. Reached there around 7:45 AM when they had already begun seating people inside the court room. Once they seated everyone, they had people come in and sign their Naturalization certificate and verify their information (date of birth) and sign their full name. People were seated and also called in the order in which they had arrived. First come - First serve basis.
There was an Old Japanese couple who had actualy signed their names in Japanese and the IO made it loud and clear to everyone that people need to sign their full names on the certificate in English and not in any other language.
Once the signing was over (which took more than a couple of hours), the Judge arrived to lead us in to oath. We were asked to stand up when the judge arrived and also stand again when the Judge left. The Judge made a short, but nice speech about how his grand father came to this country as an immigrant from Russia 100 years ago. He also mentioned the fact that everyone here must have their own story of how they made it till this point. After reading the oath of allegiance, we were asked to come in the same order to pick our Naturalization certificates up. The IO congratulated each person when handing out the Naturalization certificates, which I thought was a nice gesture.
Once I had my Certificate with me, I drove to the post office, filled up the orange form to get my passport. I made it expedited and paid the amount as a postal money order (Thanks to Teddy Bear for his experience). I read his post before going to the Post Office. Hopefully the passport gets home soon.
Good Luck to everyone on this board and thanks to everyone for sharing their experiences here.
Teddy Bear, Congratulations on becoming a Citizen !! Enjoy your new status. Hope you get your passport soon.
I hit a major block! My interview went with no problems until the very end, when the officer said that my old A-file was missing, and no decision can be made until it's found. I'm heartbroken.
The whole thing lasted 15-20 minutes. First, the officer asked me why did I check the box requesting the name change, I said I wanted to drop my middle name. She said that's not considered a name change, and made me initial a different check box on the application. The questions she asked were all from N400, just a few of them, very easy (what's your name, where do you work, how long ago was your last trip out of US). The officer did not ask for any of the supporting documents I had with me, no tax records, nothing at all.
The Civics test was very easy, I answered all 10 questions correctly. I then signed the back of my photographs, signed another form with my personal information on it, and then... And then the officer started looking through my file and her computer, for a very, very, VERY long time. Finally she filled in another form and gave it to me - "you passed the tests", "decision can't be made", "requested file". She said I have an older A-file which is missing, which needs to be reviewed before they can make a decision.
What should I do now?
I had very bad experience with INS before, when it took FOREVER to get my green card, because of a "missing file" when I moved districts. Not again! I don't want to wait again until they "find" it, I had enough of their b*shit to last a lifetime. What can I do?
I know I can file a lawsuit 120 days after the interview (the officer, by the way, also said they have to make a decision within 120 days).
Is there ANYTHING I should be doing in the meanwhile? How often should I bug them, and what's the most effective way?
Well, for my it was a long time ago, but normally the IO will ask you for your ID, passport. IO will have on his/her desk all the package that you sent before; at this time you are allow to add any information that you consider might be relevant on your case. Then after this part is done IO starts asking you questions about your case, like dates, names , cities, organizations, etc....most of lawyers advise to answer only what they are asking, not to use many words...................just go to the point. Also of course go well dressed and bring all the papers that you think might need. In my case i did not use a lawyer but interpeter to help me out with some important questions and answers, i did prepare my case by mysefl with all the information gattered from internet and friends; but if you are able my advice is to hire a lawyer to go for sure. At the time we finished the interview (30 minutes) she told us that "our response will be mailed as soonest she goes over the results and get reviewed also by the asylum office director" that took for my only 2 months. I hope this info helps a bit. Just remember that even if you have a strong case, at this moment those interviews are far more strict than 4 years ago, get well prepare, study all the dates and critical information in your initial application, try to be calm and go for it! You should be o.k.
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.