Citizenship Interview - Nashville, TN 2013, January

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United States

Just wanted to share my interview experience. 

We are in Nashville, TN and, by luck of draw, USCIS somehow scheduled us to appear in Nashville FO for US citizenship interview. That was nice, since we have two kids and no one could take care of them that day. So, my wife and I were scheduled at 900AM and 920AM. She was to go first and I was next. There was only one IO conducting interviews that day while there was another one, her supervisor, doing something else.

The interview was 20 minutes early since there was nobody ahead of us. My wife went first and after 10-12 minutes she came out, all happy, smiling but we didn't have time to chat as I was asked to come in right after her. I was placed under oath and the IO started going over the file. I had to make few additions to my application as I a) got a new part time job after I have filed N400 and b) did not include professional organizations. The fact about the job was important to her but not the associations that I failed to mention. She said, well, professional ones are of no interest to us, only political or terrorist types. So, that went well. I also had a ticket (entering intersection on red light) and she asked me if I had the documents from the court. I only had a printout from the court clerk (not certified) and an original defensive driving course certificate. She just looked at them and said "that's fine". Lastly, she didn't really check my passport and all these trips that I have made and meticulously documented were of no interested to her at all.

Once we were done with the application, she gave me the civics test:
1) Name federal holidays?
2) What did civil rights movement do?
3) When you become the US citizen, what do you promise?
--NOTE: I said "TO DEFEND THE CONSTITUTION" and she had to go back and look at her answer sheet as she never hear of anyone giving that answer, which was correct, btw
4) Who was the first president?
5) Who is the governor of the state?
6) ...............

Then was the reading and writing part. I had to read "Who lives in the white house?" and write "The president lives in the white house." That was easy but you have to punctuate, thou!

Lastly, I had changed (shortened) my name, so I had to fill and sign another form. Now, here comes the crazy part. I did not want to take the full oath, wanted it to be modified. I do not wish to say "So Help Me God" at the very end. So the IO gave me a form to fill out. It has a bunch of questions and it needs to be notarized. I said that I will get it to her tomorrow and she agreed. So, right now she is holding our files until I get that one last bit in. Since both of our applications, my wife's and mine, are being processed together (as a courtesy, I guess), that's the last thing hold us from finally completing this paperwork journey.

Just before I left, IO said that no children are allowed at the oath ceremony, they have to be either with somebody there or be left at home as during the oath ceremony one should not be distracted while listening to the judge. She said that the oath will be scheduled in 1-2 months, in Nashville, in the federal building (downtown).

So here it is, that's our journey, or part of it. Overall, it was a pleasant experience, I didn't feel that we were looked down somehow. The process was extremely civil and I have nothing negative to say about USCIS. So far....

PS. The interview took 15 minutes at the most.

Citizenship and Naturalization: