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gsg32

Was told I'd receive Oath Invitation in two weeks, but got "a decision cannot be made at this time"

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Hi all,

I'm a Canadian citizen residing in the US for 12 years, the last 4.5 of which have been as a permanent resident (other yrs were spent as a student, and legally employed resident alien). My wife and I have been married for 5.5 years (still happily married) and just moved a few days ago to a larger house to start adding to the family.

I had my naturalization interview last week, and it went very well (or so I thought). I had answered the civics questions easily, and otherwise had a good conversation with the interviewing officer about my background and marriage.

At the end of the interview, however, the officer informed me that they would need to conduct a background check before inviting me to the Oath Ceremony. She mentioned that I should be receiving my Oath invitation in a couple of weeks in time for the April ceremony. Yet, I was confused because I didn't receive the straight approval (instead I got the form that says "a decision cannot be made at this time").
I don't have a criminal record, and there were two charges I've ever had (no DMV tickets, etc.):
1. Harassment (2006): thrown out. No charges filed. I did some volunteer work, but never was on parole, etc. I was asked about this, and it was a bad break-up in college. I was on ACD (Adjournment contemplating dismissal), which does not count as parole or probation. Conditions are only that the charge is thrown out if I'm on good behavior in the following six motnhs. The case was thrown out and the charge sealed.
2. Open container violation (2009): fine I paid
I haven't had any other fines/fees since as far as I know, and I ran my own criminal check yesterday and it came up clean.
Question: what are your thoughts?

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Hi all,

I'm a Canadian citizen residing in the US for 12 years, the last 4.5 of which have been as a permanent resident (other yrs were spent as a student, and legally employed resident alien). My wife and I have been married for 5.5 years (still happily married) and just moved a few days ago to a larger house to start adding to the family.

I had my naturalization interview last week, and it went very well (or so I thought). I had answered the civics questions easily, and otherwise had a good conversation with the interviewing officer about my background and marriage.

At the end of the interview, however, the officer informed me that they would need to conduct a background check before inviting me to the Oath Ceremony. She mentioned that I should be receiving my Oath invitation in a couple of weeks in time for the April ceremony. Yet, I was confused because I didn't receive the straight approval (instead I got the form that says "a decision cannot be made at this time").
I don't have a criminal record, and there were two charges I've ever had (no DMV tickets, etc.):
1. Harassment (2006): thrown out. No charges filed. I did some volunteer work, but never was on parole, etc. I was asked about this, and it was a bad break-up in college. I was on ACD (Adjournment contemplating dismissal), which does not count as parole or probation. Conditions are only that the charge is thrown out if I'm on good behavior in the following six motnhs. The case was thrown out and the charge sealed.
2. Open container violation (2009): fine I paid
I haven't had any other fines/fees since as far as I know, and I ran my own criminal check yesterday and it came up clean.
Question: what are your thoughts?

Unfortunately, regardless of what the officer said at the interview, they have 120 days from the day of your interview to respond... you can contact them by phone or make an appointment and visit them in person before then, but be prepared to be told that your case is within normal processing times. They first need to approve your application (since that hasn't happened yet) then they will schedule a ceremony. If they need more details, you may get an RFE (request for evidence) in the mail. It's definitely too early to start worrying, but if you haven't heard anything in a couple of months, you might want to contact them (again, don't expect much of a response until your application has been waiting longer than the normal processing time).

So that's the standard answer, but hopefully you won't need to do much waiting and you'll get a response in the next few weeks.

Edited by JimmyHou

For a review of each step of my N-400 naturalization process, from application to oath ceremony, please click here.

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Thanks for the quick response. I even asked my officer (to help overcome any ambiguity) "thumbs up?" She said "yes, thumbs up. This happens all the time, and the turnaround should be relatively quick. Since the march ceremony is almost full, I'll be most likely invited to the April ceremony".

What is it that they'd check in this background check? Should I hire a lawyer? Lastly, my wife and I heading to Europe for a few days late March. I asked the officer if this'll be a big deal. She said "no" since i'm well below the 6 month limit, but I should have someone watch my mail in case I get my oath invitation. Lastly, she felt like I'd be OK making the April oath ceremony. She sounded very bullish on my case - is there any point reading into this?

Edited by gsg32

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I think you shouldn't worry 2 much about this. Each office has its own rules, and some officers doesn't have the approval authority on naturalization, specially when there is any incident. I think they just wanna verify the Harassment issue. I know may be if the officer told you that you are approved you might have a closure. But trust me before you get your Naturalization certificate , they can reverse their decision at any moment if the find something in your file.


AOS

day 1 -- 04/11/2012-- package sent to Chicago

day 2 -- 04/12/2012-- package was received.

day 43-- 05/23/2012-- Notice for an interview is received for 06/26 @ 2pm

day 63-- 06/12/2012-- Received a Text & email for an update- Card production EAD/AP

day 77-- 06/26/2012-- interview / approved on the spot.

day 86-- 07/05/2012-- Received my GC in the mail.

ROC

day 1 -- 04/07/2014 -- ROC Package delivered to VSC

day 16 -- 04/23/2014 -- Walk-in Bio.

day 197 -- 10/20/2014-- Approval Letter received dated 10/16/2014

day 202 -- 10/25/2014-- GC received

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That's great news! Congratulations.


06-04-2007 = TSC stamps postal return-receipt for I-129f.

06-11-2007 = NOA1 date (unknown to me).

07-20-2007 = Phoned Immigration Officer; got WAC#; where's NOA1?

09-25-2007 = Touch (first-ever).

09-28-2007 = NOA1, 23 days after their 45-day promise to send it (grrrr).

10-20 & 11-14-2007 = Phoned ImmOffs; "still pending."

12-11-2007 = 180 days; file is "between workstations, may be early Jan."; touches 12/11 & 12/12.

12-18-2007 = Call; file is with Division 9 ofcr. (bckgrnd check); e-prompt to shake it; touch.

12-19-2007 = NOA2 by e-mail & web, dated 12-18-07 (187 days; 201 per VJ); in mail 12/24/07.

01-09-2008 = File from USCIS to NVC, 1-4-08; NVC creates file, 1/15/08; to consulate 1/16/08.

01-23-2008 = Consulate gets file; outdated Packet 4 mailed to fiancee 1/27/08; rec'd 3/3/08.

04-29-2008 = Fiancee's 4-min. consular interview, 8:30 a.m.; much evidence brought but not allowed to be presented (consul: "More proof! Second interview! Bring your fiance!").

05-05-2008 = Infuriating $12 call to non-English-speaking consulate appointment-setter.

05-06-2008 = Better $12 call to English-speaker; "joint" interview date 6/30/08 (my selection).

06-30-2008 = Stokes Interrogations w/Ecuadorian (not USC); "wait 2 weeks; we'll mail her."

07-2008 = Daily calls to DOS: "currently processing"; 8/05 = Phoned consulate, got Section Chief; wrote him.

08-07-08 = E-mail from consulate, promising to issue visa "as soon as we get her passport" (on 8/12, per DHL).

08-27-08 = Phoned consulate (they "couldn't find" our file); visa DHL'd 8/28; in hand 9/1; through POE on 10/9 with NO hassles(!).

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