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Father passed citizenship interview. He suddenly passed away before oath ceremony.

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My dad died last June 24 at age 69. It was sudden. He died at work. We are all very much heartbroken. More so because all he wanted to do was be at his oath taking ceremony. You see, dad passed his citizenship interview on June 11 of this year. He was waiting patiently for his oath taking notice in the mail and was very excited about becoming an American.

My question is this, what happens now? Does he get his citizenship certificate posthumously?

I have called the USCIS and spoke to an agent, who was very sympathetic, however, all she could say was for us - the family - to wait for dad's oath ceremony notice in the mail. She then said we should write USCIS that my dad has passed away with a copy of his death certificate. But she didn't really answer if we will still get his citizenship certificate.

Considering he did not take the oath when he died, I assume dad died a non-American... is this right?

All very heartbreaking. We buried dad wearing an American flag tie... something he was saving for the oath taking ceremony.

Any information will help. Thank you.

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May you be comforted among all who mourn.


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01-23-2008 = Consulate gets file; outdated Packet 4 mailed to fiancee 1/27/08; rec'd 3/3/08.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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My dad died last June 24 at age 69. It was sudden. He died at work. We are all very much heartbroken. More so because all he wanted to do was be at his oath taking ceremony. You see, dad passed his citizenship interview on June 11 of this year. He was waiting patiently for his oath taking notice in the mail and was very excited about becoming an American.

My question is this, what happens now? Does he get his citizenship certificate posthumously?

I have called the USCIS and spoke to an agent, who was very sympathetic, however, all she could say was for us - the family - to wait for dad's oath ceremony notice in the mail. She then said we should write USCIS that my dad has passed away with a copy of his death certificate. But she didn't really answer if we will still get his citizenship certificate.

Considering he did not take the oath when he died, I assume dad died a non-American... is this right?

All very heartbreaking. We buried dad wearing an American flag tie... something he was saving for the oath taking ceremony.

Any information will help. Thank you.

I'm very sorry to hear about your loss.

To answer your question, your father did not become a US citizen because he did not take the oath of citizenship. The oath is the crucial last step in becoming a citizen. To give you an example, if an applicant is approved at his interview based on marriage to an American wife, but the wife dies before the oath ceremony, then the husband will not be allowed to take the oath and become a citizen.

There's a little more information here on this non-USCIS website: http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/youre-not-naturalized-us-citizen-until-you-take-the-oath.html

Congress can award posthumous naturalization, but that is very rare and is usually reserved high profile cases.

It's probably best that you focus on your family at this time and put your father's natiralization behind you. However, if it helps you and gives you something to do, then there's no harm in trying to contact USCIS for more information.

I hope that this does not affect the immigration status of the rest of your family.


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

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How horrible, so sorry for the loss in your family


Wiz(USC) and Udella(Cdn & USC!)

Naturalization

02/22/11 - Filed

02/28/11 - NOA

03/28/11 - FP

06/17/11 - status change - scheduled for interview

06/20?/11 - received physical interview letter

07/13/11 - Interview in Fairfax,VA - easiest 10 minutes of my life

07/19/11 - Oath ceremony in Fairfax, VA

******************

Removal of Conditions

12/1/09 - received at VSC

12/2/09 - NOA's for self and daughter

01/12/10 - Biometrics completed

03/15/10 - 10 Green Card Received - self and daughter

******************

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Thank you for the kind words. I figured that dad did not become an American but I take comfort in knowing that he died knowing he passed the citizenship interview and was on his way to becoming one. I am sad for him... but comforted nonetheless.

His becoming a citizen or dying as a non-US citizen doesn't hinder any of us since mom, myself and my siblings are all Americans. He was the last one to become an American. He waited so long since he was so nervous about the interview. But we encouraged him and encouraged him and finally, he had the interview and he passed! He was so happy. But I hope this is a lesson for people who wait before they file their N400. Do it soon. Don't wait too long.

Thank you again for reading.

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Sorry to hear that :(

Hope you and your family live well.

Thank you for the kind words. I figured that dad did not become an American but I take comfort in knowing that he died knowing he passed the citizenship interview and was on his way to becoming one. I am sad for him... but comforted nonetheless.

His becoming a citizen or dying as a non-US citizen doesn't hinder any of us since mom, myself and my siblings are all Americans. He was the last one to become an American. He waited so long since he was so nervous about the interview. But we encouraged him and encouraged him and finally, he had the interview and he passed! He was so happy. But I hope this is a lesson for people who wait before they file their N400. Do it soon. Don't wait too long.

Thank you again for reading.

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My deepest condolences. But as you mentioned, I am sure he felt so proud of himself passing the interview. He knew he would have become a citizen in a matter of time. Maybe that in itself made him really happy. He will always be with all of you in your hearts. May his soul rest in peace


"A million years if I could live,
A thousand lives if I could give,
I would spend it all again with you,
Don't forget where you belong,
Only with me you are strong,
Not even the gods above can break,
Baby what we have"

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Don't be sad for him, he was happy knowing he passed the test and was about to take the oath. My condolences to your family, and what a wonderful gesture burying him in the tie he was going to wear at the oath ceremony. He was an American at heart



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Thank you for the kind words. I figured that dad did not become an American but I take comfort in knowing that he died knowing he passed the citizenship interview and was on his way to becoming one. I am sad for him... but comforted nonetheless.

His becoming a citizen or dying as a non-US citizen doesn't hinder any of us since mom, myself and my siblings are all Americans. He was the last one to become an American. He waited so long since he was so nervous about the interview. But we encouraged him and encouraged him and finally, he had the interview and he passed! He was so happy. But I hope this is a lesson for people who wait before they file their N400. Do it soon. Don't wait too long.

Thank you again for reading.

He didn't become a US citizen, but he raised children who clearly appreciated him, cared for him, and who now miss him. He sounds like a 100% successful man to me.


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

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