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johnmhome

Almost completed citzenship, need to travel. What to do?

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I'm a UK citizen, held green card for 10 years.

I applied for citizenship earlier in the year and all proceeded well. My final interview was last week and I passed. Interviewing officer encouraged me to attend next available oath ceremony on Thursday of this week (day after tomorrow). I told him that the timing was not ideal because I am traveling to Europe the following day and therefore would need to use my UK passport to re-enter the country. He said that was not a problem so I went ahead and scheduled the oath taking.

I just learned that at the oath taking they will hold my green card. I travel the following day, and I can't reschedule it. I have researched using my UK passport and citizenship certificate to reenter in 2 weeks, and it seems that's not possible.

Can anyone tell me which is the least bad option:

1. Apply for US passport expedited the day after the oath taking? I will have my certificate and have enough time in the morning before my flight to apply. I can have it shipped to my office and my assistant will FedEx it to me in Europe.

2. Cancel and reschedule the oath taking ceremony? What about the question on the oath form asking 'have you traveled outside the US'

3. Can I get an exemption at the oath taking such they will not remove my green card?

My oath taking is this Thursday in the afternoon, my flight to Europe is the next day,in the late afternoon. I can't delay my flight.

What to do?

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The State Department Processes same day passport creation/renewal etc. if you are able to prove to them it is an emergency. They generally just require a confirmed air ticket. My wife got it done from the Philadelphia office....but it takes time, she got there around 9:00am and had her passport around 3:00pm.....

This link might help

http://travel.state.gov/passport/fri/sched...hedule_852.html


****MY MOM'S JOURNEY****

Sponsorship

05/13/2011 Sent I-130 Form for Mother

09/28/2011 NOA2 - I-130approved

10/19/2011 NVC Case Number Assigned

****MY JOURNEY****

Citizenship

06/10/2009 Sent N-400 to TX

07/14/2009 Biometrics Date

09/02/2009 Interview at Mount Laurel Office - verbal approval :)

10/26/2009 Oath Ceremony...Officially a CITIZEN

10/26/2009 Applied for a US Passport

Removing Conditions

06/09/2008 Mailed I-751 Packet, Removal of Conditions on Residence

07/23/2008 Biometrics Done

02/11/2009 Case transferred to CSC

03/23/2009 Case Transferred to Newark, NJ, Awaiting Interview.

06/25/2009 Interview...APPROVED!!!...Never Received 10 year GC

AOS

03/24/2006 Sent AOS Forms (I-130, I-485, I-765)

04/18/2006 Biometrics Processed

05/13/2006 RFE for I-485 processing (need I-864)

06/20/2006 Sent in RFE

07/22/2006 Recieved EAD card

09/06/2006 AOS Interview...APPROVED

09/18/2006 Got my PR Card

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Filed: Citizen (pnd) Country: England
Timeline
I'm a UK citizen, held green card for 10 years.

I applied for citizenship earlier in the year and all proceeded well. My final interview was last week and I passed. Interviewing officer encouraged me to attend next available oath ceremony on Thursday of this week (day after tomorrow). I told him that the timing was not ideal because I am traveling to Europe the following day and therefore would need to use my UK passport to re-enter the country. He said that was not a problem so I went ahead and scheduled the oath taking.

I just learned that at the oath taking they will hold my green card. I travel the following day, and I can't reschedule it. I have researched using my UK passport and citizenship certificate to reenter in 2 weeks, and it seems that's not possible.

Can anyone tell me which is the least bad option:

1. Apply for US passport expedited the day after the oath taking? I will have my certificate and have enough time in the morning before my flight to apply. I can have it shipped to my office and my assistant will FedEx it to me in Europe.

2. Cancel and reschedule the oath taking ceremony? What about the question on the oath form asking 'have you traveled outside the US'

3. Can I get an exemption at the oath taking such they will not remove my green card?

My oath taking is this Thursday in the afternoon, my flight to Europe is the next day,in the late afternoon. I can't delay my flight.

What to do?

If you got to the passport agency first thing, they could probably get a passport done by 3pm. Sounds like that would be too late for you.

I don't think 3 is an option. And 1 would make me too nervous..... what if it got lost in shipping. Can you be away for however long they take to process expedited passports at the moment.

You could re-schedule the oath, I did that a couple of times because my wife and I couldn't get there on the same day. I sent the oath form back with a letter explaining why I couldn't make it and they were happy to re-schedule it for me. The question on the oath form isn't a problem, you just tell them where you went and how long. Assuming you are not near the limits on time out of the US etc. you would be fine.

P


Philadelphia

Sent N-400: 11/5/08

PD: 11/10/08

FP notice: 11/25/08

FP Date: 12/10/08

IL: 2/2/09

ID: 3/20/09 (Recommended for approval)

OL: 4/29/09

OD: 5/8/09 (re-scheduled from 4/10 and then 4/28) (Completed - Now a Citizen )

Passport applied: 5/12/09 (Philadelphia Passport Office)

Passport book received: 5/13/09 (Philadelphia Passport Office)

Passport card received: 6/8/09 (USPS)

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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: England
Timeline

I think the only option is 2.

Once a citizen you have to use a US passport to enter and leave the US. When leaving the airline will send the manifest details with your non US passport shown on it to Department of Homeland Security. When coming home the airline will send the manifest in advance of takeoff to the same place with your US passport details on it. While it may not be a problem at all it seems quite a chance to take that it wouldn't cause you serious problems.

In the oath ceremony reports people have posted they are been asked if the details are still correct and had the opportunity to make the necessary corrections. To me that seems a lot less worrying to do then your first proposal.

Edited by Lansbury

What to expect at the POE - WIKI entry

IR-1 Timeline IR-1 details in my timeline

N-400 Timeline

2009-08-21 Applied for US Citizenship

2009-08-28 NOA

2009-09-22 Biometrics appointment

2009-12-01 Interview - Approved

2009-12-02 Oath ceremony - now a US Citizen

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Start from option 3: You can't get an exeption and be allowed to keep your green card. And even if you could, it wouldn't do you any good. INA 215(b) says "Except as otherwise provided by the President and subject to such limitations and exceptions as the President may authorize and prescribe, it shall be unlawful for any citizen of the United States to depart from or enter, or attempt to depart from or enter, the United States unless he bears a valid United States passport".

Unless you get President Obama to grant you an exception, once you're a US Citizen, you've got to use a US passport to leave or enter the US. There used to be exceptions for travel to Canada, Mexico and the Carribbean, but they've pretty much been phased out.

As for your second option, you can reschedule. When you come to your new later oath ceremony, they'll ask a question about international travel between the interview and oath. As long as the travel doesn't push your days outside the US to a point where you'd fail to meet the physical presence requirement, it won't be a problem at all. We had a ten day international vacation between the interview and oath, and it wasn't a problem.

Your first option may be a possibility, but that would be rushing things quite a bit. I'd probably reschedule the cermony if it were me.

When you walk out of that naturalization oath ceremony, as far as the legal requirements for international travel go, you are exactly equivalent to any other US citizen who has not yet obtained his first US passport. You need to get a US passport before you can travel.


04 Apr, 2004: Got married

05 Apr, 2004: I-130 Sent to CSC

13 Apr, 2004: I-130 NOA 1

19 Apr, 2004: I-129F Sent to MSC

29 Apr, 2004: I-129F NOA 1

13 Aug, 2004: I-130 Approved by CSC

28 Dec, 2004: I-130 Case Complete at NVC

18 Jan, 2005: Got the visa approved in Caracas

22 Jan, 2005: Flew home together! CCS->MIA->SFO

25 May, 2005: I-129F finally approved! We won't pursue it.

8 June, 2006: Our baby girl is born!

24 Oct, 2006: Window for filing I-751 opens

25 Oct, 2006: I-751 mailed to CSC

18 Nov, 2006: I-751 NOA1 received from CSC

30 Nov, 2006: I-751 Biometrics taken

05 Apr, 2007: I-751 approved, card production ordered

23 Jan, 2008: N-400 sent to CSC via certified mail

19 Feb, 2008: N-400 Biometrics taken

27 Mar, 2008: Naturalization interview notice received (NOA2 for N-400)

30 May, 2008: Naturalization interview, passed the test!

17 June, 2008: Naturalization oath notice mailed

15 July, 2008: Naturalization oath ceremony!

16 July, 2008: Registered to vote and applied for US passport

26 July, 2008: US Passport arrived.

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Filed: K-1 Visa Country: United Kingdom
Timeline

They at the ceremony, give you the citizenship certificate, should that plus your uk passport be enough to get back home to usa?


b2gel0s1sc.png

We're a April 2009 K1 filer, see our timeline for specifics....:-)

Adjustment of Status

Event Date

Date Filed : 2009-01-31

Date: 2010-02-02

Bio. Appt. : 2010-03-09

EAD received: 2010-04-01

Interview Date 2010-04-29--APPROVED!

VISA IN HAND: 2010-05-28--WAHOOO!

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Filed: Citizen (pnd) Country: France
Timeline

Just reschedule either your trip or the ceremony. Is it urgent for you to become a citizen, I mean are you applying to a gvt job? if not just waiting a couple of weeks does not seem to be a big deal. You don't want to be arrested at the border by an agent and subsequently have to make a correction to your n400 plus provide the paperwork.

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They at the ceremony, give you the citizenship certificate, should that plus your uk passport be enough to get back home to usa?

Nope. A certificate of citizenship is not a travel document. You can't even use it to come back from Canada or Mexico anymore. The airlines probably won't allow you to board the US-bound plane.

You might be able to use it at an overseas US embassy to get an emergency US passport, but then they'll drill you on why you didn't get your passport before you left. See INA 215(b).


04 Apr, 2004: Got married

05 Apr, 2004: I-130 Sent to CSC

13 Apr, 2004: I-130 NOA 1

19 Apr, 2004: I-129F Sent to MSC

29 Apr, 2004: I-129F NOA 1

13 Aug, 2004: I-130 Approved by CSC

28 Dec, 2004: I-130 Case Complete at NVC

18 Jan, 2005: Got the visa approved in Caracas

22 Jan, 2005: Flew home together! CCS->MIA->SFO

25 May, 2005: I-129F finally approved! We won't pursue it.

8 June, 2006: Our baby girl is born!

24 Oct, 2006: Window for filing I-751 opens

25 Oct, 2006: I-751 mailed to CSC

18 Nov, 2006: I-751 NOA1 received from CSC

30 Nov, 2006: I-751 Biometrics taken

05 Apr, 2007: I-751 approved, card production ordered

23 Jan, 2008: N-400 sent to CSC via certified mail

19 Feb, 2008: N-400 Biometrics taken

27 Mar, 2008: Naturalization interview notice received (NOA2 for N-400)

30 May, 2008: Naturalization interview, passed the test!

17 June, 2008: Naturalization oath notice mailed

15 July, 2008: Naturalization oath ceremony!

16 July, 2008: Registered to vote and applied for US passport

26 July, 2008: US Passport arrived.

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Filed: Citizen (pnd) Country: Canada
Timeline
Just reschedule either your trip or the ceremony. Is it urgent for you to become a citizen, I mean are you applying to a gvt job? if not just waiting a couple of weeks does not seem to be a big deal. You don't want to be arrested at the border by an agent and subsequently have to make a correction to your n400 plus provide the paperwork.

Reschedule the trip is the most common response for a reason. Delaying the oath ceremony puts you back into the INS system which in some cases could take a long time. People need to figure out which is more important to them a trip or citizenship.

Most places will warn people to not make any long range travel plans like that after filing the N-400 because you will never know when you may get called upon.

There have been many variations with delaying the oath, some get it fast others have waited over a year. It's not a simple thing like delay it and just go the next one.

But yeah the same day passport would be the other safest option then and leave delaying it as a last resort...


I'm just a wanderer in the desert winds...

Timeline

1997

Oct - Job offer in US

Nov - Received my TN-1 to be authorized to work in the US

Nov - Moved to US

1998-2001

Recieved 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th TN

2002

May - Met future wife at arts fest

Nov - Recieved 6th TN

2003

Nov - Recieved 7th TN

Jul - Our Wedding

Aug - Filed for AOS

Sep - Recieved EAD

Sep - Recieved Advanced Parole

2004

Jan - Interview, accepted for Green Card

Feb - Green Card Arrived in mail

2005

Oct - I-751 sent off

2006

Jan - 10 year Green Card accepted

Mar - 10 year Green Card arrived

Oct - Filed N-400 for Naturalization

Nov - Biometrics done

Nov - Just recieved Naturalization Interview date for Jan.

2007

Jan - Naturalization Interview Completed

Feb - Oath Letter recieved

Feb - Oath Ceremony

Feb 21 - Finally a US CITIZEN (yay)

THE END

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Filed: Country: Austria
Timeline
Reschedule the trip is the most common response for a reason. Delaying the oath ceremony puts you back into the INS system which in some cases could take a long time. People need to figure out which is more important to them a trip or citizenship.

Agree on that. Rescheduling the oath ceremony causes a big delay and therefore a hassle with paperwork again.

I don't know which airline you are using for travel; I can only speak about Delta - they charge between $100 and $150 for rescheduling a flight date. This is not that big a deal. Easier to do that than messing around with the oath ceremony.

Do the oath and postpone your trip in a manner so you know for sure you have your US passport in your hand right in time and not worry about re-entry.

Just my 2 cents. ;)

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Reschedule the trip is the most common response for a reason. Delaying the oath ceremony puts you back into the INS system which in some cases could take a long time. People need to figure out which is more important to them a trip or citizenship.

Agree on that. Rescheduling the oath ceremony causes a big delay and therefore a hassle with paperwork again.

I don't know which airline you are using for travel; I can only speak about Delta - they charge between $100 and $150 for rescheduling a flight date. This is not that big a deal. Easier to do that than messing around with the oath ceremony.

Do the oath and postpone your trip in a manner so you know for sure you have your US passport in your hand right in time and not worry about re-entry.

Just my 2 cents. ;)

I'm very grateful for all the advice. I have decided to ask to reschedule the oath ceremony. During my interview I did explain about my travel plans and they still steered me towards the oath ceremony the day before I fly, and I even pointed out that I'd need to re-enter the US on my UK passport, and they said this was OK. Of course I since learned I cannot do this.

Therefore because I feel CIS made a small error, I am hoping they will be flexible. Certainly during the interview everyone was very nice.

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Filed: Citizen (pnd) Country: Ireland
Timeline

Good decision I think!

When I was at POE 3 years ago I was given ROC advice by the Border Patrol/Immigration Officer. Thankfully it was this website that ensured I didn't mess up when it came to removing conditions as I followed the advice listed by users on VJ which was correct as oppossed to the advice given at POE which turned out to be incorrect.


Timeline

I-130

February 13, 2006: I-130 filed (US Embassy, Dublin, Ireland).

April 18, 2006: Interview date received.

May 02, 2006: Interview (US Embassy, Dublin, Ireland). Visa approved.

June 14, 2006: Moved to Charlotte, NC.

July 20, 2006: 'Welcome to the United States' letter received.

July 21, 2006: Applied for SSN.

July 29, 2006: SSN received.

September 05, 2006: 2 year Permanent Resident card received.

I-751

April 09, 2008: Mailed I-751 to TSC.

April 15, 2008: Check cashed.

April 16, 2008: Case transferred to VSC.

April 23, 2008: Biometrics appointment letter received.

May 10, 2008: Biometrics appointment.

June 28, 2008: Moved to Clearwater, FL (Filed AR-11 and I-865).

March 04,2009: 10 year Permanent Resident card production ordered.

March 13,2009: 10 year Permanent Resident card received.

N-400

April 24, 2009: Mailed N-400 to TX Lockbox.

April 30, 2009: NOA1 Notice date.

May 11, 2009: Biometrics appointment letter received.

May 16, 2009: Biometrics complete (walk-in).

June 04, 2009: Interview letter received.

July 23, 2009: Interview.

July 23, 2009: Oath. I am a US citizen!

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Reschedule the trip is the most common response for a reason. Delaying the oath ceremony puts you back into the INS system which in some cases could take a long time. People need to figure out which is more important to them a trip or citizenship.

Agree on that. Rescheduling the oath ceremony causes a big delay and therefore a hassle with paperwork again.

I don't know which airline you are using for travel; I can only speak about Delta - they charge between $100 and $150 for rescheduling a flight date. This is not that big a deal. Easier to do that than messing around with the oath ceremony.

Do the oath and postpone your trip in a manner so you know for sure you have your US passport in your hand right in time and not worry about re-entry.

Just my 2 cents. ;)

I'm very grateful for all the advice. I have decided to ask to reschedule the oath ceremony.

Quick update: I hand delivered a letter requesting reschedule of oath ceremony and then departed for my vacation. Upon my return I find a letter with my new oath ceremony date of August 20th. Looks like reschedule was least painful option and I'm grateful again for the advoce.

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