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metsphan23

My wife finally got the letter for interview...what can she expect?

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My wife finally got the letter for the interview for naturalization. It said to expect to stay there for about 2 hours. What can she expect? Can I go with her and wait in a waiting room? It says reading writing and a quiz is what's gonna take place? 

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She will be tested on her English language skills and also have to answer civics questions correctly. They will also ask questions about how much time age has spent outside the USA in the last 3 years (assuming she is filing based on the 3-year rule for spouses of USCs), her background and character, etc. 


 

 

 

 

 

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14 hours ago, metsphan23 said:

My wife finally got the letter for the interview for naturalization. It said to expect to stay there for about 2 hours. What can she expect? Can I go with her and wait in a waiting room? It says reading writing and a quiz is what's gonna take place? 

There is a test of her ability to read and write English - read a short sentence from a piece of paper followed by writing down a short sentence that the examiner will read to her. Then she will be asked about her knowledge of US 'Civics' which is basically US history, geography and politics. There are 100 possible questions the officer could ask and they are all listed on the USCIS website with their answers here:

 

https://www.uscis.gov/sites/default/files/USCIS/Office of Citizenship/Citizenship Resource Center Site/Publications/PDFs/M-623_red_slides.pdf

 

I then found that this was useful to practice the answers using this interactive tool on the USCIS website which asks 20 of the questions (different ones each time you use it). I would run through these on my PC over lunch at work each day for a couple of weeks leading up to the interview date to practice.

 

https://my.uscis.gov/prep/test/civics

 

The good news is that the officer will ask 10 of the possible 100 questions and your wife will only have to answer 6 correctly to pass. He will stop asking once she answers the sixth question correctly.

 

As soon as the officer greets your wife in the waiting room for her interview and starts talking to her "Hello How are you?' etc., they will be assessing your wife's ability to understand English by how she responds to the conversation.

 

With the English and Civics test out of the way (the officers normally start the interview with these) the officer will then review the answers on the N-400 application. I took a copy of my N-400 application along with me as there were some parts I wanted to correct and having a copy in front of me helped me follow along and make sure I didn't miss anything. There is no rule that doesn't allow the applicant to have a copy of their application with them at the interview.

 

That's pretty much it.

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15 hours ago, Texaco5 said:

There is a test of her ability to read and write English - read a short sentence from a piece of paper followed by writing down a short sentence that the examiner will read to her. Then she will be asked about her knowledge of US 'Civics' which is basically US history, geography and politics. There are 100 possible questions the officer could ask and they are all listed on the USCIS website with their answers here:

 

https://www.uscis.gov/sites/default/files/USCIS/Office of Citizenship/Citizenship Resource Center Site/Publications/PDFs/M-623_red_slides.pdf

 

I then found that this was useful to practice the answers using this interactive tool on the USCIS website which asks 20 of the questions (different ones each time you use it). I would run through these on my PC over lunch at work each day for a couple of weeks leading up to the interview date to practice.

 

https://my.uscis.gov/prep/test/civics

 

The good news is that the officer will ask 10 of the possible 100 questions and your wife will only have to answer 6 correctly to pass. He will stop asking once she answers the sixth question correctly.

 

As soon as the officer greets your wife in the waiting room for her interview and starts talking to her "Hello How are you?' etc., they will be assessing your wife's ability to understand English by how she responds to the conversation.

 

With the English and Civics test out of the way (the officers normally start the interview with these) the officer will then review the answers on the N-400 application. I took a copy of my N-400 application along with me as there were some parts I wanted to correct and having a copy in front of me helped me follow along and make sure I didn't miss anything. There is no rule that doesn't allow the applicant to have a copy of their application with them at the interview.

 

That's pretty much it.

 

ok, after all this is done, what happens at the end? they will be in touch via mail? or say she passed right away? whats usually the next step

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33 minutes ago, metsphan23 said:

 

ok, after all this is done, what happens at the end? they will be in touch via mail? or say she passed right away? whats usually the next step

At the end of the interview the officer will tell your wife whether she passed or failed the interview or if he needs more information before he can make a final decision (knows as a Request For Evidence or RFE). The officer will also hand your wife a copy of Form N-652 with the confirmation of her passing the English test and the civics test.

 

There will also be a box lower down the form which will either be checked as 'congratulations, you passed and your case is being recommended for approval' or 'A decision cannot be made at this time'.

 

I would recommend that your wife asks the officer what happens next at the end of the interview as they will explain when the next oath ceremony is etc. (I did this at the end of my interview and the officer was happy to answer).

 

Once your wife passes in the interview, the next stage is that her file will be quality reviewed by the officer's supervisor. Once this is complete she will be 'placed in-line for an oath ceremony'. Once they have scheduled the date for the oath ceremony the status of her application will be changed to 'An oath ceremony has been scheduled and a letter sent' and you will receive the oath ceremony invitation letter around 4-7 days later in the mail.

 

You can check the progress of your wife's case through these stages by going to the USCIS website at the address below and typing in your wife's Reference number (it will begin with either NBC or IOE and will be printed at the top of her interview letter).

 

https://egov.uscis.gov/casestatus/landing.do

 

If you set up an account with the USCIS using the above link, their system will also automatically text and/or email updates as her case progresses through the next stages.

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2 hours ago, metsphan23 said:

ok thank you

 

my wife will be a little nervous. if i go with her, do i wait in a waiting room or lobby?

At the Los Angeles USCIS office, there was a large waiting area with seats with a window at the front where I handed in my interview letter. My wife sat there until my interview was over. Your local office may be laid out a little differently, however you will wait for her in the waiting area.

 

Oh, and the officer will understand that your wife may be nervous as a lot of people they interview are similarly nervous.

Edited by Texaco5

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oh and another question...it says to bring an original marriage certificate...i dont think we know the exact location of it, nor will we be able to find it in time...can we bring a copy? is it bad to only bring a copy? depends on the mood of the immigration officer?

 

thank you

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4 hours ago, metsphan23 said:

oh and another question...it says to bring an original marriage certificate...i dont think we know the exact location of it, nor will we be able to find it in time...can we bring a copy? is it bad to only bring a copy? depends on the mood of the immigration officer?

 

thank you

You need to bring the original if you can. If you contact the courthouse where your marriage license/certificate was originally issued, you should be able to request a certified copy - I remember ordering a copy from the court in Las Vegas where my wife and I were married. Not showing up with the original carries a risk that the officer will ask to see it and when you don't have it, they'll issue an RFE for you to deliver an original or a certified copy of the original and this will delay the final stages of your wife's approval while you get it, submit it to them and they dig your wife's file out of the pile to carry on processing it. If the copy you have is certified, then you should be OK. I had mine with me, but the officer didn't ask for it - I also had my wife's birth certificate and they didn't ask for that either, even though it was listed in the interview letter.

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10 minutes ago, Texaco5 said:

You need to bring the original if you can. If you contact the courthouse where your marriage license/certificate was originally issued, you should be able to request a certified copy - I remember ordering a copy from the court in Las Vegas where my wife and I were married. Not showing up with the original carries a risk that the officer will ask to see it and when you don't have it, they'll issue an RFE for you to deliver an original or a certified copy of the original and this will delay the final stages of your wife's approval while you get it, submit it to them and they dig your wife's file out of the pile to carry on processing it. If the copy you have is certified, then you should be OK. I had mine with me, but the officer didn't ask for it - I also had my wife's birth certificate and they didn't ask for that either, even though it was listed in the interview letter.

Ok, i will try to figure this out. i mean if she doesnt have the original marriage certificate, they still continue the appointment yes? then at the end just ask for the RFE? or they cut the whole interview short?

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12 minutes ago, metsphan23 said:

Ok, i will try to figure this out. i mean if she doesnt have the original marriage certificate, they still continue the appointment yes? then at the end just ask for the RFE? or they cut the whole interview short?

They won't cut the interview short, but if the officer asks for it and your copy is insufficient to satisfy them, then they will likely issue the RFE for you to produce a copy and the interview will result in the 'A decision cannot be made' on the Form N-652 that they will hand your wife at the end. If they issue an RFE, you have 60-90 days to provide them with the evidence they have requested.

 

Another option would be this if the copy isn't acceptable during the interview - the officer normally has a paper file on their desk which is your wife's immigration history from when she first arrived in the US. Presumably she has had a green card and you would have had to have produced a copy of the marriage certificate for the green card application. If you can't get the certified copy in time, I would ask your wife to show them the copy you have taken and explain that you provided a copy for the green card application and it may be in the file for the officer to compare it to.

 

I would also strongly recommend that you take a copy of the letter or whatever it is you need to send off to the place that has the record of your marriage so that your wife can also prove that you're trying hard to get a certified copy once you realized you couldn't find the original. If the officer doesn't want to accept the copy she takes along, your wife can then show them the letter you have sent to the courthouse requesting the certified copy so that they know that you are in fact trying to get the copy they ask for. You may even be able to print out the basic details of your marriage (date, names etc.) from the courthouse database where you were married and take that along too. Just use Google and see what they offer.

 

I would also recommend that your wife doesn't voluntarily mention anything about not having the original/certified copy unless the officer asks for it.

Edited by Texaco5

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On 5/23/2017 at 5:38 PM, Texaco5 said:

They won't cut the interview short, but if the officer asks for it and your copy is insufficient to satisfy them, then they will likely issue the RFE for you to produce a copy and the interview will result in the 'A decision cannot be made' on the Form N-652 that they will hand your wife at the end. If they issue an RFE, you have 60-90 days to provide them with the evidence they have requested.

 

Another option would be this if the copy isn't acceptable during the interview - the officer normally has a paper file on their desk which is your wife's immigration history from when she first arrived in the US. Presumably she has had a green card and you would have had to have produced a copy of the marriage certificate for the green card application. If you can't get the certified copy in time, I would ask your wife to show them the copy you have taken and explain that you provided a copy for the green card application and it may be in the file for the officer to compare it to.

 

I would also strongly recommend that you take a copy of the letter or whatever it is you need to send off to the place that has the record of your marriage so that your wife can also prove that you're trying hard to get a certified copy once you realized you couldn't find the original. If the officer doesn't want to accept the copy she takes along, your wife can then show them the letter you have sent to the courthouse requesting the certified copy so that they know that you are in fact trying to get the copy they ask for. You may even be able to print out the basic details of your marriage (date, names etc.) from the courthouse database where you were married and take that along too. Just use Google and see what they offer.

 

I would also recommend that your wife doesn't voluntarily mention anything about not having the original/certified copy unless the officer asks for it.

I am 99% sure when we sent the previous RFE, we had sent a certified copy from the NYC marriage office. That should be in our file correct? Anyway, this Thursday I'm going back to the marriage bureau to get another copy just in case. 

 

http://www.cityclerk.nyc.gov/html/about/fees.shtml

 

with that link, do I need to get anything else for the marriage certificate? A certification affixed for an extra 10 dollars? Hand signature with a raised seal? 

 

Thank you 

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1 hour ago, metsphan23 said:

do I need to get anything else for the marriage certificate? A certification affixed for an extra 10 dollars? Hand signature with a raised seal?

I would recommend having it certified for the extra $10. That way the USCIS will know it is a legitimate copy of the original. That is what I did when I got a copy of our marriage certificate.

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