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Michiko225

December 2018 Houston Oath Ceremony Timeline

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I didn't find a lot of posts about what to expect and the length of the ceremony, so I'd like to share my experience here. IT'S FINALLY DONE! So glad that now I'm part of this great country. Houstonians beware: it will be crowded. And come early so that you can leave early. Good luck everyone!

 

5:30 am - woke up

6:25 am - arrived at the MO Campbell Center. There was already a line... I was assigned to section 9 and fortunately reported to the correct side (5-9 on the left). Your form would be inspected by 2 USCIS officials who would guide you to the correct line.

6:35 am - already in the hallway, handed in my GC and received a color paper. It will be useful later.

before 7 am - found a seat in the middle. Got my welcoming package.

7 - 9:15 am - checking in people. The door was officially closed by ~9:20 ish today.

9:40 am - USCIS supervisor gave a speech

10:00 am - the judge arrived, the official hearing process started.

We were asked to stand up to show our respects to the TX and the national flags. Then the judge interacted with the representative from USCIS, confirming that each applicant was eligible. (We had 2,300 people becoming citizens today) Then we took the oath, had two invited guest speakers, and sang two songs (the national anthem and God Bless the USA). The judge was really nice, he shared his inspiring stories and stayed really late to take photos with new citizens.

around 10:45 am - the official part of the oath ceremony was done, people were called out to collect their certificates by color. The first one was green, then pink, then yellow. I was definitely not the earliest as I stayed until my color, yellow, was called. I picked up my certificate at my previous section and briefly reviewed all details, ensuring that all information is correct.

11:07 am - I was out.

There were a lot of people, but it's structured. USCIS checked in people really fast. The ceremony started exactly at 10, which was good (I had an appointment in Bryan at 1 pm and was able to make it). Basically it's like a one-stop shop - you can register to vote, apply for passports, renew SSA information all in one place (reminder: a lot of people around though). So I would say come in early, sit back and enjoy. They offered coffee & donuts but I didn't get one :)

Good luck everybody! Hopefully you'd find this post helpful.

 

TL;DR: For Houstonians, the oath ceremony will take at least half a day.

Edited by Michiko225

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