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RunTheRoad

Socially distanced Oath Ceremony at Newark, NJ

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1 hour ago, RunTheRoad said:

My immigration journey came to  a happy conclusion today, when I finally naturalized at a socially distant oath ceremony at the Newark office , nearly a year after I sent in my N 400. My GC came through in 2012 under the AOS category and I was in no hurry to naturalize, but the prevailing political situation finally pushed me to get it done. I sent in my N 400  in June 2019 and passed my interview at the Newark office on Feb 26 of this year.  However, unlike others who passed the interview with me on the same day, I could not naturalize because they had a problem with printing my certificate. At that point, I was told I could expect to naturalize by end of April 2020. And then COVID-19 struck, throwing everything into a tailspin.

 

Then, finally, on June 17, there was some light at the end of the tunnel, when my online status changed to 'Oath Ceremony Scheduled'. No other document was uploaded at that time, but when I checked in the next day, the status had inexplicably changed to "De-scheduled' and a couple of days later, I received the 'Descheduled' notice through USPS, with no alternate date given. It was only then that I learned that I had been scheduled to be sworn in on July 8 at 11 AM,  to be descheduled  again. A couple of agonizing weeks followed,  with me rigorously checking my online status twice a day, still no end. Then, suddenly on July 3, Friday, the Naturalization Notice showed up in my USPS mailbox, just like that, totally out of the blue. And I had been scheduled for July 8 at 1 PM (it had been 11 AM earlier).

 

By this point of time, I was highly skeptical that somehow this too would be jinxed. Yet, I showed up today at 12.30 PM and was checked in and asked to go to Floor #15 where I had to show my ID and then go over to the Immigration Officer who checked my completed documents and asked me to wait.  Masks are compulsory, once you enter the building. There was a mix of people at the waiting room, all of them seated six feet apart from each other, in chairs that had been specially arranged for social distancing. The USCIS office was also doing a limited number of naturalization interviews today. A few minutes later, another officer showed up and asked those who were scheduled for the oath ceremony to go over to Floor #16. 

 

Over at Floor 16, I had to turn over my GC and completed documents to a senior IO and was asked to take my seat in another socially distanced seating arrangement. No guests were allowed, so it was just us and the USCIS personnel. There were a total of 25 other oath takers in the room, along with me. Even at this point of time, as I was waiting to be sworn in, the self doubt would not go away, for I fully expected the officers to tell me that either 1) my oath ceremony had been de-scheduled again or 2) they could not locate my naturalization certificate and so I would have to wait for another indefinite period of time till that was fixed. It was not until the IO actually announced that we were all good to go that I breathed a final sigh of relief. I was on the last step of my US Citizenship journey.

 

What followed after that was rather anti climatic. The ceremony itself started at around 1:05 and was all done by 1:20. The IO first welcomed everyone present, then congratulated us on our path so far, gave a short inspirational speech and  asked us to raise our right hands to take the Oath of Allegiance (which we had to read out from a piece of paper handed to us). Then, we were handed over our certificates and asked to check for any errors and get them fixed before leaving the hall (if we noticed errors after leaving the hall, it would cost us an extra $500-$600 to get it corrected and it would take nine more months, ouch!). Mine was all good and we were then dismissed. Some of us took pictures (with masks on still) and then showed ourselves out. After all those long years/months of waiting, it seemed surreal and too-good-to-be-true to have it all done and dusted in under 15 minutes. No show, no fanfare, no long drawn out speeches.

So, now, the other processes have to be set in motion: apply for a new passport, register to vote, update my DL/SSN.  But, as of today, I am a citizen of this great nation and I couldn't be more happier. A few hours later, that reality is yet to sink in.

 

Congrats!

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Congrats and thank you for sharing your experience!!

Many others are waiting to hear back about that field office so I know they'll be glad to read that there's movement 🙂


IR-1/CR-1
Spoiler

GOT MARRIED: 3-APR-2015 :wub:

HUSBAND FILED I-130: 29-MAY-2015

VISAS APPROVED: 15-JUN-2016

VISAS IN HAND; GREEN CARD FEES PAID: 21-JUN-2016

PORT OF ENTRY - FT. LAUDERDALE INTL AIRPORT: 06-AUG-2016
CONDITIONAL GREEN CARDS RECEIVED: 23-SEP-2016
 
I-751 FILER   
Spoiler
FILED REMOVAL OF CONDITIONS: 25-JUN-2018
FILE SENT TO NEBRASKA SERVICE CENTER 11-MAY-2019
10-YR GREEN CARDS APPROVED 17-JUN-2019 
10-YR GREEN CARDS RECEIVED 21-JUN-2019 :dance: 
 
N-400 FILER
FILED CITIZENSHIP ONLINE; RECEIVED NOA1: 8-DEC-2019
BIOMETRICS WALK-IN: 18-DEC-2019
INTERVIEW SCHEDULED: 26-OCT-2020
APPROVED/SAME DAY OATH CEREMONY: 26-OCT-2020
 
image.png.829e15e75ad360bba86f8cf7fc5cfea8.png  DECEMBER 2019 FILERS

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Filed: Citizen (pnd) Country: Russia
Timeline

**Duplicated threads merged; please do not start multiple threads with the same topic**

 

VJ Moderation


Необычные линейки на рабочий стол 

🇷🇺 CR-1 via DCF (Dec 2016-Jun 2017) & I-751 ROC (Apr 2019-Oct 2019)🌹 USC + Russian husband. I am the petitioner.

Spoiler

Info about my DCF Moscow* experience here and here

26-Jul-2016: Married abroad in Russia 👩‍❤️‍👨
21-Dec-2016: I-130 filed at Moscow USCIS field office*
29-Dec-2016: I-130 approved! Yay! 🎊 

17-Jan-2017: Case number received

21-Mar-2017: Medical Exam completed

24-Mar-2017: Interview at Embassy - approved! 🎉

29-Mar-2017: CR-1 Visa received (via mail)

02-Apr-2017: USCIS Immigrant (GC) Fee paid

28-Jun-2017: Port of Entry @ PDX 🛩️

21-Jul-2017: No SSN after three weeks; applied in person at the SSA

22-Jul-2017: GC arrived in the mail 📬

31-Jul-2017: SSN arrived via mail, hurrah!

 

*NOTE: The USCIS Field Office in Moscow is now CLOSED as of February 28th, 2019.

 

Removal of Conditions - MSC Service Center

 28-Jun-2019: Conditional GC expires

30-Mar-2019: Eligible to apply for ROC

01-Apr-2019: ROC in the mail to Phoenix AZ lockbox! 📫

03-Apr-2019: ROC packet delivered to lockbox

09-Apr-2019: USCIS cashed check

09-Apr-2019: Case number received via text - MSC 📲

12-Apr-2019: Extension letter arrives via mail

19-Apr-2019: Biometrics letter arrives via mail

30-Apr-2019: Biometrics appointment at local office

26-Jun-2019: Case ready to be scheduled for interview 

04-Sep-2019: Interview was scheduled - letter to arrive in mail

09-Sep-2019: Interview letter arrived in the mail! ✉️

17-Oct-2019: Interview scheduled @ local USCIS  

18-Oct-2019: Interview cancelled & notice ordered*

18-Oct-2019: Case was approved! 🎉

22-Oct-2019: Card was mailed to me 📨

23-Oct-2019: Card was picked by USPS 

25-Oct-2019: 10 year GC Card received in mail 📬

 

*I don't understand this status because we DID have an interview!

 

🇺🇸 N-400 Application for Naturalization (Apr 2020-??? 2021) 🛂 Online filers note: Use INTERNET EXPLORER! Other browsers may not work!

Spoiler

Filed during Covid-19 & moved states 1 month after filing

30-Mar-2020: N-400 early filing window opens!

01-Apr-2020: Filed N-400 online 💻 

02-Apr-2020: NOA 1 - Receipt No. received online 📃

07-Apr-2020: NOA 1 - Receipt No. received via mail

05-May-2020: Moved to another state, filed AR-11 online

05-May-2020: Application transferred to another USCIS field office for review ➡️

15-May-2020: AR-11 request to change address completed

16-Jul-2020: Filed non-receipt inquiry due to never getting confirmation that case was transferred to new field office

15-Oct-2020: Received generic response to non-receipt inquiry, see full response here

10-Feb-2021: Contacted senator's office for help with USCIS

12-Feb-2021: Received canned response from senator's office that case is within processing time 😡

16-Feb-2021: Contacted other senator's office for help with USCIS - still no biometrics

19-Feb-2021: Biometrics reuse notice - canned response from other senator's office 🌐

23-Feb-2021: Interview scheduled - notice to come in the mail

25-Feb-2021: Biometrics reuse notice arrives via mail

01-Mar-2021: Interview notice letter arrives via mail  ✉️ 

29-Mar-2021: Passed interview at local office! Oath Ceremony to be scheduled

13-Apr-2021: Oath Ceremony notice was mailed

04-May-2021: Oath Ceremony scheduled 🎆 Unable to attend due to illness

04-May-2021: Mailed request to reschedule Oath to local office

05-May-2021: "You did not attend your Oath Ceremony" - notice to come in the mail

06-May-2021: Oath Ceremony will be scheduled, date TBA

12-May-2021: Oath Ceremony re-scheduled for June 3rd, then de-scheduled same day 😡 

??-???-????: TBA...

 

 

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