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Consulate / USCIS Member Review #32620

Baltimore MD Review on October 20, 2023:


Review Topic: Naturalization

My husband had his Naturalization interview this week. Ironically the day after Kevin McCarthy got tossed out of speakership, so we wondered how that question could be answered correctly if it came up. It was quite a long trip for us, and I wasn't sure if I
would be allowed in with him so he went in by himself. He arrived 20 minutes before his appointment. It wasn't too busy. There was TSA style security first, and then waiting for his appointment was about 45 minutes. You are given a number which is supposed to show up on the screen. His number took about 20 minutes to appear on the screen, so if your number doesn't appear immediately don't worry.

His interview was about 10 minutes in length. The officer was very polite and no-nonsense. He asked for his NOA and asked for his US ID and his green card. My husband was very nervous and accidently handed him his UK driving license without realizing it. The officer was confused by this, but eventually that got cleared up, and had a laugh. He asked to confirm personal details and a few of the N400 questions.

Keep in mind we had been initially nervous about tax questions, since we were unable to obtain every single tax transcript from the IRS, but were able to give them tax forms. But the officer did not want to see any of it. So I'd say as long as you have some sort of a combination of transcripts and forms this is not really an issue. Another potential issue was the green card itself - it had originally been issued with a typo of his gender. Changing him from male to female. For a variety of factors we chose not to correct it. The office was not interested and it wasn't a problem. All information in their system had my husband listed with the correct gender, so the office surmised it was the fault of the printing office that printed it. We also could not find his EAD to return it with the green cards for the ceremony. They were not bothered by that either.

He asked the six questions:

1) What is the economic system in the United States
2) In what month do we vote for President
3) What is the name of the Vice President
4) Who is the Commander in Chief of the military
5) What is one responsibility that is only for US citizens
6) Who was President during the Great Depression and WW II (hilariously the question that would trip him up the most)

The reading was: When is Columbus Day
The writing was: Columbus Day is in October

He was informed that he had passed the test and that he needed to confirm the information that was going to be
on his naturalization certificate. After showing him the Oath, my husband requested a modified oath, which was granted. He then informed that he would be notified by mail that his oath ceremony would be scheduled. Later in the day the website updated to reflect his Oath ceremony would be scheduled, and the next morning his Oath appointment letter was uploaded.


For the Oath Ceremony we arrived 30 minutes beforehand. I attended with my husband as well as a friend. Everyone was friendly and congratulatory. They did not care how many guests and did not ask for ID. After going through TSA style security, we were directed into a crowded waiting area (over 100 people). A few minutes later, some officers directed all guests, translators, and family of the immigrants to leave and go to the ceremony room. This caused some confusion due to language barrier. Most people opted to dress up, some wore whatever they wanted, and others wore their outfits of national origin proudly. Young and old were all here to celebrate this day. It was moving to hear some of the stories of what people had been through.

I wished my husband luck and waited with our friend in the other room. About 15 minutes later my husband joined us after surrendering his green cards and ensuring his certificate was correct. He was holding his ceremony packet. It contained his citizenship certificate, information leaflet, Presidential letter, and flag. We were somewhat confused that the photograph they used was quite old (from 2016) instead of a current one they had recently taken at the office.

The ceremony began late at this point. The officiant for the ceremony was the Officer that had presided over my husband's interview, and indeed he was the officer who had handled every case in the room that day - 58 individuals from 35 countries. It was remarkable to see so many proud faces. He honored veterans in the room and all the immigrants one by one to applause. After taking the oath, we watched a message from the President, sang the national anthem, and recited the pledge.

After giving final instructions, he wished all new citizens well, and allowed us to gather and take photos. There was so much joy in that room! Overall our experience with the Baltimore office was smooth and pleasant, compared to the rest of our journey that at times provided stress.

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