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Found 28 results

  1. I had given my Citizenship interview on Oct 13th 2017 at Holtsville, Long Island NY field office and had passed the interview, the officer told me to expect the oath ceremony letter in 6 weeks but its now 12 weeks and I've still not received the oath ceremony letter. When I call USCIS they say we have 120 days to make a decision. My wife who gave her interview on Oct 19th (1 week after me) received her oath ceremony letter in December 2017 and got her passport in Jan 1st week 2018. Wondering why the delay? Any suggestions what are my options?
  2. Hi I have a trip on 11 of April and my oath ceremony is on 4 . I booked that trip with my Italian passport but as I understand since I become us citizen only can travel with the American one. Should I change or delay the oath ceremony for when I came back? Is that possible or will be delay forever? Thank you .
  3. All went well. Passed the tests. Approved on the spot. However at the end the systems were down. She gave me the oath schedule form for the same day and asked to wait in lobby while the systems come up. After 30 minutes she called me back to counter and told me to return that form as the systems have crashed and everyone has been asked to go back home. She told me to wait for oath schedule in mail. My online status has changed to we approved your application and that they will let me know when the oath ceremony is. After the interview she gave me the form for the same day to attend the Oath ( Newark has same day oath) but she did say the systems are down. My case was very straightforward. Now I am just scared that I might have fallen into a "hole" in the system! Is anyone in the same situation?
  4. I found this document that explains what you can expect at your oath ceremony. I think it's well-written and easy to read, so I hope some of you will find it helpful. I haven't found any information on it that is currently out-of-date, but note that it is old and check it for yourselves. https://cliniclegal.org/sites/default/files/231718_clinic_09.pdf Please note that this is not an official USCIS document. It covers several topics including: - receiving the oath letter - maintaining eligibility before the oath - completing the questionnaire - dressing for the ceremony - what to bring to the ceremony - checking in at the ceremony - ceremony agenda - what to do after the ceremony - possible de-naturalization - sample oath letter - sample naturalization certificate
  5. Hi everyone, Had a question on Naturalization Oath Ceremonies in Sacramento, CA. Does the Sacramento Field Office have Judicial Oath Ceremony any more? (even as a special ceremony, as they seem to have changed to Administrative Oaths recently). The reason I am asking is because, I would like to change my name and that requires a Judicial Oath Ceremony. From reading many online posts, I know I absolutely need to get the "Name Change" Court Order certificate, and hence there needs to be a Judicial Oath Ceremony. Can someone share their recent experience with changing Name in Sacramento? Things have changed recently, so ideally looking for some experience in 2013 or possibly 2012. Thank you!
  6. Hi Everyone! I AM FINISHED!! I would like to share my entire process for the Philly FO since I barely saw any here when I first started. I attached my timeline taken from USCIS.gov but I also have a few pointers and a little more detail that it doesn't show. I filed by mail (because I didn't know you could do it online at the time). My GC had expired about 3 months before I started the application. I sought advice from some online lawyers about whether I should have my GC renewed since I already started the citizenship process & they all said yes. SO, June 20, 2018, I applied for a GC and the lady automatically put in a 1-year extension when I went for my 2nd set of fingerprints (1st set of prints was for n400 in March). My N400 interview was originally scheduled for October but for some reason, they canceled it and automatically rescheduled me for November. I went for my interview on November 20th. Now, this is IMPORTANT! this is a different location then the fingerprints you go through security like you're at an airport (take off shoes, jackets, belts, etc.) check in at the desk so they can put in the system that you are present. The staff will tell you which door you'll need to go to The interview is on the second floor and there are 3 doors. Sit as CLOSE AS POSSIBLE TO YOUR DOOR or you will NOT hear them call your name! (a lot of people talking!) Someone comes out of the door you are assigned to and calls out (apparently I was called 3 separate times but I sat too far and couldn't hear). Fingerprinted again, another photo, and then the staff goes through your application to make sure everything is correct and there are no changes. Finally, the test begins: civic first, reading, then writing. Passed! YAY! Given paper stating, I passed and left.😁 Literally hours later I received a notification online that my oath Ceremony is scheduled to be in 10 days! Got my letter by mail. you have to fill out the back with the date of the ceremony. Ceremony Time!!! (52 people, 33 countries) 😎 Same building as interview except now you're on the first floor The staff hosting it was very friendly and funny Line up row by row to surrender your GC (FOREVER!), verify name spelling and birth date on the certificate (but you don't get it yet!) Watch a couple of videos, sing the national anthem, say the oath, and voila! you're officially sworn in! Row by row we stand and wait for our names to be called to receive our certificates (Like graduation). Watch about 2 more videos and THE END! 💃 You get to register to vote right there also and it takes less than 1 minute to complete. Still, haven't heard anything about my GC but it's useless now! TOTAL TIME: 9 Months
  7. Does anyone know if I would be offered to attend the same day oath ceremony if my naturalization interview is at 12:30pm. I cannot get consistent information on what time the oath ceremony is,usually held,, so if anyone has information to share it would be very helpful. Thank you.
  8. Well ladies and gentlemen, I am officially done on my journey! I had my oath ceremony today at Faneuil Hall in Boston. It's a great historic building in the heart of Boston that really added to the excitement of the event! There were lines going around the building and through the busy market square which generated a lot of interest from passing tourists. Many were very happy for us all. Luckily the weather held out. If you have your ceremony at this venue and the weather looks at all bad BRING AN UMBRELLA. I don't think there is ANYWHERE for people to queue, like we had to today, if it's raining or snowing. There were just too many people. However it was basically coordinated like a visit to the DMV (but at least the DMV has some signs) only in a nicer building! There were people there of every age, race, all walks of life. We got to the venue 35 minutes earlier than the time stated on the letter (12.05pm). There were 2 long lines, one for folks with pink letters and green letters, and one for folks with white letters. Not sure at all why there were different letters sent out or what they represented. Many people brought more than one guest (despite the notice on the letter) and didn't have a problem getting in. The building is NOT ALL WHEELCHAIR friendly so that caused a lot of chaos for elderly and disabled guests and oath takers getting up some of the steps. The local police/security tried to help organize but I think some end of line ushers might have helped. Many people were in the wrong lines and couldn't hear any details being called out once lines took a turn around the corner. Guests were called in FIRST and sent upstairs. Then white letters were called and went upstairs. Then the green and pink line. I was a pink letter so that is when I got in. When I came in my bag was not searched at all, but Pat later told me as my guest he was made to throw out a coffee cup (but later saw a lot of people eating and drinking in the gallery area). I sat down to the right side. There were 12 seats on a row, with 12 rows on each side, both packed - and then more seats on either side at the edges facing in. We were then called a row at a time to hand in our greencards (which literally just got thrown into a ziploc bag all mixed up) and given a little official USCIS flag. We kept our oath date letter, which they had stamped with I-1551 SUSPENDED or something like, and wrong a number on it. Then we sat down and waited for the rest of the oath takers to do the same. There were at least 2 lines so both sides of the room were processed at the same time. Occasionally official officers would make announcements reminding people they needed to fill out the back of the letters and sign/date. Or if they forgot/lost their greencard to go see a person to the left of the stage. Then more officials reminded folks that if they were not wearing a hat/covering their head for religious reasons to take them off. Lots of people didn't pay attention so they said it again. Then we had a few reminders for guests in the front row of the gallery to not stand up and to be mindful of the people around them for pictures etc. Also lots of reminders for people to not put strollers or bags in certain places because the building is historic and we should be respectful etc. Regarding dress code I say this bit because I know some have asked about what to wear - my husband and I did dress up a bit (him in a blazer but me more business casual) - but there were a lot of people who did not follow the guidance/recommendation - and not just guests. If you are stressing about what to wear, as long as you show up clean and wearing clothes, I think you're good! Given that there are people from all walks of life there, you're going to see people dressed a little differently, some might be more formal, some might be less formal. I did not see any flip flops or obvious blue denim (examples of what not to wear on the invitation letter) - but I saw black jeans etc. and sandals bordering on flip flops... but no one was turned away. People have their own idea of smart/respectful and that's fine. The officers called a handful of names specifically (presumably because they needed to double check things or make sure they were there etc). This happened a few times. Young children (guests) were very veeeeery restless. Finally at about 1.30pm the officers announced the judge was coming in! We all were asked to rise and in she came, with some officials and the county sheriff too. Court was declared in session! The USCIS officer started with an announcement saying that of the 388 people there 55 wanted a name change. The judge said sure why not (except in official judge speak ha!) and then the officer said 388 people wanted to be come citizens. Motion carried/sure why not. Then had us all rise and raise our right hand. Then the officer of the court made us all say the oath, and added in our own names at the same time as everyone else. Then the judge started talking, and then (maybe this was a joke cos they do a lot of these) suddenly remembered that we were stills tanding and told us to sit down... everyone chuckled. Then she gave a great speech about how far we'd all come and what we were bringing to the nation and the state, how we were enriching our lives and the lives of everyone around us... and the adversities we'd faced. She recognized a lot of reasons why we had come to the US, and the jobs that we had, calling out doctors and scientists as well as hotel workers and service industry professionals, who are just as important. She encouraged us to stand for local office, help in campaigns etc... do all the things that make democracy work. She called out all 69 nations represented in alphabetical order and had us stand up when our nation was called. She prefaced saying we were free to give a WOOOP/cheer etc when ours came.. but warned us whatever we did the Brazilians would probably out cheer us! She was right! Brazil was probably the loudest, closely followed by Haiti. Mine was one of the last (UK) so me (and my husband up in the gallery) made sure to give it our best. Many people standing were the only ones of their original country there, both others clapped and applauded for them. I'm pretty sure he did a Rick Flair impression! I will admit that when they called my name I got a little teary and had a stupid grin on my face for the rest of the time. The girl next to me was from Vietnam so I also gave her a cheer too! Then a daughter of two folks nationalizing today gave the pledge of allegiance. Then the county sheriff gave a (slightly less rousing but still) very nice and warm friendly speech, also reminding us of his immigrant heritage and how in Massachusetts we have such a great mix of nationalities and heritage. Then he reminded us of this celebration that was being thrown down the road that we were all invited too (but I didn't go) and to follow the balloons after. Then the judge closed out court, we all stood up and they left. Then they had the guests leave. The way they handled that, for a split second I thought MAYBE the officer was going to give us some special American secrets, like in those National Treasure movies... but alas not. There was no hidden treasure etc. Once the guests had almost all gone, they rejiggled the set up in front of the stage, so 2 tables became 8 stations. The number they wrote on your letter corresponded to the table to collect your certificate and large envelope with some information inside about passport etc, a card sleeve for the certificate. Again, they called rows up one at a time, working from the front to the back. Once you got your packet you could leave. Some lines went quicker than others, so folks from rows behind me ended up leaving a bit quicker because the guys at table 6 and 7 were lightening fast! When my turn came I grabbed my stuff, checked that my details were correct (they were - and the picture they took at my biometrics were indeed TERRIBLE) and I said my goodbyes to the folks who had been sitting around me. When I got out side everyone was crowding around the door cheering for friends and family as they came out, that was a really nice touch. A friend came to meet my husband and they both cheered for me and then we went to lunch and went home! While the ceremony was relatively short, the form checking and handing over documents probably made the whole duration about 3 - 3 1/2 hours. I am a May 2017 N-400 filer, but have been registered on this forum since I first came to the US in 2009. Thank you everyone on this forum for your support and guidance through this process and my original AOS! I hope my write up today is helpful for those of you in Boston. For those of you still waiting. Hang in there! You are getting closer every day to closing this chapter of your life and starting a new one... Even if it doesn't always feel like it.
  9. Hi everyone! I passed my n400 interview last Tuesday and the IO told me to expect an oath letter this week. My question is that, should I expect an online notification/status update on my account when the oath letter is mailed to me? Right now, my current status says (we scheduled your interview). thanks!
  10. I wanted to document my N-400 journey in detail. Many members find reassurance in reading the experiences of others, and I hope this helps. I got my green card through my employer and applied based on 5 years of permanent residency. Some of this information is specific to Houston, but most of it will be of use to all applicants. I hope this serves as a useful "sample timeline" for others. So here you go; everything that happened from the moment I sent the application to the moment I picked up my naturalization certificate. ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- Timeline ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- 16-Dec-2015 Early-filing eligibility date 17-Dec-2015 Day 1 N-400 mailed to Lewisville, TX 18-Dec-2015 Day 2 Application delivered (FedEx confirmation) 23-Dec-2015 Day 7 Check cashed 23-Dec-2015 Day 7 Application received (e-notification) 28-Dec-2015 Day 12 Receipt notice (NOA) received 04-Jan-2016 Day 19 Biometrics notice received (for 13-Jan-2016) 13-Jan-2016 Day 28 Biometrics completed 26-Apr-2016 Day 132 In-line for interview (e-notification) 03-May-2016 Day 139 Interview scheduled (e-notification) 06-May-2016 Day 142 Interview letter received (for 07-Jun-2016) 07-Jun-2016 Day 174 Interview completed (recommended for approval) 09-Jun-2016 Day 176 In-line for oath (e-notification) 10-Jun-2016 Day 177 Oath scheduled (e-notification) 13-Jun-2016 Day 180 Oath letter received (for 22-Jun-2016) 22-Jun-2016 Day 189 Oath ceremony ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- Application ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- 16-Dec-2015 I became eligible to file my application; 90 days before the 5th anniversary of the "resident since" date on my green card. Note: the early filing calculator on the USCIS website took into consideration that 2016 is a leap year. 17-Dec-2015 - Day 1 I mailed my application to the Lewisville, TX lockbox (sent to the street address, not the P. O. Box). I included the N-400 form, the G-1145 form, two passport photos with my name and A-number written on the back, a copy of the front and back of my green card, and a personal check for $680 with my A-number written on it. I used FedEx; for $7.50, they guaranteed next-day delivery, although I'm sure it was only that cheap because it's only a 3 hour drive. 18-Dec-2015 - Day 2 My application was delivered to USCIS in Lewisville, TX according to the tracking tool on the FedEx website. 23-Dec-2015 - Day 7 Morning: my bank account showed that USCIS cashed my check. Afternoon: I received a text message and e-mail notifying me that my application had been accepted. The text message said that my case had been received and it provided me with my case number (starting with NBC*). The email contained the same information, but also informed me that the application had been routed to the National Benefits Center and said that I should expect my NOA in the mail within 7-10 days. I used my case number to set up an account on the USCIS website and to turn on text message and email alerts for the next stages of my application. 28-Dec-2015 - Day 12 I received my receipt notice (I-797C Notice of Action) with a notice date of 22-Dec-2015. The NOA states that I'll be scheduled to appear for an interview "upon receipt of all required Record Checks". ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- Biometrics ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- 04-Jan-2016 - Day 19 I received my biometrics letter with an appointment date of 13-Jan-2016. The letter was sent from the National Benefits Center in Lee's Summit, MO and is dated 26-Dec-2015. 13-Jan-2016 - Day 28 My biometrics appointment was scheduled for 2:00 pm at the Southwest Houston Application Support Center (11777 S State Highway 6), which is actually in the city of Sugar Land, just southwest of Houston. I arrived at 1:40 - note that parking is no concern at all since this ASC shares a parking lot with a Kroger and several other stores. I left my phone in the car, because I was asked to do so on every other visit. When I walked in, the security guard told me to turn off my cellphone if I had one (even though there was a sign that said no cellphones). They may have relaxed the rules, since on previous visits I was told to leave my phone in the car. He checked my letter, asked to see my green card, and gave me the "Learn About the United States" packet and a form to fill out. The form asked for my biographical information as well as any other names I have used in the past. When I was done, I handed the security guard the form and followed another gentleman to do my biometrics. There were two people ahead of me when I walked in and they were done by this time. He then asked me to sit down for the photo, which he had to retake because I didn't lean all the way up against the wall the first time. I then had to sign my name on an electronic reader and I could see my signature, photo, and fingerprints on the screen. I filled out an evaluation card and was given my biometrics letter (now stamped and dated). I walked out at 1:55. ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- Interview ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- 18-Apr-2016 - Day 124 I have not heard anything from USCIS since my biometrics appointment, which was 3 months ago. The status check page on the USCIS website won't let me submit an online "Case Status Inquiry" because my application is still within normal processing times. However, those are predicted times for the whole process, and not just for the stage I'm in. It's too early to bother calling or making an Infopass appointment. So on the recommendation of a fellow December 2015 filer who was in the same position, I filed an "Notice Not Received" online inquiry. Since I haven't received the Inline for Interview notice, I thought this made sense. 26-Apr-2016 - Day 132 I was placed inline for interview scheduling. I received an e-mail update and my online case status was updated around 11:00am. The text message arrived two days later. My status now says that USCIS "started the interview scheduling process." No idea if this is related to the online inquiry. 03-May-2016 - Day 139 My interview was scheduled. I got a text message and an email and my online status was updated to indicate that USCIS would send me an interview letter in the mail. 06-May-2016 - Day 142 I received the interview letter in the mail. My interview is scheduled for 07-Jun-2016 at the new USCIS office on Gears Road in north Houston. 07-Jun-2016 - Day 174 I had my interview this morning and I was recommended for approval. My appointment was for 8:30 at the new USCIS office at 810 Gears Road in north Houston. I walked into the building at 8:10, went through a security checkpoint, and turned in my interview letter at the front desk. There was no line at check-in, and I was asked to wait in one of two waiting areas in a large open room. One waiting area was for naturalization interviews and the other was for Infopass appointments. Every now and then, a number would be called, and someone in the Infopass area would be told to go to one of the windows around the room. The naturalization interviewees were called by name and told to go to a door where an officer was waiting. I waited for about an hour (so about 40 minutes after my appointment time) before my name was called. My interviewer met me at the door, introduced herself, and chatted while we walked back to her office. By any measure, she was friendly, but by USCIS standards, she was positively bubbly. When we got to her office, she asked me to sit down and give her my green card, passport, and drivers license. She then asked me to stand so she could place me under oath. We started with the testing portion of the interview. She asked me the following six questions: - What group of people was taken to America and sold as slaves? - How many amendments does the Constitution have? - What territory did the United States buy from France in 1803? - What is the name of the Vice President of the United States now? - Why did the colonists fight the British? - What is the highest court in the United States? She then said, This is going to be very elementary for you and moved to the language test. She asked me to read: What country is north of the United States? She asked me to write: Canada is north of the United States We went through the application page by page. She went over my legal name and had some questions as to what my birth name was (I had a translated copy of my birth certificate with me and she took this). We went over all the biographic information and she double-checked my name change request. I told her at the start that I had another trip to add to my list (taken after the application was sent). I had printed this correction out for her and she took the new sheet and added it to my application. Going through the rest of the application, she specifically asked whether my parents were US citizens, whether I was currently a member of any organizations other than those listed, whether I had any citations within the last 5 years other than those listed (she didnt seem to care about the older ones), and whether I had ever been in the military. When we got to the question about selective service, she asked me how old I was (I'm over 31) and she said, "So this doesn't apply to you," and moved on. Other than those specific questions, she seemed to be picking yes/no questions at random (or maybe just the ones she was interested in asking); she didnt ask all of them. She did not ask me for any additional documentation and she didn't look at my passport beyond a quick glance at the name. She asked me if I understood the oath and then asked me to sign my application in two places. After that, she printed out three sheets of paper. The first two were for the name change and were identical. She asked me to sign both with my current name and reminded me that my name would not legally change until the ceremony. The third sheet of paper had my biographic information on it and was stapled to a small ziplock bag with my photos in it (thats how I had attached the photos to the application). She asked me to check the information, but I looked at it and said, My name is not Maria and Im not from El Salvador; she had attached the photos to the wrong piece of paper. She laughed, corrected this and gave me the right paper to check. She did not ask me to sign my photographs; this seems to be common for name change applicants. At this point she told me that everything looked good and she gave me the N-652 form stating that I had passed the English and civics tests and that my application was recommended for approval. She said that I should get an oath letter in the mail and that it was important to show up at the time indicated on the letter because it takes hours to get everyone checked in. She said that they were not having people wait for letters today (which I took to mean that they sometimes do on other days). She said that I would mostly likely be scheduled for the June 22nd ceremony, but that if not, then I would be scheduled for the July 27th ceremony. The interview took about 30 minutes. She walked me out to the waiting room and told me she would call me when she was done making copies of my passports (2), green card, and drivers license. I waited for about 5 minutes before she called me back to the door, handed me my documents, and told me to have a nice day. ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- Oath Ceremony ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- 09-Jun-2016 - Day 176 I was placed inline for oath ceremony scheduling. I got a text message and an email and my online status was updated. 10-Jun-2016 - Day 177 My oath ceremony was scheduled and the letter was mailed. I got a text message and an email and my online status was updated. 13-Jun-2016 - Day 180 I received my oath ceremony letter in the mail. It says to take my green card and oath letter to the ceremony and has a number of yes/no questions on the back that need to be filled out on the day of the ceremony. The questions are all related to whether or not anything has changed since the interview. The ceremony is scheduled for 7:00am on 22-Jun-2016. 22-Jun-2016 - Day 189 Today was the big day; my naturalization ceremony. A guest and I arrived at the M. O. Campbell Educational Center in north Houston at 7:15, a little later than indicated on the oath letter. It was raining heavily when we got there and some people were soaked by the time they made it across the large parking lot to the entrance; luckily I had two umbrellas. At the entrance guests were ushered inside so they could wait in the auditorium while applicants waited outside in a covered area. Our oath letters had numbers on them (from 0 to 9) and these corresponded to the check-in table that you were supposed to go to. After about 20 minutes I was inside the building and 10 minutes after that I was at the front of the line for my table. I turned in my oath letter and green card and was given my certificate to check. I was then given a purple piece of paper and told that we would be dismissed by color (colors corresponded to order of arrival, so those who get there earlier get to leave earlier). I met my guest and we sat together on the second tier of the auditorium (the lower tier was already mostly full). This was at around 8:00 am. As I walked in, I was given a packet containing an American flag, a welcome letter from President Obama, and a copy of the Constitution and Declaration of Independence. There were a few announcements made about the colored pieces of paper, but mostly people just took photos and talked and waited. Around 9:00 am the doors were closed and ceremony began with a brief speech by the USCIS director. At this point she asked any applicants who had requested a modified oath to see her and shortly after that, she introduced the judge. The U.S. And Texas flags were brought in and a young lady sang the national anthem. The judge opened the formal court session and made some very kind remarks urging people to relax, take as many photos as they wanted, and not worry about their kids making noise; he said that it was a formal court session, it was a day to celebrate. He also said that he'd stick around afterwards and pose for photos with anyone who was interested. The USCIS director indicated that of the 2089 people scheduled for the oath, 2020 were present and asked the judge to "continue the applications" of those not present, whatever that means. The judge then introduced several members of the armed forces who were being naturalized and asked them to stand and be recognized. He then asked all applicants to stand and he read the entire oath of citizenship at once, after which he said, "If that is your oath, please say, 'I will'" and everyone said "I will." The judge then congratulated us as "his fellow Americans". Before we sat down, we recited the pledge of allegiance. The judge said a few more words about the importance of voting, but kept it brief. That was it; simple, but very enjoyable. There were no additional songs and no video from the president as I've read about at other ceremonies. The judge closed the session and dismissed us shortly before 10:00 am. USCIS officials called out the first color to be dismissed and I heard them call green, orange, pink, yellow, and red before they called purple about 30 minutes after the ceremony ended. When I left, the judge was still posing for photos with over 100 people still in line, so he was going to be there for a while. I went back to table 9 and gave them my purple paper (which they'd written my A-number on). They gave me my certificate and congratulated me. Attached to my certificate was a name change order signed by the judge. Also, unlike almost all the other applicants, the photo on my certificate was the one I had submitted with my application and not the one taken at biometrics. Based on what I've read this is common for those who change their names. The photo was glued on and embossed, not scanned and printed. We left the building at roughly 10:45 and walked out into a hot, humid, sunny Houston morning. ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- U.S. Citizen ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- And with that, 16 years after I moved to the U.S., I'm happy to call myself an Egyptian, an immigrant, and an American. People differ on what it means to be an immigrant; should one assimilate completely, or should one hold on to their heritage as tightly as possible? As with most things, the best answer is probably somewhere in the middle. Over 200 years ago, Thomas Paine, an immigrant, revolutionary, abolitionist, and founding father, said it better than I ever could, "Independence is my happiness, and I view things as they are, without regard to place or person; my country is the world, and my religion is to do good."
  11. So, I spoke to USCIS officer few hours ago and told them that i have not received my oath ceremony yet that is scheduled for March 5, 2018. So the lady I talked to faxed me the oath ceremony letter but it only shows my name, the date and location of ceremony. This is going to be in the judicial court. I was wondering, if I dont receive the actual notice in the mail, can they print the form that I need to fill out at the court office???
  12. Can anyone tell me if you will be able to obtain true certified copy of naturalzaiton certificate at the ceremony in addition to original cert. I understand you can get true certified copy at USCIS Office with Infosec appointment by showing original cert. I’m trying save a trip to uscis if all possible. You can use the true certified copy of naturalization for passport application instead of sending original cert. let me know if you have info. Thanks
  13. Just got back from my oath ceremony! I’m finally a citizen! Here’s everything I can recall and know about being part of the huge ceremony in Los Angeles. Firstly, did you know you can look up the date and times for all the oath ceremonies coming up in the LA Convention Center? Just Google it, I did a few days before the ceremony! I realized after doing so that the actual ceremony began at 1:30PM. My assigned arrival time was 1:00PM, and I realized (through reading other experience posts) that they stagger the arrival times for people so that the hall can slowly get filled with the 3000+ people showing up that day. So I assume there were people who were assigned to arrive at 12:00PM, 12:30PM, etc. I took a Lyft to the Convention Center, got there at around 1:05PM, found my way into the massive room with hundreds and hundreds of people in line to get through security. This took a LONG time. There were a lot of kind staff members around to answer questions and keep everything moving. I was really one of the last one hundred people to arrive. I brought water in a mason jar (too hipster for the security), which was my mistake, because they dumped out the water and threw away my jar. I should have used my collegiate water bottle! But, my banana and dried mangoes got through just fine. After security, you are corralled into the actual ceremony room with a huge American flag and two huge screens on either side of it, as well as a stage and podium in front of the flag. There is a row of tables on the left side of the room with a bunch of citizenship and immigration services workers sitting there, doing your final question/interview. I went to one, showed them my green card and my notice (for the ceremony), and they looked at the back where you have to answer No to everything as well as fill in your personal info. He asked me three questions verbatim to which I answered No, and then one question backwards “Are you still willing to…” and that was a Yes! Then, he stapled my green card to the oath notification, wrote a number on the notification, and gave it back to me. The number corresponds to the table I return to after the ceremony to get my naturalization certificate. I went to the bathroom (weirdly, there are stairs to get up to the bathroom, and I felt bad for the older folks who seemed to struggle to get up the stairs) and then went to the main ceremony seating area for the applicants. Like I said before, there were many staff members, and they swiftly guided us to our seats. At this point we are also given a welcome packet and a tiny American flag! We are seated pretty much in the order we arrive/finish the final interview/walk in towards the seating area. The ceremony itself was short and sweet, you will enjoy it! There’s a speech by the judge, and then he immediately administered the oath of allegiance, and we became citizens! There was lots of cheering and flag-waving. Then there was another speech by someone from USCIS, then we did the Pledge of Allegiance (good times in Elementary School), and finally we sang the Star Spangled Banner along with a very talented guest singer. Then, they played a music video (prepared by USCIS) of America the Beautiful, which was really sweet and showed naturalization ceremonies from cool places all over the U.S., like Mt. Rushmore. I knew from reading past oath ceremony experience posts that a video of the President congratulating us was supposed to play, but they didn’t show any sort of video by the President...this was the first oath ceremony (well, the 9AM one was technically the first) in Los Angeles after Trump’s inaguration. It was funny, they misspoke when presenting the video, they said something along the lines of “we will now show two...excuse me, one video, please enjoy”. After that it was pretty much over. We sat around for a good 15 minutes before we were allowed to get up and go to our assigned table (table number written on our notice!) to pick up our Naturalization Certificate. I got a random lady to take a picture of me holding the certificate and the flag. Then, I went to the bathroom, walked out through all the families and friends waiting for their loved ones (felt kinda sad to do it alone), hopped on a Lyft and went home, barely beating the return traffic. I called the Lyft at 3:38PM. I definitely got teary-eyed a couple times during the ceremony, and I thought it was amazing how they honored people who served in the military who were being naturalized, by having them sit in the front row, reading their names aloud, showing them on the big screens, and allowing them to be dismissed first! Personally, I thought it was great that I was able to get there right before the ceremony began. I was probably one of the last hundred people to get through security, do the questions and take a seat. Because, it takes less time to dismiss everyone by their arrival/seating order, than the time it takes to be in the massive crowd, get through security, do the questions, and get into a seat before the ceremony. So personally I’m glad I didn’t have to sit around in the ceremony hall waiting for everyone to trickle in. It was also really hot today and I got sweaty armpits, so go for something flowy if you’re doing this in LA on a hot day. The dress code is really whatever you think is proper - I saw girls wearing graduation style/borderline inappropriate dresses as well as older folks just wearing comfy everyday “out of the house” clothes, and everything in between. I’m so happy that this process is over and I’m finally a citizen of the United States! I’ve lived here for a total of 16 years (I’m currently 24) and I am so excited to contribute and give back to this country I call home! (I had my interview in late January, and I want to make a post about that too. For some reason, they processed my approval after the interview SUPER quickly! I think it was just because I was a really simple (?) applicant in the fact that I have no children, am not married, am a student, am perfectly fluent in English, lived here forever, etc. I received my oath ceremony notification in the mail literally one week after my interview.)
  14. Does anyone know if the online case status includes steps for rescheduling the oath ceremony? Will it not change or will there be stages like "We received your reschedule request," "We de-scheduled your original oath ceremony," and "We've re-scheduled you for a new oath ceremony?" We recently mailed the N-445 to the local field office (strangely, the letter says to "Send it back if you need to reschedule" but doesn't say where to send it, and the from address is the National Benefits Center), so I'm also wondering on the general timeline. Does it take just a week or two for them to remove you from the original oath ceremony, or is there always a risk of them not properly processing it and then thinking you missed it (this forum has quite a few stories about that)?
  15. My spouse received her citizenship oath ceremony notice in the mail today and the the date is in two and a half weeks. Unfortunately the naturalization date doesn't work for us and we'll need to reschedule. I know how important this is but we've had long-standing travel for that date and it's too late and expensive to cancel or reschedule airfare, hotels, approved vacation time from both of our jobs, et cetera. The USCIS notice says to send the form back to reschedule, so I just wanted to check on the proper procedure. Are there any specific boxes on the form to check? I don't think so, so I'm assuming we just have to write a cover letter explaining the need to reschedule. Is there a template or recommended format for that cover letter? Where do we actually send the letter back to? The "from" corner of the envelope is the USCIS National Benefits Center, but the letter itself lists the local U.S. District Court. I don't see the local USCIS Field Office mentioned anywhere. Also, the address of the ceremony location, the local U.S. District Court, says "Guest Limit 2." How strict is this? We'd love to have three guests, so I'm curious how to accommodate that. Is there any way to predict when the oath ceremony will be rescheduled for? Washington, DC has ceremonies on the second Tuesday of every month, but I'm wondering if someone rescheduling gets sent to the end of the scheduling line or somehow gets placed in front of people that are just now being approved in their interviews since they had already been approved earlier. Lastly, should we send the original letter or a photocopy—does it matter? Thanks for your help!
  16. Hi - I have a current pending N400 application filed from Houston, TX (e-filed on Feb 2018). For work I might have to relocate to Anchorage, Alaska in the next few months. Just wanted to make sure if the Anchorage field office conducts interview and oath ceremonies? Thanks a lot for your guidance!
  17. I'm wondering if, in jurisdictions where they don't do same-day oath ceremonies after the N-400 interview, the immigration officer who holds the citizenship interview is also the one who schedules it. I ask because in our field office the naturalization ceremonies are held only once a month and we have some upcoming travels. We would be able at the interview to state "We would not be able to attend a ceremony during months X and Y and would have to reschedule if slated for a ceremony during those months," so I'm wondering if that is something that the interviewer can take into account (or pass on to whomever would end up doing the scheduling). Ideally we'd write a letter with the travel dates and hand it over at the N-400 interview. This seems much easier than not mentioning it and potentially being scheduled for a time when we're out of the country, but I was just wondering how it works behind the scenes.
  18. To anyone who is looking for experiences regarding the N400 process: This is based off the Greer, SC office. 1) December 23, 2017 - I applied online under 5 year rule. 2) December 30, 2017 - I received the Biometrics letter (got notification online - actual letter in mail came after New Year's Day). 3) January 17, 2018 - Biometrics appointment was at January 18, 2018* - Did it on January 17, 2017 *Special note: My family and I filed on the same day - Family Member #1 had his appointment January 17, 2018 in the morning while and Family Member #3 had his appointment on the same day in the afternoon, while Family Member #2 had her appointment on January 19, 2018 and I had it on January 18, 2018. I mention this tidbit because Winter Storm Inga happened on January 17, 2018; #1, #2, and I decided to go there together - at the time we reached, the USCIS Greer office was still open and they allowed us to go in (one day early for me and two days early for #2). We called Family Member #3 and let him know that he could get his biometrics done early instead of midday - by the time he got there, USCIS office had closed. We thought his application would get delayed. Instead, he went the next day and they let him in without any fuss. 4) February 22, 2018 - I received notification that my interview was scheduled on April 5 (got notification online and got actual letter the day after) 5) April 5, 2018 - Interview day More detail: #2, #3 and I had it on the same day, but different times - ranged from 8:50 AM to 10:45 AM. We all reached there on time and there were low level number of people (below 5) that came at various times (there were certain number of people that were already there before we reached there and certain number of people that were there while were waiting and/or as we were about to leave). There was no rush and we were called earlier than our appointment times. We all had the same immigration officer who was very kind and friendly. We were all done by 10:30 AM. I read one sentence correctly, and wrote one sentence correctly, and answered 6 questions correctly and went through the application questions easily. This was the case for #2 and #3, also. We all got approved right away and the immigration officer asked each of us if we were able to do our oath ceremony the next day. Of course, we all said yes. 6) April 6, 2018 - Oath ceremony. Will update if possible. If you have any specific questions regarding my experience, please let me know.
  19. Hello everyone, i was interviewed for my citizenship in philadelphia on septemper 19 and the officer told me that i am going to have a judicail ceremony in harrisburg, Pa its been more than 5 months now and i am wondering how long does it take more.
  20. I passed the citizenship test in July 2017. I waited for the notice for the Oath cerimony. Finally I get a letter from USCIS. I open it only to see that it was a notice saying that I had missed my Oath Cerimony on August 23rd, and that they would notify me when the next one was going to be. I called the USCIS number and I explain the situation. The only thing this person was able to tell me was that I had missed the cerimony and that I had to wait to get the next notification. I told him that I didn't go because I didn't know because I never received the notification. After checking in my building, we found the notification on the floor by the mail box (people that live in the building throw mail, that is not addressed to them or commercial mail or junk, on the floor, considering it trash. So probably the post office put my letter in the wrong mailbox and it was thrown on the trash pile, without me knowing...) In September...this month...I receive a letter with the date of my next Oath Cerimony. September 22nd. at 8:30 am. Finally, my husband and I ask for a day off from work, we dress up and go. I go there (I live in Brooklyn, New York), the cerimony was in Brooklyn, to the second floor. After sitting for about an hour and a half in this big freezing court room, finally we are called row by row. We get in line to get to a table with two officers. Once there I show my letter, he asks a few questions, asks for my green card back, which gets thrown in a pile of green cards on the table. I get given a welcome package and am asked to sit again. After 5 minutes we are called again, row by row, people (we are about 300), get up and get in line toward an other table. When I get there I show my letter again and she looks for my certificate, which I'm supposed to sign and then I'm supposed to go sit back to where my spot was. She looks and can't find my certificate. She looks in a list of names. Then she said, she is not in the list. So I am sent back to the previews table, where a different lady checks my letter again. She asks me to sit while she tries to figure things out. I sit there for almost an other hour. Then a man was also not in the list and he comes sit next to me. Then I get up and go to the officer and tell her that I was already supposed to be there on August 23 for my Oath Cerimony but I had missed it because I never riceived the letter. she looks at me and she said she is really sorry and that she doesn't know why I'm not in the list even though I had a letter with the right date and time. She told me to give her my phone number and that she would call me. I look at her wide eyed and said...do you mean that this is not going to happen today??? She said no, I'm sorry. I gave her my number and left...after 3 hours of sitting in a freezing court room. The same day I called the USCIS number. I explained the situation to this very nice person who couldn't believe what I was telling him. He said he would send an urgent e-mail to the New York office and that I should expect an answer in two weeks and that if I don't hear back by Octobe 7th, to call back. A few days abo I called my Representative, I explained my situation and the persn told me that I have to give the USCIS the two weeks and then if I don't hear back, to call her back and they'll try to help me. Did anybody have a similar situation? This is crazy, isn't it? Unprofessional and just ridiculous. It felt humiliating.
  21. Hi everyone, I have a quick question about the oath ceremony scheduling. I am sorry if this question has been asked before, but I could not find an answer. I submitted my n400 in November 2016, and had my interview in early September 2017. I was recommended for approval after the interview, but did not receive any update until January 2018. I knew that USCIS had 120 days to make a decision, so after waiting 121 days, I called, placed a service request, and my status changed the next day to "Your oath ceremony will be scheduled." It's been a month since my online status changed, and I have not received an oath ceremony date yet. It's been 5 months since my interview, so I am getting a bit impatient. Here is the question: I know that USCIS has 120 days to make a decision on a case after the interview, but how long does USCIS have to schedule/administer the oath, if there is such regulation? I requested a name change, so this is probably the reason why this whole process is taking so long (my case is really simple otherwise). I cannot make an infopass appointment. I live 7 hours away from where I had my interview (and with a small child, I don't want to drive all the way there if I can avoid it). Thank you, everyone, for the help! Mimi
  22. Hi, Does anyone have a list of dates for the naturalization ceremonies in San Antonio for 2017? Other cities in Texas publish their schedules online, but I am having trouble finding the schedule for San Antonio. Also, does anyone have an idea of how long it takes from the time you pass your interview to the time of oath-taking in San Antonio? Thank you in advance.
  23. Hi, Wondering the dates for the judicial oath ceremony in Chicago. I searched the forum, and online sources, there is not much out there. That would be great if someone can provide some info. Thanks in advance!!!
  24. Does anybody know if tomorrow's oath ceremony will be resheduled? I think M.O. Cambell Center will be closed tomorrow due to the weather here in Texas.
  25. Hey everyone, my husband (from the UK) had his Naturalization interview (in NYC) and passed today! However, something weird happened. He said that he kept seeing people come out of their interview with their oath dates immediately. But when it came to him... "I wasn't given a date for my oath. I was told they'll run a background check and I'll receive something in the mail in a month. Which makes me uncomfortable because I saw other people receiving their oath dates." I always got the impression that the background check came *before* the interview. Has anyone else experienced this? Does anyone know what's going on or why he might have been flagged for additional background check? Any thoughts would help, thanks!
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