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Dinosaur2013 posted a topic in US Citizenship Case Filing and Progress ReportsHi, I am creating this group for filers within the jurisdictions of the three field offices: NYC, Queens and Long Island, to share their N-400 application progress and experiences along the process. I am a September filer at New York City Field Office. I filed my application online on 9/6/2017. I received notification that USCIS has scheduled me for biometrics appointment. I am still waiting for the letter to arrive in the mail to find out the date and time of my appointment.
nerdese posted a topic in Adjustment of Status from Work, Student, & Tourist VisasJust wanted to post my experience at the Long Island City ASC office in case it's useful to anyone else in the Queens/NYC area! I got back from my appointment this morning. I received my biometrics appointment notice on 12/21/2018, with an appointment date of 01/02/2019 at 1:00pm for the Long Island City office. I had planned to try and do an earlier walk-in during the break, but never got around to it. I walked in this morning around 8:15am to try and do it earlier that my scheduled time, since I work down in Brooklyn and it would have been a hassle to come back for the appointment in the afternoon. I'm glad I did! The ASC is easy enough to get to -- about a five minute walk from the Queensboro Plaza and Court Square 7 train stops. When you first walk into the ASC, there's a small vestibule type area, with a security guard blocking the entrance to the main waiting area. There's a window to the main area so you can see how many people are inside/how fast lines are moving. There were already about a dozen people "in line" in the vestibule (more like crowded into the small space in something vaguely resembling a line). I showed my appointment notice to the guard, who said "WOW...WAY TOO EARLY! Get in line." He said this to a few people, some of whom had earlier appointments than I did. He was a bit gruff, but not unfriendly. I ended up waiting in that area for about 15 minutes, at which point the security guard told us to head inside and grab a clipboard off a desk. There's no formal security -- they didn't check my bag for my cellphone (which was on but silenced) or make note of my lunch bag, even though no food or drink is allowed. People were using phones in the vestibule, so as long as you don't take them out in the main waiting area or have any open containers of food, it seems like you're fine to have them on your person. The clipboards had a brief biographical info sheet that we were to fill out, then get into another line to hand the sheet over the to receptionist. Even though people had earlier appointment times, it really doesn't seem to matter once you're in the building, where it's more first-come-first-served. I filled in the paperwork quickly (it's just name, sex, hair/eye color, etc.) and hopped in line ASAP. The receptionist took my completed sheet, appointment notice, and Canadian passport. Since I'm waiting for the green card to change my name on my passport/drivers license, etc., I also brought my NY marriage certificate, which notes my new married surname. When the receptionist went to check my passport against my paperwork, she noted the different names, and I handed over the certificate, which she accepted without issue. She had me flash my hands quickly to be sure I had no visible cuts/injuries, then gave me a number and told me to wait until it was called. There were about 5 biometrics service areas in the back, with 3 people working. Sat down and waited about 10 minutes until my number was called. The man who took my fingerprints and photo was super friendly -- I wish I caught his name, but he instantly made me feel at ease. I handed over my papers, and we joked about the tough return to work after the holiday. He chuckled when he saw my passport, saying: "Why would anyone leave Canada? It's so nice!" and mentioned he had relatives there. He took the photo first, and showed it to me on the screen. We joked more about how nobody likes their "official" photos, and he said that he thinks it's weird when people DO like them. Then, he had me confirm that all the information he transposed from my papers was correct, sign my name and took my fingerprints on a digital touchpad. Once that was all settled, he had me fill out a quick customer service survey (a "how did we do today?" sort of thing) and sent me on my way. All in all, I was in and out in about an hour. I think it was a bit busier than usual today because of everyone getting notices over the holidays, but once things got moving, it was pretty seamless. By the time I left, there was a much longer line, so getting there as close to opening as possible was a good call. I don't know how it would have gone if I tried to walk in days before my appointment (I imagine it wouldn't have been a big deal if it wasn't busy) but even if the guard gives you grief for showing up early, they'll still let you in, after which point it's a free for all!
Interview Experience at 26 Federal Plaza: - Please see my signature for the dates Some pointers for those who are still waiting for your turn in Queens / NYC field office: (based on my observations only) 1. Usually online filers are getting processed very quickly (But as more people tend to file online, even onliner's will be facing heavy backlogs in near future) 2. The reason why onliner's were processed quickly is to test the system and provide valuable feedback to upgrade it for a better system. It happens for any major overhaul and in any industry 3. Paper filers will have the the additional process of updating their info into the new system that was built by USCIS by ISO's so yes that will be one of the reasons for the slowness (while the onliner's will update their own information by themselves - that plays the advantage) 4. Females are tend to be processed little faster than Males. This opinion is based on avg timelines 5. Specific countries tend to be processed faster than most other countries (so if you find someone getting processed faster timeline - we need to look at country of origin, gender and as well background history and how they got the GC plays a pivotal role as well if needed to be scrutinized or not) 6. Since I come from New York City, as the city is also largest in churning out more citizens. Anywhere between 50000 to 75000 are alone being naturalized from Brooklyn Eastern District Court (New York area as well has Manhattan, Westchester and Holtsville Long Island oath's as well) so the number of applications have really gone up here... one person seems to be doing 3 or more persons work. So arguably the number of processing days has gone up to staggering 10 - 12 months in average (again this is my opinion - I don't have exact stats to prove it - guestimation only) 7. Those who come from NYC please have patience. Common guys, we have been in GC for years and were very happy. So why to ruin our lives just because you haven't heard anything about your N400. It will happen. 8. Sorry for those who were either struck in long wait at local field offices like in Queens or Long Island or Manhattan but we cannot compare ourselves with those one or two unlucky folks (who eventually got through with determination and patience). The probability is very very very less here. Out of 50000 just from Queens office in a year we read about 3 or 4 cases who had a weird unusual experience. But we cannot generalize it for everyone. If you are being delayed understand there are many in the waiting and it takes time to process everything. 9. Statuses - Don't depend on those, (how many of us will ever respond to our own emails - there are many unread emails in our own inbox. Likewise these guys who are processing are working on thousands of applications and just imagine how much they have scrutinize each application and ensure there are no errors or issues before declaring them citizens. It's lot of stress and pressure for those USCIS folks as well. Above all, don't compare your statuses with others from the same field office. It's a nightmare for you and your family. Take it easy. Trust me we all have started our journey on the same highway. Some go more than state speed (very few) and some go with the traffic and some prefer to be on cruise speed no matter how the traffic is moving) like wise I believe all of us will reach the destination at some point of the time. Just wait and be patience. My Experience: I was happy to receive my interview letter and when I read the address it was showing as to report at 9th Floor in Federal Plaza. I have read numerous experiences on this forum and everyone spoke about either 7th or 8th floor but no one spoke about 9th floor. So it starts giving you jitters is it just me or everyone else. After extensive search, I found one of the vjer @Anu19 happened to get the same and this happened in 2017 December so was relieved to realize that you will report there but will be redirected to 4th floor or so. Well in my case went to 9th Floor and submitted my interview letter to the receptionist and she in turn gave me a laminated card and my interview letter to take it to the 4th floor and this was expected. Took elevator back to 4th floor and then went to the receptionist there and submitted both the card and my letter. She in turn gave me a receipt with number on it and asked me to wait to hear my number or name. The waiting room on the 4th floor is like any other room filled with people. Some came with their spouses and some with their lawyers. Just relax and don't bother looking at other folks as everyone seems to be lost in their own world. I had to wait for very long almost 3 hrs before being called (Partly because there was an early morning snow storm in nyc that day and later on the ISO apologized to me saying that they were short staffed that day). My appointment was 11:50 AM but was called in at 2:10 PM. Wife accompanied me. Finally ISO (Guyanese Indian I guess) called my name but I was so tired that I missed hearing out my name, but my wife was quick enough to alert me and this was noticed by ISO as well as he made a joke out of it on our way to his cabin. He led me to his cabin and then he asked me to stand and had me to swear in and told me to take my seat. Then he asked me for my GC, DL and Passport. He removed my application from a very thick folder (easily it was about 3 or 3 1/2 inches). Then asked about my name, dob and country I come from and then directly went to N400 application browsed through it quickly (checked on my current employment and am I still working for the same company). I had a traffic violation but did not mention initially so I had mentioned right away about it when he asked are there any changes to your application. He was not interested in documents. I told I have some documents related to our marriage etc but since I was applying under 5 year rule, he did not care about anything probably because he made fun of how wife's are more organized earlier so he was I guess convinced as well. We were married for close to 10 yrs now. So that could have played it. Yes / no questions and done. It was about 5 minutes in all. Then quickly went over the english reading / writing part "Who is the first President?" and writing was "Washington is the first President" or something and then asked me 8 questions even though I answered correctly the first 6. Not sure why but he asked me more tougher questions for 7 and 8th. Probably wanted to have some fun there. Note: I prepared my test questions by recording each question with a time gap (all 100) and everytime I used to listen to them while driving etc and answer them out loud (this is exactly like your interview). That's it and it was about 3 or 4 minutes at most. So in all I think he just consumed about 10 - 11 minutes and then he said, congratulations! you are approved. You will receive your oath in mail. He wrote in red ink "Mail" on my N-652 form. I told him I took off today can wait for the oath letter. He mentioned that I missed the cutoff for april 10th oath since it's almost 2:20 and they will only issue oath letters if it's before 12 Noon or so. I told him about planned travel trip end of april but he told me clearly that wait for the letter and then make your plans. But he promised that he will update into his system today and let the oath department know. He told that it is a long line so you will be having it somewhere in May first or second week. that's it. I was out of his office. Now the waiting time starts. Read from many folks that they had instant update on their status but in my case it stood as "Interview Scheduled" that's it for about 2 weeks. It changed to "Inline to oath ceremony" or so on April 16th and in exactly two weeks i.e. Apr 28th, the status changed to "Oath letter mailed" and the oath was 2 weeks exactly from the date I received my oath letter. So please be patient. Queens NYC FO they might not update immediately and take their time to schedule and go through the oath process.