1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Personal experiences

Discussion in 'Naturalization to become a US citizen' started by Ron Gotcher, Feb 15, 2006.

  1. cd2005

    cd2005 Junior Member

    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Connecticut Personal Experience

    Hello, I hope this info helps future applicants. After suffering 4 yrs for my Green Card in CA, this was the smoothest INS process I have been through. I thank Ron Gotcher for running this forum.

    Resident: CT
    Special circumstances: Bunch of traffic tickets, some dismissed, the rest paid off.
    Mailed application on 4/14/2006
    Received Date: 4/17/2006
    Fingerprinted: 5/04/2006
    Interview in Hartford: 8/28/2006
    Oath ceremony in New Haven: 9/15/2006
     
  2. asam

    asam Junior Member

    Messages:
    14
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Finally............I'm a citizen. Should have filed when I was first eligible in 1991 !!!!!!

    I'd like to thank Ron for his suggestions to help unstick my application. Your services are truly appreciated.
    The letter to my Congressman really sped things along and no doubt about it.........I'd had problems with misplaced FBI checks and the ol' two A#'s hold up and general foot dragging by the USCIS.... but with the help of Congressman's Waxman's office (Cristina Romero in particular...wonderful follow up) I have evolved from good little resident to good little citizen.


    Los Angeles, Ca.
    Application filed 6th Dec 05
    Fingerprinted 24th Feb 06
    Interviewed 19th April 06
    2nd Interview 13th June 06
    Complained a lot July 06
    Letter to Congressman Aug 3rd 06
    Notification of swearing in Ceromony Sept 15th 06
    Sworn in Sept 22nd 06
     
  3. n400pend

    n400pend Junior Member

    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Just curious : Why did you have a second interview ?
     
  4. asam

    asam Junior Member

    Messages:
    14
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    After I complained and made an InfoPass appointment to inquire about my missing background check..........mysteriously while I was complaining during the InfoPass appointment the missing FBI check was found !!! They asked me to go straight to the District office to get the ball rolling again and have a Second Interview, why I don't know but luck I did...........that's when I had the misfortune to find out that I had two A#'s.
    I was promised that I would now be fast tracked and it would take a maximum of three weeks to collate the two files and issue the Oath appointment. After waiting for four weeks and the promises that did'nt happen, I contacted my Congressman.

    That fixed it.
     
  5. rgrubb

    rgrubb Junior Member

    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Kansas/Nebraska Experience

    My wife and step-son are from Russia. We were married in Russia in 2001 and had no trouble getting family immigrant visas, green cards or adjustment of status. But my wife's N-400 application is all messed up.

    She applied May 2004 and was fingerprinted in Feb 2005 and passed her citizenship and language tests shortly thereafter. But the gov. keep saying that her name check or background check has not been finished by the FBI. We have contacted Senator Roberts office twice with no real help are have a third letter ready to send off next Monday.

    I did see in another message where Mr. Gotcher says that most of the time, the FBI has processed the name check promptlu, bu USCIS has dropped the ball somewhere.
     
  6. pulikesi

    pulikesi Member

    Messages:
    88
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Applied October 15, 2004
    Biometrics and civics/english test November 15, 2004
    Interview March 24, 2005
    Oath April 25, 2005

    Applied for expedited passport as I needed to go to India (already booked ticket on Atlantic route, not changeable in time to Pacific route through Vancover--which would have been the only way I could avoid needing US passport for re-entry) May 11-31, 2005.
     
  7. RogerKint

    RogerKint Junior Member

    Messages:
    24
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    MInnesota experience

    I had my interview in Bloomington, MN today. The officer did not ask any details about my traffic tickets - just said "so you paid the fines" - and again when asked about arrests or citations, I said the same thing - I have speeding tickets and I paid them.

    BTW, IMHO there is no need to sweat about N-400 form implications of speeding tickets because they can always make changes to the form right there - so if the right answer is "I was arrested blah blah" or not - they can change it as long as you say "No except for speeding tickets" when it comes up - for normal tickets with fines there is no dicumentation required.

    I was asked six civics questions (you have to get six of ten correct and so they stop when you get six right) and I had to write "I have three children". All easy questions nothing like which amendments pertain to voting rights - 15,19, 24, 26 in case you are wondering - :D

    I got a paper that said my application has been recommended for approval. The officer said I will probably get a notice within a month for an oath date in March.


    Cheers,

    RK

    --------------------------------
    Inital app RD - 10/17/06
    Returned app - did not find record of PR - 10/25/06
    Resubmit app with GC copy - 10/28/06
    PD - 11/06/06
    FP - 11/24/06
    interview notice date 12/04/06
    notice rcvd 2/09/06
    ID - 1/25/07 - approved
    OD - ???
     
  8. JoeF

    JoeF Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,132
    Likes Received:
    14
    Trophy Points:
    1,238
    I actually got that question in my interview, and of course didn't know, since I didn't memorize it ;). It was the hardest question I got, though, and the only one I didn't know.
    The sentence writing "exercise" is of course ridiculous... I have authored several scientific papers in English...
    Congrats. Have fun at the oath.
     
  9. Christian Lady.

    Christian Lady. Member

    Messages:
    34
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    YEAH, SURE:rolleyes:
     
  10. Christian Lady1

    Christian Lady1 Member

    Messages:
    47
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0

    SURE you've authored several "scientific papers"...in English:D
     
  11. spancha

    spancha Junior Member

    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Total time 5 months!

    I had my interview today. Thanks to all in the forum who posted their experiences, which provided a lot of reassurance to me - so I think I owe it to post mine too.

    Timeline:
    Applied - Dec 1, 2006 in Los Angeles (after completing 5 years as LPR in Sept 2006)
    Fingerprint letter recd - Dec 21, 2006 - sent for reschedule, since I was on holiday
    Fingerprinting - Jan 21, 2007 - I went without appt. to the Van Nuys office, since I didn't hear back, and they were ready to take our fingerprints! Two weeks later, we got the original fingerprint appt. letter back as 'rescheduled to any day'
    Interview letter received - March 20, 2007
    Interview - April 13, 2007
    Oath scheduled at LA - April 26, 2007

    Interview:
    The letter stated 7.45 am - and we got there just in time. We needn't have hurried - there were people whose letter had 8.30 am, and they were turned back and asked to come at the appointed time. We were called in (wife and I) separately within minutes. Intervieweer asked me to write one sentence, asked me 10 civics questions rapidly, then went through the application asking me the questions in the application rapidly and ticking them off (he skipped many of the questions). There was a specific question relating to a DUI - he wanted the original documents showing the judgement- then asked me to sign the application and print my name. He said that I was done - gave me a letter stating that it has been approved, and a separate slip to go to another room to get the notice for the oath after 2 hours. AFter 2 hours, went to the other room, and was quickly called to the window and given the notice for oath on April 26th.

    Overall, a rather smooth process - much better than I expected.
     
  12. andrew a.

    andrew a. Junior Member

    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    NSC / Chicago experience

    My journey is almost over! I am writing to share my experience in applying my N400. My interview was last 8/27/07 at the Chicago District Office. Appointment time was 1025am, but I was called in at 1005am. Upon advise from many people here I should not come too early for the interview, and they were right. I came at around 955am and waited only for ten minutes. Half hour to 45 mins. before your interview time should be sufficient...

    Officer called my name and we both went into his booth. He made me raise my right hand to tell the truth, then asked for my GC and my passport, including expired ones. Since my GC was based on marriage, he asked then for my wife's original Naturalization Certificate. Then immediately asked for my latest tax return. After that, he made me write my full name, sign it, and wrote the sentence "The President lives in the White House". Proceeded to civic questions, I got six out of six, asked me --- 1) How many stripes are in the flag; 2) What do the stripes on the flag represent; 3) What is the highest court in the country; 4) Who said "give me liberty or give me death?"; 5) How many stars are there in the flag; 5) What are the colors of the stars in the flag. He even showed me his printed questionnaire and pointed out that he was about to ask me "what are the first 13 states", but he jokingly told me I already knew that so he didn't!
    After answering all of these correctly, we proceeded with the N400 application. Went through one by one somewhat quickly, and when we came to part 10; good moral character, I answered "yes" to "have you ever been cited...." due to a traffic citation. He asked me if I have the original citation ticket, I handed out to him; but he quickly said "that's okay, I don't need it". After this, he filled up the N-652 marked "Congratulations, you have passed the interview...". Then I felt a big relief after getting this letter. He then shook my hand and told me to wait for my oath ceremony schedule in the mail.
    Overall the interview lasted 12 mins. In by 1005am, out by 1017am. I felt I was there more than that, as I looked at my watch as soon as I opened the door and left the room. The experience was far more smooth than what I expected it to be. But, I was confident and prepared for anything, with all the paperwork I had, I really advise to everyone that it is better overprepared rather than coming unprepared.
    Today, 9/4/07, I got a phone call from USCIS Chicago that my oath taking is scheduled for 9/7/07, which is exacly 10 days after my interview. I called back and confirmed this as I was expecting a notice from the postal mail. The person on the phone explained to me that if they had scheduled people on such short notice, they call them instead of sending out postal notices. So I will not be getting any notice anymore. So this Friday, off I go to the oath ceremony, then apply for the expedited Passport....Yipee!!!


    Chicago DO timeline:
    Sent to Nebraska SC on 1/16/07
    Received ND on 1/26/07
    PD : 1/22/07
    FP ND : 5/29/07, delayed due to FP scheduling problem in Chicago,
    FP done on 6/19/07
    Int ND : 7/12/07, Interview date on 8/27/07
    Oath date : 9/7/07, notified by Phone
     
  13. govols!

    govols! Junior Member

    Messages:
    15
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Connecticut - Naturalization Processing Times

    My wife & I applied for Naturalization and got the approval recently. Here are the details:

    Green Card since 2000
    N400 application received by CIS: Nov 30, 2006
    Finger Prints: Dec 26, 2006
    Found out (InfoPass Appt.) background checks cleared in May, 2007
    Interview appt. letter received end/July, 2007
    Interview: Sept 10, 2007
    Oath: Sept 26, 2007

    Local CIS office: Hartford, CT

    Only issue we had was that my wife's case was not approved immediately after the interview as she had an outstanding traffic ticket (that she was appealing). They initially didn't want to approve her case until the ticket was resolved. After the interview, we submitted additional information at the counter & via fax and spoke to the interviewer couple of times and made the case that the traffic violation has no effect on the outcome of her naturalization. I understand that this was a bit unusual (information exchange at the counter, fax etc. without an attorney) but our persistence paid-off. CIS worked extra hard to get her Oath scheduled on the same day as mine.

    I have been using this forum off & on for over 10 years. I am very greatful to Ron and the forum members for providing an outstanding service to the immigrant community. As they (we) say "ONLY IN AMERICA" :)

    Thank You!
     
  14. sgeorges

    sgeorges Junior Member

    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Background check

    In San Diego
    application reciept 7/06
    finger prints 8/06

    called ins custmer service on 6/07 they said they will send me a letter.
    recieved a letter from ins on 7/07 saying that my back ground check is not completed, it could take 6 months.

    called ins custmer service on 01/08, and they repeated the same letter, saying my backgroud check still not completed and they will contact me when they recieve it(this time they did not give me time fram).


    so it is been over 18 months sofar, and by the way I do not have any bad record, or any kind of crims.... I believe because I am from Iraq will
     
  15. zzerous

    zzerous Member

    Messages:
    61
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Take them to court

    I have one thing for you: take them to court..do not wait one second.I did it and got mine done long time ago, see me time lines. My frined from NY, waited 5 years and got nothing, till I forced him to take them to court, he was scared, he got his done last month. good luck

    Service Center: VCS
    DO: Hartford
    5/31/2005: App Submitted
    06/02/05: PD
    07/09/2005: FP Date
    09/07/2005: 1st IV letter received
    11/02/2005: 1st IV Date
    09/28/2005: IV Cancellation letter received - A file has not been received by the DO
    ??/10/2005 : 2nd IV letter received- (not sure of the day)
    12/08/2005 : 2nd IV Date- (Continuous and Name Check Pending)
    4/13/2006: Filed a lawsuit in District Court ( 1447b)
    08/11/06: Oath Letter Received
    08/25/06: Oath Ceremony & Naturalization
     
  16. ravi1959

    ravi1959 Junior Member

    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Re: Personal experiences

    Dear Members

    This has been our experience in Philadelphia. We applied for naturalization on March second and were fingerprinted on March 23 2007. Our Interview was on the second of January 2008. My wife was sworn in on the seventh of February and My Swearing in is on the 21st of this month. We would have loved to be sworn in together though that was not to be. Their letter does not even mention bringing someone with you. Anyway the 12 year wait is over. My priority date was november 1996 and we got our Green cards in December 2001. I would urge people to remember to let the INS know about change of your address at all times because this was why we were delayed.​

    Ravi​
     
  17. Ron Gotcher

    Ron Gotcher Attorney at Law

    Messages:
    35,917
    Likes Received:
    4,298
    Trophy Points:
    25,213
    Re: Personal experiences

    I wholly endorse Ravi's comment about making sure that the CIS knows about address changes. I can't count the number of people who have come to me with problems that derived entirely form failure to notify. Also, today with on-line address change capability, there is no excuse not to notify them.
     
  18. mzou10

    mzou10 Junior Member

    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Re: Personal experiences

    Hi Ron,

    My case strange,

    Applied N400 Feb. 2003
    finger printed May 2003
    interviewed August 2003

    Until now feb 2008 i am still waiting for FBI approval.

    I never been convicted in my life. My green card close to expire. what do you suggest?
     
  19. milan47

    milan47 Junior Member

    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Re: Personal experiences

    My history briefly is a progression from J1 visa to a marriage to US citizen, then legal employment permit, temporary green card, permanent green card and finally the first naturalization interview yesterday, February 26. This whole process took about 6 years, in other words it was a pretty long trip.

    The interview wasn't too complicated, I aced the test, (anybody can), then the immigration officer took some more photocopies and returned to the office with the final decision. To be honest I did not expect any complications. I was never arrested, charged or otherwise, I am not from Middle East and have no security affiliation with anything resembling anti US activity.

    Nevertheless I was told that a decision cannot be taken at this time. When I asked if there is any problem, I was told the usual that a certain file was not received from an other agency. Needless to say I was pretty depressed. In essence, all I was told to sit tight and wait....

    Now that I hear all these stories of Naturalization delays, it is not much fun. Seems like the 120 days waiting period for further decision is a myth, after all some people are waiting years after initial interview and nothing much is happening.

    Just for further clarification, my interview took place in Newark, NJ.
    I wonder if anybody has some encouraging news with regard to the waiting period changes or otherwise.

    Thanks

    frank
     
  20. Billusa

    Billusa Junior Member

    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Re: Personal experiences

    I was on a green card since 09/2001 (before that 3 yrs on an L-1A, so GC was painless via CP in Montreal). Sent in N-400 in mid-May 2007 before fees went up.

    Late-June I was fingerprinted. Mid-October 2007 I got a letter stating my interview was for 3rd week of November. Waited for 45 miniutes past my "8:45am time" in a very crowded Dallas USCIS office.

    Interview took about 10 minutes and included the usual "check the form" questions. Also had three history questions, one simple sentence read and one simple sentence written. The officer actually apologized for "the simplicity of those 2 parts for a Canadian to do!"

    Received the "oath notice" letter in late December for a Jan 29th ceremony (with 250 others in DFW area). Also applied for passport that same day and had it in my mailbox 13 days later without rush procecessing.

    Good luck to all! :)
     

Share This Page