Friday, March 26, 2010

At Last....A US Citizen!

After a few more months of struggle dealing with the US immigration, I was finally scheduled for a citizenship oath today at 11am. Just in case anyone wants to know my citizenship timeline, I had my citizenship interview on February 2, 2010 in Baltimore and thank God I passed! They give same day oath right after you pass a citizenship interview, but in my case, they gave me a pending oath because my fingerprints were not readable by FBI, and so the USCIS requested me to submit a police clearance to them after which they would schedule me for an oath. Quite disgusting and a hassle! I had a month and 3 weeks wait for my oath schedule since the police clearance took time to get it, plus it was all delayed due to a week of snow storms aggh!!!

Anyway, all is well that ends well!

Here's my Citizenship Oath Ceremony Experience:

I and hubby left the house as early as 9AM for my 11AM oath ceremony. It takes an hour drive going there, plus traffic, so we just thought of getting there as early as we can. We were there at exactly 10:10AM. We proceeded to Room 101 and waited at the seating area. At around 11:05AM, we were told to go to 7th floor at the naturalization oath room wherein we were properly seated. It was good to know that members of the family who are with the oath takers are seated together, so I still had my hubby beside me :). It was probably another 20 minutes for getting in line in the room to get our packets and mini flaglets, and checking of our naturalization certificates for any errors on our names and data, etc.

While on the line, a lady was checking our answers at the back of our oath notice letter where a series of questions will have to be answered basing on what happened in between the citizenship interview and the oath. They are particular if you have traveled out of the country in between those occasions, and if there are any changes that happened as well, such as got married, divorced or widowed, had crimes, etc...In my case, nothing had changed, so I was good to proceed. They asked me to surrender my green card with them, checked my certificate for any erroneous entries, (so far, it was all correct), then got my packets and flaglet.

The ceremony started with the singing of the National Anthem...of course I sang!, I know the lyrics, lol!

Then an immigration judge came in and gave us a short talk regarding on being a US citizen and  swore us in on our oath of allegiance. After that, we recited our pledge of allegiance and listened to Pres. Obama's message on a video.

That was the end of the ceremony! The judge congratulated us one by one, while they are distributing our naturalization certificates. That was the mess there, because it was noisy and I couldn't hear whether my name was already called and here comes the judge chatting with everybody else, LOL!

Well, anyway, I got mine at last, and had our photo opps. I wasn't able to get a photo opp with the judge, he was too quick to leave, lol!

And to sum it all...I am no longer an ALIEN!!! I am now a proud American citizen of the land of the free!


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