Yesterday was my husbands N400 interview. Our appt was bright and early at 7:15, we live 2.5 hours away so I was up beautifying myself at 3:00 in the morning. We got to there about 25 minutes early, spent about 15 minutes outside waiting for the doors to open than got to make our way up to the second floor. This building is also where the infopass appts are, as we had previously had an infopass there. (Just a little side note I noticed, we were one of the first people in the door and also one of the first called, they did seem to go in order of who got there first so I think it did pay to go early.) So we wait probably 15 minutes for my husband to get called, he went back and I stayed behind with our two year old (somehow scheduling worked out and they both got appts in Denver on the same day,)
My son kept himself busy playing with some chairs (they did have a little area set up for kids) and about 30 min later daddy came out. The way he was walking and his look... I knew it was bad! Until this point I was very confident, sure I had the interview jitters, but I knew we had everything and had no reason to be nervous... so I wondered What in the world could be the problem. My husband would not talk to me until we got outside, the elevator ride seemed like an eternity to the first floor.
When we got outside I was almost in tears, then my husband started explaining and my tears went to anger. He told me he passed his english, written, and civics exams but the officer was very rude and got angry with him because he could not find his papers fast enough to his liking. I admit, I put the packet together, my husband did nothing except study for his civics questions. So he had no clue what order I put everything in, which I tried to put in the order that they had on the Interview Notice. The final straw was when the man asked for 2008 taxes and my husband handed him State not Federal and the officer again yelled and told my husband he did not really care about his citizenship and that he would delay the appt and when he came back in another couple months if he did not come back more organized he would deny his case and would not get to become a citizen. So I'm listening to my husband saying all this thinking.. this cannot be right, there has to be something we can do, we did not just drive all this way for some guy on a power trip make threats towards my husband.
I went straight back in the door and told the security guards that we needed to talk to someone, that I believed my husband was not treated fairly and I wanted to talk to someone about it. The guards were VERY nice, she got us in to an infopass appt and we were able to go and talk with someone very quickly. I started explainging the situation (I was very nice throughout the whole thing, I recognize that my husband should have been advised exactly where papers were at, but I don't think he should have been treated so badly or sent home becuase he couldn't produce exactly what the officer wanted at that second, everything was in the packet that they were asking for) So we were talking at the infopass and it comes to explain exactly what happened during the interview, my husband goes through that. The guy than asked for any paper that the officer had given us, so I hand it to him. "Well it says here that he didn't pass his english test" I kind of stared at him for awhile. My husband had just explained the days events to this man in english, how could the officer say he didn't pass his test? After that I think he kind of knew we were wronged and said he would go talk to a supervisor (YES!)
After waiting 5 min he calls us back over, says we had 10 minutes to get back upstairs and in that ten minutes my husband better get acquainted with the packet and its contents and be ready to hand over proof of marriage since that was all we really had left to prove. We headed upstairs..... After waiting about 10 minutes the supervisor comes to get my husband (*HUGE sigh of relief it wasn't the same guy*) About 35 minutes later my husband came out with a THUMBS UP! WHEW! Oh and in his hands was a notice to appear at an Oath Cermony scheduled for 1:30!! (I had been asking around wondering about same day Oaths and some guy on VisaJourney basically called me stupid to even think they would do such a thing, well HA visa journey guy!)
My husband said the supervisor apologized for the whole mess and wanted him to apologize to me also. He saw another lady for the actual interview, she didn't make him do english or civics over again. She went through his stuff and didn't ask for anything else, he even asked her if she wanted to see the kids' birth certificates and she said, "No thanks, I have a copy right here." (from when we filed the N400). So she said well here you want to come back for an oath ceremony. OF course!!
We had our sons appt to get to, so we went in to Childrens Hospital like two hours early and explained my husband had an Oath Ceremony to get to and if there was anyway they could get us in early. They were AWESOME and got us in right away, and they were so great, but they always are.
After getting out of Childrens we had enough time to get some lunch and get back to USCIS for the ceremony. We went inside about 1:10, the ceremony was scheduled for 1:30. We had to wait on the second floor to go up to the third floor where the ceremony would be help. The ceremony room was pretty full, it would have been nice to be in the first elevator going up to have gotten front row seats. BUT they were super nice and as everyone was saying their oath the USCIS director allowed anyone who wanted pics or video to go up front to take them. As they finished the oath tears were running down my face, we were DONE, DONE, like NO more forms to fill for immigration, NEVER!! I just wanted to run up and give my husband a huge hug, but I held it back and let the ceremony proceed. After a short video and some lady talking, it was over. They passed out the Naturalization Certificate and that was it. I rant up to my husband and finally got my hug, don't tell him I told, but I think I saw one little tear drop build up in his eye. And that was it! The USCIS director stuck around and said he would take questions about anything, even other cases, and there were some other people to answer other questions, but we just took a few pics and left, we were both so mentally exhausted we couldn't think right.
All in all it was a pretty GREAT day.... I still can't believe the immigration journey is done for us!
May it RIP May 2005 - August 31 2011
Jan. 12 2007 Submitted Waiver (We Were Pre-Pilot-Program)
August 18 2007 WAIVER APPROVED
I lived in Mexico for nine months while we waited for our approval.. if anyone has any questions please ask me! I also had a baby there, you can read:
My guide to registering baby's birth abroad
May 3 2011 - Submitted N400
August 31 2011 - Naturalization Interview, APPROVED!! Same day oath Ceremony!!