My 22 year journey comes to a close

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Hello All - Just want to let you know of my interview experience today. We were scheduled for a 9:00 AM interview at the Baltimore office, and having woken up bright and early, both my wife and I were in the waiting room by 8:10 AM. Fairly simple process to check in once you get in the building and find the room. It was early so there just a few people there waiting. Seemed like people were getting called in quickly and the environment was pretty light, stress-free. I was called in 30 minutes early and was ready to go. I introduced myself to a very nice officer who seemed like he would be very pleasant to deal with. Its always good to start with a happy face.

We went in, he advised me that he would record video of our meeting, and then started going down the N-400 form and asking general questions. I liked his style, very conversational yet probing in the right areas to test for correctness. we got to the civics test, easy...then the reading and writing which was quick. The officer was very diligent, as he made notes of practically everything I said and explained, as he went down the entire n-400 form. He asked about my job, where I live, how long, etc. He also told me that there was an oath ceremony in the afternoon and that me and my wife could do that. I was elated.

I had a slew of documents with me which I never had to use. We got down to the travel part and he saw my long list of international travel (all very short business trips, nothing impacting continuous stay), and he started to go down the list and checking against passport stamps. He made it down a third of the way and told me he will need to go through all the list and check against his records once we are done. He told me that he just needed to look in his systems to validate the timing of all these trips. Soon after, we were done and he told me that all is good, but he couldn't make a decision until he finished his due diligence on the travel, but I would get approval soon enough. Of course I was disappointed and I asked if there is any way we could do this together right now, and he said he just needed some time. Then he realized that my wife will likely take the oath today and he told me that if his next appointment is not here he would work on it now while I waited outside.

I went out to the waiting room, knowing all was good but not quite excited. Then my wife gets called in by another officer and in she goes. While I wait, my officer comes out and tells me that he checked everything out and all is good, and hands me my oath letter. I thank him for going the extra mile and finally get a big smile on my face. My wife's interview was very smooth too and she comes out with an approval!

The oath was a few hours later in the same office, so we headed out for lunch and hung outside. we came back in and had to wait in a waiting area for 45 minutes before they finally shuffled us into the oath room. There they checked everyone's oath letter one by one, had us hand in our GCs and letter, and sit down. Then we said the pledge as a group, sang the national anthem, and watched a video by President Obama. Soon after we were done!

This marks the end of a long journey for me as I passed through F, H visas and GCs and I am really glad to be done. As long as I have lived here, I have always felt at home here and this was just the official stamp to seal the deal. To all of you waiting, be patient, be prepared, and most importantly, be respectful to the officer that you deal with. Your time will come!

Total GC time: 5.5 years
Total USC time: 4.75 months


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