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-   -   I'm an American! Thank you everyone. (https://britishexpats.com/forum/marriage-based-visas-35/im-american-thank-you-everyone-929682/)

scottyvisa Dec 6th 2019 3:28 pm

I'm an American! Thank you everyone.
 
On Monday this week I attended the Oath Ceremony in Norfolk, VA and became a citizen of the United States of America!

The invite was for 9.30am at the federal courthouse, so we turned up around 8.45am and there was already a long line to get through security. We were told while waiting that no electronic devices are allowed (no mention of this on invite) so put all our phones (My wife and in-laws joined me) and smart watches back in the car. Finally got through security, which was just 1 airport style x-ray and scanner that moved very slow, about 9.30am, and was informed that the ceremony actually started at 11.30am. Once through I checked in with the USCIS team, they took my Greencard and handed me a pack with some information on how to register to vote, apply for a passport etc, and assigned me a number as they wanted us to sit in a certain order. The ceremony was great, each person stood up to say where they were from, 100 new citizens from 47 countries! The judge led us in taking the oath, and then a retired Army Colonel gave a talk, it was all quite moving! Then at the end we took in turns of walking up and were handed our Certificates of Naturalization, and a small US Flag and sticker! There was someone waiting outside to help us register to vote, but nobody there for passport applications, so I booked an appointment the next day at the USPS near me (I'm going oversees on Jan 4th). 2 other British people Naturalizing at the same time, one of them was wearing a hoodie and jeans, and had to be told to take the hood off, he was letting the side down! Everyone else was dressed smartly.

For those interested, here is my timeline from beginning to end. It feels great to have the journey completed! Thank you so much to everyone here for your help at each step, and for those still on the journey, let me know if you have any questions!

April 2014 - Met my now spouse on a business trip to the US
March 2015 - Engaged
May 2015 - I-129F Filed
June 2015 - I-129F Approved and sent to NVC then London Consular Office
August-October 2015 - Attended Medical, Filed paperwork and attended interview in London Embassy, K1 approved!
Dec 2015 - Moved to the US and married, filed AOS (I-485, along with I-131 and I-765).
April 2016 - AOS Approved and Greencard (conditional) issued
Jan 2018 - Filed I-1751 for removal of conditions. Received 12 month extension letter.
Jan 2019 - Extension letter extended to 18 months
Feb 2019 - File N-400 Application for Naturalization
June 2019 - Attended Citizenship interview
July 2019 - Citizenship approved and conditions removed at same time
Dec 2019 - Became a citizen!




BenK91 Dec 6th 2019 3:44 pm

Re: I'm an American! Thank you everyone.
 
Congratulations!

I've been following your journey from the start and happy to see you're at the end of that now! Enjoy it :thumbup:

tom169 Dec 6th 2019 9:14 pm

Re: I'm an American! Thank you everyone.
 
Congratulations :)

scottyvisa Dec 7th 2019 12:35 am

Re: I'm an American! Thank you everyone.
 

Originally Posted by BenK91 (Post 12774900)
Congratulations!

I've been following your journey from the start and happy to see you're at the end of that now! Enjoy it :thumbup:

Thanks! Hope you catch up with me soon!

livinginnyc Dec 7th 2019 1:27 am

Re: I'm an American! Thank you everyone.
 
Congrats!!!!!

Rete Dec 7th 2019 1:33 pm

Re: I'm an American! Thank you everyone.
 
Congratulations, Scotty

civilservant Dec 7th 2019 3:33 pm

Re: I'm an American! Thank you everyone.
 
Welcome to the club! Congrats! :)

Rete Dec 7th 2019 7:38 pm

Re: I'm an American! Thank you everyone.
 
Things To Do Re New Citizenship
  1. Take naturalization certificate, social security card and driver's license and/or passport to the Social Security Office and update your record;
  2. Take your naturalization certificate and/or your US Passport and exchange your license for a REAL ID Driver's License;
  3. Update your employment documentation to show US citizenship;
  4. Take several front and back photocopies of your naturalization certificate and keep in a safe place and/or put it online and save to thumb drive.

zzrmark Dec 8th 2019 9:52 pm

Re: I'm an American! Thank you everyone.
 

Originally Posted by Rete (Post 12775375)
Things To Do Re New Citizenship
  1. Take naturalization certificate, social security card and driver's license and/or passport to the Social Security Office and update your record;
  2. Take your naturalization certificate and/or your US Passport and exchange your license for a REAL ID Driver's License;
  3. Update your employment documentation to show US citizenship;
  4. Take several front and back photocopies of your naturalization certificate and keep in a safe place and/or put it online and save to thumb drive.

Hmm, I was issued a REAL ID license as a PR, is that not a nationwide thing?

Most importantly, get your name on the electoral roll and exercise your rights as a citizen when the time comes.

Rete Dec 9th 2019 12:19 pm

Re: I'm an American! Thank you everyone.
 
Thought Real ID was only for US citizens. My mistake. Not nationwide yet and here in MS you have to ask for it otherwise you get a regular DL.

scottyvisa Dec 9th 2019 1:45 pm

Re: I'm an American! Thank you everyone.
 

Originally Posted by Rete (Post 12775375)
Things To Do Re New Citizenship
  1. Take naturalization certificate, social security card and driver's license and/or passport to the Social Security Office and update your record;
  2. Take your naturalization certificate and/or your US Passport and exchange your license for a REAL ID Driver's License;
  3. Update your employment documentation to show US citizenship;
  4. Take several front and back photocopies of your naturalization certificate and keep in a safe place and/or put it online and save to thumb drive.

Thank you!

In Virginia, I renewed my licence last year and somehow it's not REAL ID, so will go do this at some point, but I have a federally issued ID too so not a big issue. Waiting for my passport first before I go to social security office (they told us to wait 2 weeks anyway).

scottyvisa Dec 9th 2019 1:46 pm

Re: I'm an American! Thank you everyone.
 

Originally Posted by zzrmark (Post 12775760)
Hmm, I was issued a REAL ID license as a PR, is that not a nationwide thing?

Most importantly, get your name on the electoral roll and exercise your rights as a citizen when the time comes.

Registered to vote on the day! Looking forward to exercising that right.

Olly_ Dec 9th 2019 4:25 pm

Re: I'm an American! Thank you everyone.
 

Originally Posted by Rete (Post 12776019)
Thought Real ID was only for US citizens. My mistake. Not nationwide yet and here in MS you have to ask for it otherwise you get a regular DL.

Anybody legally present can get a Real ID :)

Rete Dec 9th 2019 5:03 pm

Re: I'm an American! Thank you everyone.
 

Originally Posted by Olly_ (Post 12776166)
Anybody legally present can get a Real ID :)

So I've been told. Thanks for reiterating the duplicate information given previously.

Rete Dec 9th 2019 5:06 pm

Re: I'm an American! Thank you everyone.
 

Originally Posted by scottyvisa (Post 12776062)
Registered to vote on the day! Looking forward to exercising that right.

These last four years have been the only years that I have not voted in a federal election in 50 years.

Each candidate IMHO is dog crap and belongs picked up from the sidewalk and deposited in the trash.


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