Thank you everyone!!!!

Old Oct 20th 2019, 5:54 pm
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Default Thank you everyone!!!!

Mini life update from me! - I naturalized on Friday! I'm now (finally) an American!

Huge huge huge thanks to everyone on this forum that helped me with questions.etc over the past few years!

For anyone reading this wanting to know timelines on updates.etc, I filed in late April 2019, so the case took around 6 months total; I naturalized about 45 minutes after the interview, and the staff made huge efforts to make it really, really memorable with the regional director (think he was? he said he was in charge of the area for USCIS/DHS) doing a quick speech on the importance of voting, applying for a passport and took about 30 minutes (before guests were allowed in) to hear stories from people in the room on where they came from, why they wanted citizenship and how its a big a deal for America as it is for us.

I registered to vote in the room (The League of Women voters were on hand to help everyone with the paperwork and mail it off.etc; which was really nice), and applied for a passport at my local USPS the next day, they give you the forms at the ceremony and I took them to my local USPS the next day and paid for the service for them to check, take photos, expedite and so on (personally I think its worth every penny). I also updated my info at the DMV (not really necessary but I did it anyway), and was advised to wait ~11 days before going to the SSA (which is fine anyway as it's going to take that long to get my certificate back from the Dept of State).

Things left to do (that im aware of for the adjustment)

1) Notify SSA,
2) I believe I have to tell my Bank too? (as it goes on file with credit.etc)
3) Notify my employer & send them a copy of either my passport or certificate (I've told HR anyway but my GC was good till 2029 so they aren't too concerned),
4) Party party party

In terms of the interview -
I had an awesome female interviewer who noticed I was visibly nervous (internally melting down) and said to take a deep breath and if it helps, we can do the civics test first. took roughly 2 minutes to complete and was easy (I've been revising for about 3 months with flashcards.etc as I was convinced my memory was going to fail me so wanted it hard baked in). after that was over, we both cracked a few jokes; lighted it up and went through the entire case (5 minutes), did an English test (30-50 seconds) and then checked my tax (state/federal) was paid.etc. The longest part was the yes/no questions related to any criminal history (she was amazed i've never had a speeding ticket let alone anything else), some questions on upholding the constitution and if i'd ever voted before. after that she literally printed off a piece of paper and said 'your phone is about to go nuts if you've got text/email updates (it did) as its all done and approved and you're booked to naturalize today if you can hang around.

Hopefully this info helps anyone else going through the process! Good luck & for the civics practice, there is a YouTube channel that fires the questions at you and then says the answers.... I was listening to it on the commute and at the gym (boring I know), but it was really helpful in memorizing it!

Last edited by livinginnyc; Oct 20th 2019 at 6:01 pm.
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Old Oct 20th 2019, 6:18 pm
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Default Re: Thank you everyone!!!!

Congratulations!! Things have sped up a lot around here -- I filed mine last year and it took almost a year. In case you are not aware (I wasn't), NY has some of the longest lead-times to vote, so you have missed the cut-off to vote this November (see here).

Originally Posted by livinginnyc View Post
1) Notify SSA,
Heads-up that not all SSA offices in NYC will be able to help you. You are not really "notifying", but applying for a new SS card. This means you need to go to a location that is designated as a "card center". Conventional wisdom is that it's better to go in than try for the mail-in option.

Enjoy your celebrations
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Old Oct 20th 2019, 6:21 pm
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Default Re: Thank you everyone!!!!

Congratulations! Glad you’ve reached the end of the trail and can finally relax. The wine must have tasted extra delicious that night!
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Old Oct 20th 2019, 7:23 pm
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Default Re: Thank you everyone!!!!

Congratulations. Now to fully acclimate yourself to the US. One must is to learn proper Americanizm

It's reviewing not revising and we love our letter Z.

As for retzie's advice on the SSA, I disagree. You will not be getting a new card. The card in your possession, if it doesn't already have the work legend removed, will continue to be the only card will have. My husband never received a new SS card after going to a walk-in SSA office and notifying them via handing them his naturalization certificate that his records were to be updated. He used the SSA Office opposite the Greenburgh Library in Elmsford. Unless things have changed in the last 3 months, I will be glad to be corrected.

PS I never heard of an SSA that is a card center and I have been a USC for 71 years.
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Old Oct 20th 2019, 7:51 pm
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Default Re: Thank you everyone!!!!

Originally Posted by Rete View Post
Congratulations. Now to fully acclimate yourself to the US. One must is to learn proper Americanizm

It's reviewing not revising and we love our letter Z.

.
British or American spelling, revising takes an s!
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Old Oct 20th 2019, 8:06 pm
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Default Re: Thank you everyone!!!!

Originally Posted by Nutmegger View Post


British or American spelling, revising takes an s!
LOL very true.
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Old Oct 20th 2019, 9:19 pm
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Default Re: Thank you everyone!!!!

You are also now required to fully embrace American Exceptionalism!

Congrats and welcome to 'the club'
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Old Oct 20th 2019, 9:32 pm
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Default Re: Thank you everyone!!!!

Acclimatize
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Old Oct 20th 2019, 9:37 pm
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Default Re: Thank you everyone!!!!

Congratulationz
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Old Oct 20th 2019, 9:53 pm
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Default Re: Thank you everyone!!!!

Originally Posted by Rete View Post
As for retzie's advice on the SSA, I disagree. You will not be getting a new card. The card in your possession, if it doesn't already have the work legend removed, will continue to be the only card will have.
There is only one form: SS-5-FS. You use it to apply for a new card, replace an existing card, or change the information on your SS record. For reasons known only to the SSA, if you are just doing an update, they send you a new card anyway (which is exactly the same as the one I had on my green card, but with a different issue date). This is as of April 2019.

Originally Posted by Rete View Post
PS I never heard of an SSA that is a card center and I have been a USC for 71 years.
I think this is a (recent?) peculiarity of NYC. If you type in a ZIP from one of the 5 boroughs here, it shows you the following:

We Want to Make Sure You Go to the Correct Office

You must visit a Card Center if:
  1. You need a Social Security Card
  2. Your personal information needs to be updated
  3. Your employer asked you to visit a Social Security office
For other services, please visit a servicing office.

I found this out the hard way -- I just went to my local SSA office and was sent away with a list of the card centers (which are much fewer than SSA offices).

Last edited by retzie; Oct 20th 2019 at 11:36 pm.
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Old Oct 21st 2019, 3:43 pm
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Default Re: Thank you everyone!!!!

Thank you for the information.

She does not live in NYC. She lives in a river town in Westchester County which is why I mentioned Elmsford

Perhaps instead of calling it a new card, I would suggest it be called an updated card. New card implies new set of SS numbers.
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Old Oct 21st 2019, 5:59 pm
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Default Re: Thank you everyone!!!!

Originally Posted by Rete View Post
Thank you for the information.

She does not live in NYC. She lives in a river town in Westchester County which is why I mentioned Elmsford

Perhaps instead of calling it a new card, I would suggest it be called an updated card. New card implies new set of SS numbers.
I have not been to update the SSA yet. But I am not sure why I would need a new card, I already did this once, I got a new one after I became a PR and it looks the same as my wife’s (who is a USC from birth) the first one received had the annotation that it was not valid for work authorization, but once I got my GC it was a regular one.
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Old Oct 21st 2019, 6:04 pm
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Default Re: Thank you everyone!!!!

Originally Posted by tht View Post


I have not been to update the SSA yet. But I am not sure why I would need a new card, I already did this once, I got a new one after I became a PR and it looks the same as my wife’s (who is a USC from birth) the first one received had the annotation that it was not valid for work authorization, but once I got my GC it was a regular one.
i didn’t bother going to the SS administration for a decade after I became a USC as there were no caveats on my card. However, when I did go to inform them, I was sent a new card.
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Old Oct 21st 2019, 8:53 pm
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Default Re: Thank you everyone!!!!

Originally Posted by Nutmegger View Post


i didn’t bother going to the SS administration for a decade after I became a USC as there were no caveats on my card. However, when I did go to inform them, I was sent a new card.
I forget what difference it even makes.. some benefit that only USC’s get and probably won’t exist by the time I am old enough....

Ended up registering to vote last month for next months local elections (am going to miss the blank stares from the door knocking politicians when I tell told them I was an alien and could not vote) and plan to update at the DMV in 2021 when my DL is up for renewal....
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Old Oct 21st 2019, 8:56 pm
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Default Re: Thank you everyone!!!!

Originally Posted by tht View Post

I forget what difference it even makes.. some benefit that only USC’s get and probably won’t exist by the time I am old enough....

Ended up registering to vote last month for next months local elections (am going to miss the blank stares from the door knocking politicians when I tell told them I was an alien and could not vote) and plan to update at the DMV in 2021 when my DL is up for renewal....

The straw that broke the camel's back was my approaching Medicare eligibility. Not a deal breaker, but preferable.
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