Becoming an American Citizen

Happy 4th of July, friends!
Happy 4th of July Pinners! Hope you all have a safe, fun and blessed Day!  {Enjoy this Free printable via Cottage at the Crossroads} ♥ kimm
Today I want to share with you one of my stories:
I am a Canadian, born in Montreal, Quebec.
Growing up in the States and marrying an American, I knew that I wanted to apply for dual citizenship. Exactly one year ago today, that dream became a reality!
 Like most things in life, the process of becoming an American citizen begins with paperwork. I filled out the document with information such as my point of initial entry as well as the specific dates of EVERY TIME I had left the country since becoming a resident. Let me tell you, that as a seasoned traveler, that took some digging!
Once my paperwork was processed, I received an appointment for fingerprinting. Now, this was quite an ordeal because one month after I submitted my application, I moved across the country from New Jersey to Washington. I kept receiving notice after notice about getting my fingerprints done in NJ - only for me to call, e-mail, and send snail mail with my updated address. Finally, after 3 months of back-and-forth, I heard from an agent that I could just go to the Seattle Immigration office and get my fingerprints taken on the day of my appointment (even though my notice said NJ). "Why has no one told me this?" I thought!
So, I took a day off of school, drove through crazy Seattle traffic at 6am, walked up to the counter and was told, 
"WRONG!" 
Apparently, you can't just show up without the correct appointment paper. But they told me I could wait and they would fit me in if they had time before they closed at 4pm.
I waited.
and waited.
...and waited.
at 3:55pm my name was called.
Boy was that a long day.
But at least my fingerprinting was done and I was one step closer.
When I received home that day I had a letter in the mail with a fingerprinting appointment.
In Seattle.
Go figure.
The next month I was called to the Immigration Office for my official interview. I sat in a large room with people from all over the world, waiting to be called in. *At the fingerprinting appointment, they give each candidate a booklet with 100 possible questions in it. At the interview, they choose randomly from the list and you must answer 6 out of 10 correct. People spoke in hushed tones, going over possible questions and talking about their experience getting to this point.

The man who interviewed me was the kindest government employee I had ever met and he put this nervous girl at ease. 
He explained the process to me, asked me a series of questions, and I was good to go!

Here are some sample questions:
How would you do? :)

Normally a new citizen will be sworn in at the Immigration Office, but if you get processed in the months of May or June, you are sworn in at an official Naturalization Ceremony on July 4th. 
Each year they host them in major cities around the nation. 
I was there with 500 of my closest soon-to-be-naturalized friends. 
See that red circle - that's me! :)
It was quite an impressive ceremony, filled with speeches, song and dance performances, and inspiring stories about those who worked so diligently to make their dream of becoming an American come true. 
For me, the best part of the ceremony was when they announced each country that was represented. They would call out a country and anyone who was from there would stand and the crowd would cheer. Some countries - like Azerbaijan - had one person represented while others - like Canada {woot woot!} - had 41 people becoming citizens.
At the end of the ceremony, we all stood and recited this oath:
"I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty, of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen; that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I will bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform noncombatant service in the Armed Forces of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform work of national importance under civilian direction when required by the law; and that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; so help me God."

And voila!
My dream of becoming an American citizen came true: 
I'd love to hear from other naturalized friends! 
Anyone else have a story to share? :)

1 comment :

  1. This is awesome! Thank you for sharing! I have had 3 parents of students I have taught become US citizens. I had the boys and girls make an American flag with their hand prints and then sign their names. The parents who received them LOVED them. And I loved making them.

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