My citizenship interview
Last year, I decided to apply for citizenship. Months after applying, I was invited for a citizenship interview.
After I sent in my application, the next step was my biometrics appointment. At the appointment, I gave my fingerprints and signature and had my photograph taken. Then I waited. It was 7 months before I received a notification letter from USCIS to come for my citizenship interview!
My citizenship interview would take place on November 27, 2019, the day before Thanksgiving.
I did some research about what would happen in the interview. Many people said that the USCIS in some states can make the interview a bit more difficult than it used to be. The interviewers are asking applicants about the meaning of each question in the N-400 application.
So, while I waited, I decided to use my time to catch up on my citizenship study. I dedicated:
• Three hours daily to understanding the N-400 application questions – I wanted to be sure I knew the meaning of some of the difficult words, especially in Part 12.
• Two hours every day to the study of US civics, history, and government – I used the USAHello free online citizenship class. It’s translated to 8 languages that you can read side by side with English to help people study the topics while they improve their English at the same time.
The day for my citizenship interview arrived.
I was told not to be nervous or afraid of failing. I got some other good tips, too:
• I was advised that the interview really begins the minute I meet and greet the officer. He will already be assessing my English skills.
• People recommended that I bring my husband and children with me to the naturalization interview to support my case because I came to the USA with a marriage visa. The USCIS office would want to make sure we were truly married and living together.
• I was told to arrive early. On November 27, we arrived two hours prior to my interview!
After a while, the officer called my name. We exchanged greetings and shook hands and went into the office. I sat across the table from the officer. He was very friendly, and he asked me first if there were any changes or updates to my N-400 application before starting the interview.
The officer started the interview with my application.
He asked 5 personal questions: my date of birth, where I live, where I work, who came with me, and how many kids I have. I knew that was part of my speaking test.
Then the officer began the civics test. I had to answer 6 out of 10 questions correctly. Because I had studied, I passed the first 6 questions that he asked.
Next came the reading test. The officer passed me a piece of paper with a sentence written on it and he asked me to read it. The sentence was “Who can vote?”
The last part was the writing test. The officer gave two options for writing. The first one was to write on a piece of paper. The second one was to write on a touch screen. I chose the second one and wrote “Citizens can vote” as I was instructed.