Yesterday was a very exciting day. I had my citizenship hearing in downtown Chicago. I applied in May and in June had all my biometrics re-done at our local USCIS office in Lake County.
In December I got my notice of hearing. January 10th. At this time I had to pass I civics test so time to study. There are 100 questions and you need to know most of it. To start I learned using the multiple choice answers. But the test is not multiple choice, you have to know the answers.
After feeling I was getting it right it was time to switch to flashcards. I tested at the weekend and scored around 90%. I am useless at history and the Abraham Lincoln, Slavery questions were tough for me. But I was confident enough. My husband and youngest son were also doing it so we tested each other.
At 6.30am yesterday we headed out for the trip to downtown Chicago, our appointments were at 8.30 am. We booked parking using an app, Chicago city parking is horrible. We were a block away from the Homeland Security building, arrived in time, it was busy!
I was called into my interview. Photo, more fingerprints and out comes my file. Yes the government has an entire file on me and my movements in the USA, and photos and all sorts. I joked with the interviewer who was extremely nice that at least it was not as fat as some he had to do that day, he laughed.
I verbally confirmed all the information he had and showed my ID, Green Card, all my passports. Next was the civics test. You only have to get 60% and they only ask 10 questions. You come back for a second interview if you fail, after that start over. I got my first 6 questions right. Then he proceeded to ask me about another 50 questions.
Now it was time to swear allegiance on his iPad. There were a couple of other things to do done and after 20 minutes, I was approved for citizenship. But we are not done yet!
I left with a paper confirming approval and that I had sworn allegiance. But I still have my passport from the UK and Green Card. Now I wait for the ceremoney. This is the time you swear allegiance in front of a judge or USCIS member. There are usually over 100 at each ceremony. At that time I become a citizen, hand my green card back and get my certificate. I'll have to get a US passport before I can go to the UK to visit.
It is very exciting, we've lived here 23 years now and this is our home!
So watch out America, in the next elections you can bet I'll be voting. Who knows I could be a swing vote.