Many may have seen this on Facebook and on Sally K. & David L. Hanson post. On January 29th 2019 I became an American Citizen.
My husband, myself and our two sons have lived in the USA since 1996. 22 years later it was time to become a citizen. Time because we consider this our home. Time because I'll never leave and wanted to become an integral part of the USA. I want to be able to vote, I am happy to serve on a jury. I have the right to serve as a government member but that's not my intent. Time because my green card was expiring in October 2019 and would have to renew which is a bit of a process and cost.
So in May 2018 three of us submitted our request to become citizens. My eldest son had just renewed his green card for 10 years and says he wants to remain a UK citizen. (His choice). A month later we all had biometrics re-done, son and hubby a day ahead of me. Then we waited. In December we got letters of appointment for interviews in Chicago, all same day and time. Luckily eldest son could look after my Golden Retrievers with his girlfriend.
On January 10th we went downtown and completed the interviews and civics tests. Three days later I got my ceremony invite. January 29th 2019 at 1pm, again in Chicago. My hubby and son have not had their invites! This is making my hubby just a little jealous, actually a lot. Our son looked after doggies and my hubby came with me to Chicago. He is in final stages of recovering from some major surgery but wanted to come with. It was a good test of stamina as is set to go back to work next week.
My ceremony started at 2pm, after an hours worth of organizing everyone, which was extremely well orchestrated. (Clearly they've done this before!) There were 137 of us from many nations. We sang The Star Spangled Banner. We watched a video, listened to an address. Then we took our Oath of Allegiance to become citizens. After that we listened to Mr President, welcoming us to the USA as new citizens. We sand God Bless America, one of my fave songs. Lastly we spoke the Allegiance to The Flag and USA. (Yes different). Now it was time to present 137 certificates. Finally everyone congratulated those around and we were released into our new country of citizenship.
I can still retain my UK citizenship as well. Having lived and worked their for so long, I will be drawing my social security from there too! It's my right based on years of contribution.
My husband and son anxiously await the mail everyday, hoping to get their letters soon. It does make it a little hard on Jon, he travels alot for work and cannot book any trips until he knows what date his ceremony is. It's not something you want to miss. Miss it twice and you have to start over and pay again. For me, I can now apply for a passport, I have already registered to vote, watch out USA! I am joking that I shall be the swing vote.
I will always remember January 29th 2019. My naturalization day! OK back to work!