rsactuary
rsactuary
Joined: Sep 6, 2014
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July 14th, 2018 at 5:38:06 AM permalink
I haven't discussed this very much on this forum, but I am a Canadian citizen and have been living in the US since 1990. (I'm about to be 53 years old).

I was sponsored by my Company (I have since changed jobs - but same actuarial career) for a green card and received it in 1993, making me eligible for naturalization since 1998.

Originally, I didn't pursue getting citizenship as I would have had to give up my Canadian citizenship, but those rules changed in the early 2000s and I can now be dual.

I have wanted to get US citizenship for a long time for the estate benefits and the ability to vote, so I started filling out the application once before, but put it down and didn't pick it back up.

Three weeks ago, I decided it was time. This thread is to document my journey through this process for those that are interested.
Last edited by: rsactuary on Jul 14, 2018
rsactuary
rsactuary
Joined: Sep 6, 2014
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July 14th, 2018 at 5:45:45 AM permalink
June 16, 2018

I looked for the application form online and found it easily enough. Since the last time I started the process, the application form can now be submitted electronically. I like that...

So I go through the form and came to the first stumbling block. I need to list all the times that I have been out of the US in the last five years.. including departure and return dates and countries visited. That is difficult for me because I love to travel internationally quite a bit, and of course, there are always trips to Canada to see my family.

When I originally started filling out the application form years ago, this was a bigger stumbling block because they wanted to know every time I left the country back to when I got my green card in 1993! This new form only asks for the last five years.

From my passports and my American Airlines AAdvantage account summaries I was able to get a pretty good list of dates, but when going to and from Canada, especially driving over the border at Buffalo, they often don't stamp the passport any more.

I called American Airlines and for $75 was able to get a list of all flights taken in the past 5 years, so with this information was able to compile an accurate listing.

The only other item I needed was a scan of my green card for submission.

In the application, they ask if you've ever been cited for anything. Well I had two traffic tickets back in 2007. I debated whether to even put them on the application, but decided it was better to be safe than sorry and include them. Hopefully that doesn't cause any issues. They also asked for me to submit documentation related to those tickets. Well I don't have any.. hopefully that isn't an issue either.

June 30, 2018

I've got all of the information pieced together, form reviewed and everything seems complete. I hit the button to submit and pay $725.
Last edited by: rsactuary on Jul 14, 2018
rsactuary
rsactuary
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July 14th, 2018 at 5:48:37 AM permalink
July 13, 2018

I go online to check on my status and see that my application was accepted and I have been scheduled for a biometrics appointment on July 26, 2018.

The website listed estimated completion date as August 2020!

They will take my picture and my fingerprints. The FBI will use that to do a background check.

Apparently, I can also pick up a booklet describing how to study for the civics test.

I have taken a few informal ones online and have passed all of them without studying, so not too concerned about this. My understanding is that you get two chances to pass a 10 question civics test (pass is 6 or more correct). If you fail twice, your application is denied and you have to start over.

As part of my interview with an immigration officer, I will also have to pass an English proficiency test. I'm obviously not worried about that.
Last edited by: rsactuary on Jul 14, 2018
GWAE
GWAE
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July 14th, 2018 at 6:07:12 AM permalink
The test is only 10 questions?I guess I could google it but what type of questions? Are they easy like what is the name of national anthem and when did columbus find us?
Expect the worst and you will never be disappointed.
rsactuary
rsactuary
Joined: Sep 6, 2014
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July 14th, 2018 at 6:22:36 AM permalink
they are all multiple choice type questions...

Who is the current president?
Who is the current vice president?
How many senators are there?
How many members of the house of representatives?
How many votes in the electoral college?
Which is not one of the three branches of government?
Who was the first president?
Who signed the declaration of independence? (four choices, of which only one was on the declaration--- John Hancock)
What city is the US Capital
Johnzimbo
Johnzimbo
Joined: Sep 29, 2010
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July 14th, 2018 at 7:08:59 AM permalink
Two traffic tickets 11 years ago? I hope they send scofflaws like you packing! J/K
rsactuary
rsactuary
Joined: Sep 6, 2014
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Thanks for this post from:
tringlomane
July 14th, 2018 at 7:14:07 AM permalink
Quote: Johnzimbo

Two traffic tickets 11 years ago? I hope they send scofflaws like you packing! J/K



Unfortunately, with this administration, I can't rule that out!
RonC
RonC
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July 14th, 2018 at 7:19:04 AM permalink
While I hope that you become a citizen long before 2020, I don't think that is an unreasonable amount of time for the process. I'd like to see delays cut, of course, but to declare it "unreasonable" I would have to research it more to find out how long it takes to do background investigations, the number of people in the process ahead of you, and the number of folks working on those cases to get them to completion.

I do think we should work hard to process every application for citizenship for qualified legal immigrants in a timely manner.

Good Luck...I hope the bureaucratic process is kind to you!
rsactuary
rsactuary
Joined: Sep 6, 2014
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July 14th, 2018 at 7:22:09 AM permalink
Quote: RonC

While I hope that you become a citizen long before 2020, I don't think that is an unreasonable amount of time for the process. I'd like to see delays cut, of course, but to declare it "unreasonable" I would have to research it more to find out how long it takes to do background investigations, the number of people in the process ahead of you, and the number of folks working on those cases to get them to completion.

I do think we should work hard to process every application for citizenship for qualified legal immigrants in a timely manner.

Good Luck...I hope the bureaucratic process is kind to you!



Thank you!

My guess is that the estimated date given was a "worst case scenario". Time will tell.
FleaStiff
FleaStiff
Joined: Oct 19, 2009
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July 14th, 2018 at 7:38:51 AM permalink
Quote: rsactuary

This thread is to document my journey through this process for those that are interested.

I'm just glad you are interested in the process. There is a good deal of negativity in today's climate.

I know Canada has a good health care system but I think they penalize their citizens who spend time or who work outside of Canada on health benefits.

You were quite correct to include those traffic citations. Its similar to the view the IRS takes on improper deductions not being as bad as improper concealment of income.

Its a much tougher journey for anyone trying to leave America and become a landed immigrant in Canada.

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