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Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Alien No More

When my husband was still in the service and we were deployed in Korea,  fellow Filipinos there advised me to  apply for citizenship there because it is easier, they say.  The idea toyed in my mind for a while but since my husband was always busy with work, and I was not ready to give up my  Filipino citizenship yet, we abolished the idea of applying there.  When we came back here in 2010, I planned to  apply but then I got cold feet again and said that I will  do it the next year, then the next year.  In 2012, I filled out my application but stored  it away.  It was only last year that I decided to  really push through my plan.  After all, I have been living  here in the US for almost 9 years now so I was ready to give up my former citizenship.

Here's the timeline of my  application process:
  • I sent my application on the last week of July
  • August 7th - I received a notification from USCIS  that they  received my application already. Application Fee is $680
  • August 14th - I got my appointment for Biometrics
  • September 4th - I did my Biometrics at Application Support Center  in Pittsburgh.  This is located in Penn Avenue.  MY appointment was 1 but we went there early as we did not know where it was.  We got done  so quick.  Since no photos allowed, I did not bring my camera in my purse, I left it in the car.  I should have  brought it and took pictures outside the  USCIS building hehehe.  Bummer.
  • November 14 - I had my Interview.  I was  a nervous wreck lol.  Although I literally memorize every page of the book that they gave me to study on, I was still nervous because of 100 questions that you learned in the book, they only select ten of them to ask you.  The interviewer  was very nice and he made me feel comfortable  so I  was confident in answering his questions.  After getting the first 6 questions right, I was done.  
I was freaking out  when December came as I never got any notification about the Oath ceremony.  I was  worried that they might find wrong in my application and  will go through it again.  I think that the delayed was due to the holiday so I was glad when I got my Oath Taking Ceremony notification after Christmas.  The Oath  Taking ceremony was held where I was interviewed on January  10 at 1:00 pm.  We brought our kids with us.  They only attended school for half a day.
 
I was the very first one to arrived so I got the first seat lol.  The guys that  was in front was the one who interviewed me.
After the Pledge of Allegiance, the Director encouraged us to share our  journey here in the States but I did not have the courage to talk in front (not my kind of thing lol).  Some shared their  stories though which is nice.  The Indian woman made me cry with her speech.  Some who took the Oath are from Vietnam, Cambodia, China, Russia, Canada, Czechoslovakia, and some other countries.  I was the only Filipino there.
The Naturalization ceremony program includes  showing a presentation of Faces of America, singing of the National Anthem, welcoming remarks, roll call by country, oath of allegiance, they they showed a  video address from the President, Barack Obama.  The video montage  of "Proud to be an American" make me teary eyed.  The program ended with the presentation of certificates and the rest is photo opp.
I got the love of my life to thank for, for  embarking this journey with me.  Without him, I could have never set my foot here in the United States.
I am glad that this has been done and over with.  It has been bugging me for years, whether or not to apply.  So now, we can all travel, and I will be an Alien, no more.  Next step is for me to apply for  a new passport.  I thank God for giving me my rock, someone that I can depend on for everything.

45 comments:

  1. wow! it is just this month when you get naturalized and finally a US citizen. congratulations!!!

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  2. That's great! I would have been nervous too, heck I am nervous about traveling to another state let alone moving to another country. Congrats!

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  3. congratulations mare!!! So proud of you. Hey, does it mean I am next? :D Hopefully soon.

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  4. Congratulations on becoming a US Citizen! That sounds like it was actually not that hard for you but I am certain it was nerve wracking! Now you can vote in the next election!

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  5. Congratulations! That sounds like quite the process and it must have been scary to give up your citizenship.

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  6. Congratulations. I remember going through this process with my ex mother in law, who waited a long time before she applied, but she was so happy to have it done!

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  7. yay, congratulations sis! You didn't invite me...lol! next step would be the blue passport...:)

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  8. That is absolutely amazing! I had no idea it was so involved! I guess when you are born here in the US, you take a lot for granted, sadly :( You had me in tears reading this! Thank you for working so hard to become a proud American!

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  9. Congrats! My sister in law had to do this also. She is from the Philippians. She said its a huge switch!

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  10. Wow! I'd have been a nervous wreck too! Congrats!

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  11. I really need to get mine working before 10 years. Oh dear! Congratulations mommy and I am happy for you.

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  12. congrats! the journey with the immigration has finally over.

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  13. Congrats to you. I hope my son's teacher can get hers done as effortlessly as you have!

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  14. I'm so glad that you decided to apply and that everything worked out in your favor. :)

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  15. That is so great! Congrats on your new citizenship!!

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  16. Wow, congrats! My husband is the one that is bugging me about it. LOL! I think I'm not ready yet but for sure, before my "green card" will expire, I will apply for it.

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  17. Congratulations!! I had a friend going through that back when my ex was in the Navy. It's quite the process!

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  18. Congratulations! The process is very long. Ugh! The day I got naturalized I was nervous as well. I'm so glad I got it done and over with.

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  19. Oh wow, congratulations! You must be very happy. Going through the whole process must have been nerve-warcking!

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  20. Congrats again, Rosr. Indeed, alien no more.

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  21. Wow! Congratulations to you! I have heard that the test is extremely difficult. I bet it was nerveracking!

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  22. Congratulations! What an accomplishment and now you dont have to worry about it.

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  23. Congrats, sis. I am in the stage if I have to get it or not. I'm kinda lazy to study as of now and feeling nervous to do it.

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  24. Wow what a journey. Thanks for sharing it with all of us. Congratulations on finally becoming a citizen.

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  25. wow congratulations! many people would love to trade in with you right now :-)

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  26. What a journey this must have been for you. I got my citizen through my father when I was 10 years old. So glad because I don't know how my life would have turned out otherwise. I'm happy you are not longer an alien =) I'm in the process of applying to bring my mother from Haiti. Wish me luck!

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  27. Congrats again Sistah. When you travel, don't forget to bring me along . (lol)

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  28. Congrats!! ( What's biometrics? I mean what did they do? I'm curious) What a great journey!

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  29. Congratulations! Sounds like the ceremony was wonderful. I hope you will find your heart's home!

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  30. Congratulations! My grandmother was an immigrant from Australia and I remember her telling me about her experience becoming a citizen. :)

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  31. I went through the naturalization process a few years ago. No greater feeling!

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  32. Congrats! Looking at your timeline, they are indeed very efficient. Here in the Philippines, a simple SSS ID may take 1 to 2 years!

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  33. Thats great congratulations to you i bet it was nerve wrecking but well done :-)

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  34. Congrats Sis Rose :-) I am so happy for you :-) Cheers for being an American citizen :-)

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  35. Congratulations sis and the journey may be daunting but there you are, a bonafide American Citizen. :) I'm very happy for you.

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  36. Congratulations!!!! Yey, so happy for you sis....may your family be continually blessed. A part of me wishes to live there too and meet you in person...one sweet day :)

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  37. congratulations on becoming an american citizen

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  38. Congrats!!! This is a huge step! I know you know that, but I felt I needed to say it! haha We are grateful to have you!

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  39. Congratulations!! What a wonderful moment to share with your children.

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  40. Congrats again sis. You look gorgeous in the picture btw.

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  41. Congrats! You know what I really admire you as a mother and as a wife.

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  42. Congratulations sis! You can travel far now.

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  43. Congratulation Sis! Happy for you!

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  44. Congrats, sis! I'm so happy for you! All the best.

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  45. Congratulation Ate Rose! You deserve that! :)

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A work-at-home-mom (WAHM) with  two  lovely kids and a loving husband.  Passionate in writing about  family, product reviews, and  other related articles.  A Mom, a Wife,  a Blogger/Writer, rolled into one.

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