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geeman237

Original Poster:

154 posts

71 months

[news] 
Monday 9th July 2012 quote quote all
Next year my green car expires so I have decided to go all the way and apply for citizenship. Has anyone else here done this in the last year or so? How long did it take? I hear its about 6 months, depending on where you are in the US. Any other experiences in the process worth noting?
I have just sent off my application so I am waiting for maybe a case number if they acknowledge your application arriving.

jeff m2

1,365 posts

37 months

[news] 
Monday 9th July 2012 quote quote all
Disadvantages of citizenship.
Jury service
Conscription should they decide to have another Vietnam (unlikely, but possible.


Advantages.
Not subject to patriot Act, diluted a bit, but still nasty.
Your country will win more medals at the Olympics.

I have not taken Citizenship.


geeman237

Original Poster:

154 posts

71 months

[news] 
Monday 9th July 2012 quote quote all
Thanks for the initial input. Conscription, like you say, unlikley. Jury service, is it really so bad? I guess it depends where you live.

The main driver for me is employment. I spent the last 8 years in the defence industry but got laid off earlier this year. There are several employment opportunities in my area in the defence industry, but they are all requiring US citizenship to apply and security clearance. I know, how did I maintain my previous job? It wouldn't be appropriate to go into it here. So, by getting my citizenship I can increase my employment chances in what is a relatively small city with limited opportunities in my field, engineering.


Minemapper

725 posts

42 months

[news] 
Monday 9th July 2012 quote quote all
Do it. Been a dual citizen my whole life (UK/US) and it was very valuable to me. In 12 years living there as an adult, I never got called for jury duty. I was also in the defense industry, and it was a career maker for me.

JDRoest

1,126 posts

36 months

[news] 
Friday 20th July 2012 quote quote all
Love to hear how you get on!

I have the option in 18 months of whether to do USC - can't ever see me leaving the US - so might just do it a few years earlier than I thought I would.
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Dr JonboyG

2,130 posts

125 months

[news] 
Friday 20th July 2012 quote quote all
jeff m2 said:
Disadvantages of citizenship.
Jury service
Conscription should they decide to have another Vietnam (unlikely, but possible.


Advantages.
Not subject to patriot Act, diluted a bit, but still nasty.
Your country will win more medals at the Olympics.

I have not taken Citizenship.
You forgot another major disadvantage - the US taxes its citizens on their worldwide income, so you will have to keep filing tax returns even if you leave, and anything you have outside the country is also taxable.

Also, the naff ceremony is mandatory, you can't just have them post your passport to you.

I have decided not to bother with citizenship.


geeman237 said:
Thanks for the initial input. Conscription, like you say, unlikley. Jury service, is it really so bad? I guess it depends where you live.

The main driver for me is employment. I spent the last 8 years in the defence industry but got laid off earlier this year. There are several employment opportunities in my area in the defence industry, but they are all requiring US citizenship to apply and security clearance. I know, how did I maintain my previous job? It wouldn't be appropriate to go into it here. So, by getting my citizenship I can increase my employment chances in what is a relatively small city with limited opportunities in my field, engineering.
You can receive a security clearance even if you aren't a citizen, and the thing that makes it expensive doesn't go away - they still will want to interview lots of your family and friends and if most of those people live abroad then that becomes harder to do. Obviously it depends on the clearance - I have the lowest level one (public trust, I work for the .gov but not in defence), whereas a secret/TS/TS-SCI are all much more involved.

The thing you need to ask yourself is how likely you are to land one of those jobs anyway. If it's a job that requires a clearance, 99 times out of 100 the employer will go for ex-military people as they come with a clearance already so it doesn't cost the company any time or money to get a new one. If those are the people you're competing with for a job, you're already at a huge disadvantage.

Edit - that comes off harsher than I intended - just pointing out that there might be easier roads to hoe.

Edited by Dr JonboyG on Friday 20th July 19:55


Edited by Dr JonboyG on Friday 20th July 22:28

GavinPearson

5,458 posts

137 months

[news] 
Saturday 21st July 2012 quote quote all
A coworker said a family member applied last November and has their ceremony at the end of July. English was not their first language so they had issues requiring a retest. For the OP, that shouldn't be an issue - I'd say go for it if you are so inclined.

geeman237

Original Poster:

154 posts

71 months

[news] 
Tuesday 24th July 2012 quote quote all
Thanks for the updates folks. I have had my case number receipt and just got my date in early August for the biometrics/fingerprint test. Anyone know what else that entails? Keep it clean....

No offence taken on the security clearance and chances comment. I know what you mean. I was an engineering project manager and I was the lead engineer designing the original MRAP vehicles in the early 2000's. Some of you in the UK may have heard of the Mastiff...... So I have some pretty detailed, expert knowledge in the engineering field that should put me ahead of others.

I have just written to my Senator explaining things to see if he can get my case accelerated. I know they have criteria for this, but its worth the price of a stamp.

In the meantime, if anyone has any connections with industry/manufacturing in the Charleston SC area, please get in touch.

vetteheadracer

8,191 posts

139 months

[news] 
Wednesday 25th July 2012 quote quote all
We have our Green Card Biometrics (is it a test???) this morning at 10 a.m. smile

So better get off of PH and go take a shower and get ready!

vetteheadracer

8,191 posts

139 months

[news] 
Wednesday 25th July 2012 quote quote all
Well that was painless, walked in at 9.40, no one else there. Receptionist checked we had our appointment letters and passports then gave us each a simple form to complete, then we had to do fingerprints and photos taken.
Stamped appointment letter to say we had been done and out again in less than 15 minutes for both of us.

geeman237

Original Poster:

154 posts

71 months

[news] 
Wednesday 25th July 2012 quote quote all
Well that sounds pretty painless. Thanks for the info. Mind you, I do wonder at the logic of why they took your photos because you send in photos with your application anyway, and the last few times I have come back into the US they check my fingerprints on the scanner at immigration, so surely they already have this info on file. Still, I guess its double checking and keeps some people employed.....

Did they indicate how much longer before you get the interview and have you swotted up for your questions yet?

Matt Harper

3,579 posts

87 months

[news] 
Thursday 26th July 2012 quote quote all
geeman237 said:
Well that sounds pretty painless. Thanks for the info. Mind you, I do wonder at the logic of why they took your photos because you send in photos with your application anyway,
They want to try to ensure that the person who shows up for the biometrics is the same person who made the AOS. Makes perfect sense to me...

geeman237

Original Poster:

154 posts

71 months

[news] 
Monday 6th August 2012 quote quote all
Today I had my biometrics appointment. As previously stated a quick and simple process, in and out in less than 30 mins.

My letter to my Senator got a positive response from him, but apparently there are guidelines/criteria for requesting an expedited application. Fingers crossed, now to swot up on my citizenship questions.




Dr JonboyG

2,130 posts

125 months

[news] 
Tuesday 7th August 2012 quote quote all
Good luck!

geeman237

Original Poster:

154 posts

71 months

[news] 
Wednesday 17th October 2012 quote quote all
Just an update and another question to those in the know. I have my citizenship interview on 5th November, so that took only 4 months to get. I am swatting up for the civics questions. If you pass the interview on the day, are you declared a US citizen there and then with a piece of official paper? Is the fancy ceremony at the same time (if you pass) or a later date and then you get the paperwork?

I have 2 companies wanting to interview me as soon as I get my citizenship. They aren't interested in interviewing me until I get it with a conditional or anything. Yes, 7 months and still looking for a job, but I am sticking to my guns to stay here in Charleston.

Thanks again for the information and support.



GavinPearson

5,458 posts

137 months

[news] 
Thursday 18th October 2012 quote quote all
I don't know the answers to your questions but I'd like to wish you the very best of luck on the 5th of November.

Matt Harper

3,579 posts

87 months

[news] 
Thursday 18th October 2012 quote quote all
geeman237 said:
If you pass the interview on the day, are you declared a US citizen there and then with a piece of official paper? Is the fancy ceremony at the same time (if you pass) or a later date and then you get the paperwork?
You are not a citizen until you have sworn the oath - so the fancy ceremony is the D-Day, rather than the test day - in FL they are frequently done at the same time - but not always. Dunno if that's the case in the Ca'lina's....

Famous Graham

26,553 posts

111 months

[news] 
Friday 19th October 2012 quote quote all
Minemapper said:
Do it. Been a dual citizen my whole life (UK/US) and it was very valuable to me. In 12 years living there as an adult, I never got called for jury duty. I was also in the defense industry, and it was a career maker for me.
Does one retain UK citizenship as a "fully fledged" US citizen? I thought it was revoked for some reason

Carfiend

3,186 posts

95 months

[news] 
Friday 19th October 2012 quote quote all
Everything I have read points to it being ok to have dual citizenship. Just being a us citizen does not mean you lose your British citizenship.

If you were however a citizen of Iran they might have you give that one up for example!

Matt Harper

3,579 posts

87 months

[news] 
Friday 19th October 2012 quote quote all
I think it's fair to say thet the US does not embrace the concept of dual citizenship - as far as it's concerned, you are either in the gang or you ain't. Once you swear the oath, you are a US citizen and nothing else - despite the fact that you are not required to renounce any other citizenship you may lay claim to. All you physically surrender is your green card.
A close friend of mine was asked to bring his UK passport to his citizenship test (in Tampa FL) - he merely said he didn't have one anymore.
When he travels to UK he enters with his UK passport and coming home, he uses his US one. US CBP don't like this, because there is no UK entry stamp in his US passport, suggesting that he didn't land anywhere, but in reality, there is nothing they can do to force him to use his US credentials. Consequently he avoids the immigration lines at both ends.
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