View Full Version : Citizenship interview in Newark,NJ
08-30-2006, 04:52 PM
hi, has anyone had the interview in Newark recently.
I want to know if they have the oath ceremony on the same day. IF not, how long is the wait?
Pls. reply asap. thanks.
09-24-2006, 01:50 AM
Here is the update after the citizenship interview at Newark, NJ.
I had a 9am appointment on 9/6 and I reached there at 8:45am. There is a paid parking at Walnut Street for $10 all day long. Before 8am its $8.
The interview was on the 15th floor. A guard checked the appointment letter and let me in. I walked to window 1 and placed my appointment letter in the letter tray and took a seat. The officers behind the windows called everyone names. Your file is assigned to a specific officer and it is NOT first in first served. If the officer is a slow coach then you can expect to spend many hours. In my case, I had spent 2 hours sitting before my name was called out and the door number(i had to enter thru door 2). Don't take it personal if the officer does not smile at you and is serious all thru the interview.
The officer opened the door and led me to the office. The officer had all the documents I summitted for my GC 8 years ago plus the citizenship application and supporting documents. The officer verified my name and DOB with the birth certificate I had submitted during the GC process. Also, made sure the full name and DOB were accurate because this info goes on your certificate of naturalization. So, make sure it is accurate. The officer went the N-400 application and repeated some of the questions. Also, the officer did want clarification on the days I was out of the country. I had taken vacation for 60 days at a stretch. I mentioned that I had to use my vacation days or I would loose it. Then, came the set of 10 questions and I was told to read the question/answer out loudly(medium). I could stop after the 6th question if I got all the 6 right. Which I did. The officer asked me to write a sentence which she repeated twice. I wrote the sentence clearly and legibly. I took my time for both these tests. After I passed the tests, the officer congratulated me and gave me 2 documents. One was my copy as a proof that my citizenship application has been recommended for approval. I went back and took my seat again with both the documents.
Since I missed the 11:30am Oath cutoff time for the afternoon Oath session, I had to wait for the cutoff time of 3:30pm for the evening Oath session. There is a cafeteria at the 2nd floor. It was long lunch break. So, I recommend take some reading materials unless you enjoy watching Court TV throughout the day. My name was called for the Oath. I approached the window and handed the other document and GC. I was asked to sign the copy and original of the certificate of naturalization. I had to sign my full name and verify my DOB and name. Also, make sure your don't sign in CAPS.
I was given a blue paper sheet and asked to be seated.
After about 2 hours of wait, everyone who had the blue paper slip was asked to walk into the Oath ceremony hall. There is a visitor section for the visitors. The oath was only 15 minutes. The officer distributed the naturalization certificate and just like that I became an proud US Citizen.
1. Applied for a US passport the very next day
2. Sent my voter registration form to the county
3. I might have to visit the local Social security office to update my status
Hope this info helps.
12-25-2006, 05:24 PM
First congratulations on becoming US citizen.
One of my friends got thru the interview he was given oath same day.
I will be eligible for US citizenship in apr 2007. Could you please post your timeline starting from applying till the interview? I am also from NJ and will be going to newark I suppose.
Thanks a lot in advance
05-30-2007, 10:37 PM
Took 4 months for my hubby to get his citizenship.
04-18-2014, 03:34 PM
Wow is the word to describe my experience at Newark, NJ. I had my Citizenship test at Newark on April 8th at 10:45. I was there at 10:15, after the security check I went to the 9th Floor, a very friendly security officer asked me to be seated after submitting my appointment letter at counter #2. There were a lot of people seated in the room and they were ushered in for the interview as per schedule. My name was announced at 11:10 and the officer I was assigned to a officer and he made sure to make me comfortable and at ease. He spoke to me about his experiences at work and was talking about people he meets everyday. He was very polite and gave me a few documents to sign at the same time he was completing the other papers. A few quick questions and the civic test was complete. In 10 mins I was done with the interview, I was asked to go to another floor for my oath which was scheduled for 1:30pm, OATH complete at 2:30pm. Overall a very pleasant experience.
07-18-2014, 04:32 PM
I found this thread useful when I was preparing for my interview, so I wanted to pass on my experiences to others.
Security at the entrance was surprisingly serious. It was more comprehensive that any airport I've been through, and I could well imagine that other people would find this intimidating. Of course, as long as you've not got any weapons or anything, you'll be fine. But, I wouldn't want anyone to be surprised and worried by the experience and have that affect them in the interview.
The Waiting Area
My interview was at 1.45pm. I was through security and upstairs in the waiting room by 1.30pm. The waiting room is a large room with several hundred chairs facing a large glass screen (the kind of thing you see at a bank). Behind the screen are about a dozen windows where the staff will call you up. It's a more drab version of this (http://imgur.com/QWoiGgE) with the chairs facing this glass panel. There are three doors (one to the left of the glass screen, two to the right) in the room, and it is through these doors that the actual interview will take place.
I presented my appointment notice at window 1 and was told to take a seat. I sat with my wife and chatted with the people around me about their experiences in the interview. If you're nervous (you shouldn't be) then talking to others might be a good way to calm your nerves; after all, they all just passed their interview.
At 2.35 I was called up to window 8. The interviewing officer asked for my state ID (as I hadn't submitted it with my application), which he then photocopied. He then asked me to join him at door 3 (on the right of the room). I followed him through the door and we sat in his office. It was a typical looking office with a computer on a large desk with a few cabinets against the wall.
Seriously, all we did for my interview was go through my application (I'm glad I re-read it to prepare for the interview). He asked me to confirm all the details I had put down - Name; date of birth; address; employer; when I left the country... just the things that are on the form, nothing more. I had brought along all the necessary documents to prove these things (such as my apartment lease, my non-US passport, a letter from my employer) but he didn't ask to see one of them. He took me at my word for everything. Of course, I don't mean to suggest that you shouldn't be prepared and bring all the documents they ask (you should be prepared and I'm glad I was), but in my case I didn't need a single one of them.
The only hiccup we had is that I said I didn't want to take the regular oath. I asked to remove the phrase "so help me God" as I don't believe in any deity and I thought it would be disingenuous and evidence of a poor character if I said it. There is information on this here (http://ffrf.org/faq/state-church/item/14023-immigration-oaths). I told him that I was willing to just keep my mouth shut at that point during the ceremony. At this point he spent 5 minutes looking through his notes from his cabinet and eventually said, "that's OK". He crossed out the words "so help me God" on the application form and asked me to put my initials next to it.
The Citizenship Test
At this point it was about 2.50 and I had signed my application, and he was happy that everything was in order. He told me that he actually had a staff meeting at 3, so I would have to go back to the waiting room until he was finished and return for the test. This is unusual; I asked others in the waiting room and all had their test at the same time with the same immigration officer. But, just so you know, there can be small changes and things can come up, so don't freak out if your experiences are slightly different to mine. At about 3.20 the interview officer called me up to the front window again and then we went through door 3 to his office again. At that point he started the test. Even though I'm British and English is my first language, I had to do the English comprehension portion of the exam: First I read the sentence "which state has the highest population?". He then asked me if I knew the answer (I don't think this was counted as part of the exam, he was just interested if I knew. I did know, it's California.) Then, secondly, I had to write down the sentence (which he said aloud) "California has the highest population." Then I had to verbally answer the civics questions. They were straightforward (what was the US fighting against during the cold war - Communism; when the President is incapacitated who becomes President - The Vice President; Name one right in the First Amendment - I said 'assembly'). I got the first 6 correct, and that was that. He signed the form and told me I've done everything to be a citizen! Easy as pie.
Then I went back to the waiting room with a form that said I passed the test and the interview and that I was eligible for the Oath. I forget exactly how long I waited for the oath (as you can guess, I was pretty excited!). I think I left the test portion of the interview at around 3.30pm and at about 4.15pm we were called into a room down the hall for the oath. (Spouses and families can come and see this portion.) There we watched a video from the (my new!!) President. We watched a song "Proud to be an American" (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sBbBfrKsVqY) with lots of pictures and short clips of babies waving flags and marines retuning from war and such. It was perfectly cheesy and patriotic. Then we sang Star-Spangled Banner (the lyrics were on a screen for us).
After this, the process of taking the oath began. First they called the nations of each person taking the oath (maybe 40 of us), and once they called your nation we had to remain standing. Then we said the oath. The person reciting the oath for us was clear and said it slowly so you'll have no problem following along. My wife said that there was a staff member walking up and down the aisle to make sure that everyone was saying the words of the oath. Per my discussion with the interview officer, I didn't say the words "so help me God". Once the oath was said, the staff began handing out our naturalization certificates at the front of the room. At this point everyone began taking pictures. My wife and I didn't have a camera or phone as the appointment form says (well, I thought it said) that we couldn't bring them; everyone else brought one, though.
And then, after all that, I think it was maybe 5.15, we were all finished. So it was around 4 hours in total. I'm pretty sure I was the last person to finish my interview (given the fact that I had to take the test after my interviewing officer's meeting) so I'm quite sure that they endeavor to do everything for every applicant on the same day. All in all, I was very happy with my experience. The security at the entrance to the building was intense. But, after that, everything just seemed to go according to plan. No real problems. Good work Newark Field Office.
Take away points:
It was ridiculously straightforward for me. Everything went smoothly.
I'm quite sure that they give every eligible person their oath ceremony the same day; I was the last person to be interviewed and I had my ceremony that day.
Although they say explicitly "no cameras or phones" EVERYONE had them. They were even watching TV on their phones in the waiting room next to the sign that says they're banned. Perhaps the reason that electronics are (de facto, if not de jure) permitted is that you'll want to take pictures at the ceremony. If I were to do it again, and I had someone I wouldn't hold back on bringing a camera or phone with you.
At the oath we sang Star-Spangled Banner. Although they put the lyrics up on the screen for everyone to follow, I was really quite glad that I learned the words beforehand. I recommend learning them so you can sing with commitment!
There are toilets and water fountains right next to the waiting room. I'd recommend bringing something to eat, like a granola bar, as you might be there for several hours.
How about people who have both first and last changed at Newark. Do you get the name change paperwork on the day of oath? And did you have to wait a while to oath or you can also oath on the same day of interview?