Today I drove from Austin to San Antonio to have my naturalization interview and test. I left around noon, stop for gas, water and snacks and headed south. Traffic was very good and I was in San Antonio before 2pm. My appointment was at 2:30pm and the notification I had said that it was ok to be 30 minutes earlier for the interview. I left my cellphone in the car because 5 years ago when I went into this same building to do some paperwork related to the green card, I remember people were not allowed to bring camera phones. Back then I had a good old Nokia brick with no camera so it was ok to bring it with me. I was told to sit on the waiting area and around 2:15pm my name was called. An USCIS agent asked me to follow him to his office. He was very friendly and polite, and I was also doing my part being friendly and obedient, but very confident. On the way to his office, we bumped into another agent who asked me where I was coming from. When I told him I drove from Austin he said: “If you pass the test today, we can give you an appointment to take the Oath next week”. “Wow! That is really fast!” I responded, but told him that unfortunately I was attending to a wedding in Mexico next week and was not going to be able to do it.
Then the officer and I went to his office. The first thing he asks me is to raise my hand and swear that I’m going to be telling the true and then he asks me to sit down. Next he hands me a piece of paper that contains three sentences. He asks me to read the first one out loud: “Washington is the father of the United States”. Then he takes the piece of paper, and hands me another one and asks me to write the following phrase: “Washington was the first president”. And that was it… English test done!
Then he fires the following questions:
- Who was the father of the US? Washington
- How many members has the House of Representatives? 435
- For how many years we elect House Representatives? 2
- Who is the Chief Justice of the US now? John Roberts
- In what month do we vote for President? November
- If both the President and Vice President can no longer serve, who becomes President? The speaker of the house
After question number 6 he stops and starts looking at the forms I sent. He wants to confirm some of the information in there, and asks me again several questions like if I have been part of a communist group, if I have been deported, if I have been in jail, if I owe money from taxes to the government or if I ever got a speeding ticket. I have to say yes to the last one, and he asks me if I payed it and I said yes.
Then he asks me again if I know what is the Oath and what it entails, if I’m willing to defend the US Constitution and bear arms to defend the country if needed.
At this point he hands me a piece of paper that goes as follows:
Naturalization Interview Results:
On December 2 2010 you were interviewed by USCIS officer XXXXXXXX
[x] You passed the test of English and U.S. history and government.
Congratulations! Your application has been recommended for approval. At this time it appears that you have established your eligibility for naturalization. If final approval is granted, you will be notified when and where to report to the Oath Ceremony.
I say goodbye to the nice officer and leave the building. When I look at the clock on my car it was 2:35pm. I cannot believe how quick and smooth it went. Then I drove to a Chuy’s restaurant that I saw on the road, sat at the bar and ordered a Pacífico beer and Baja Fish Tacos. Tiffany the bartender was very nice and we chatted about my naturalization process. She was happy for me and gave me a 1800 tequila shot for free to celebrate. It was the perfect way to end lunch and hit the road back to Austin.