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Seattle USCIS DO Naturalization interview and Oath experience

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United States

My citizenship journey is over. I am a naturalized US citizen as of 09/23. Things that I learned from this forum gave me confidence to complete the journey. I must detail my experience for the benefit of the posterity. 

Seattle USCIS DO naturalization interview experience
My interview was scheduled for 7:30am. I live almost 45 mins away from Tukwila, so I decided to check-in at a hotel the night before to avoid morning commute. I slept lightly and woke up at 5:00am. Went over all 100 standard questions for history and civics test. Since I had been driving around for a month while listening to USCIS's Q&A CD, I was already well prepared. I reached USCIS office at 7:15am. Paid whopping $7.00 parking fee. I had made sure that I would carry enough cash for parking. 

Lobby was almost empty. Got through security/x-ray. There are three lines in front of the counter. Since there was no-one in the line, I went directly to the counter. I was greeted by a friendly lady who took my interview letter and scanned the barcode. Then she asked me to go to second floor using stairs right behind me and wished me luck for the interview.

Waiting hall is divided in two parts on either side of the stairs. There were few people already waiting. Applicants had also brought their friends/spouses with them. Everybody was silent. Waiting area on the right has doors marked clearly that only officials are allowed through them. I had waited less than 2 minutes when one of the doors opened. A male immigration officer stepped out and called my name. I thought wow! this office was super efficient. Because it was only 7:25am. I was led through the halls to his office. 

I was sworn in and then asked to take a seat. First the officer went over my eligibility to file for N-400 and said that I have completed all necessary requirements (continuous residency, physical presence etc). Then he went over my N-400 application rather quickly, but made sure he asked me all "YES/NO" questions while looking straight into my eye. He was very courteous and said "very good" once I finished with all the answers. There were no corrections in my applications after I had filed for N-400. During the question "Have you been arrested/cited", he paused. Quickly I presented him the original court docket and said that this was a speeding ticket. He said, "Ah .. thanks". He just kept the YL and court disposition aside. Then he asked me if I had studied for history and civics test. I said yes. He asked me 6 questions quickly.

1. What are two major political parties in the US?
2. What is the political party of the president?
3. There were 13 original colonies, name 3.
4. Name one state that borders Mexico.
5. Don't remember
6. Don't remember

Then he asked me to write "What do we pay congress?" and asked me to read "We pay taxes". 

He gave a piece of paper and asked me to answer all questions NO. I guess this was because I was gonna take the oath the same day. He gave me results of the interview and said I have passed. He asked if I would have any problem if I became a USC at 12:00pm today. I said "(heck), NO". He printed an oath letter and asked if I had any more questions. I said "No". He said congratulations and walked with me to the door. I was so ecstatic as I walked in to the waiting hall. I am sure everyone was trying to read my poker face. It was 7:35am when I got out of his office. Just 10 mins of interview, ain't that great? 

Seattle DO Oath ceremony

There were 98 people from 30 different countries scheduled to take oath. All guests were asked to go inside the auditorium and take their seats in the back. Everyone else who was about to become a US citizen was given a yellow envelope with a letter from the president, copy of constitution and US flag. We had to surrender our greencard at the door and take our pre-assigned seat number. Everyone sat patiently waiting for the director to start the ceremony. Guests were allowed to walk all around and take pictures. For some reason the director couldn't make it but his assistant administered the oath. Then they played videos on becoming american citizen and a message from Barack Obama. 

After which each new US citizen was called on the stage and given naturalization certificate. It took in all 1.5 hours for the whole affair. We were allowed to take pictures in the ceremony hall or on second floor waiting area.

Overall my experience with Seattle DO was a pleasant one. Good luck to everyone who else is waiting.

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