So, I spent part of the week-end filling out my N-400 and then checking and re-checking the form. For those of you who were born in the US, the N-400 is the citizenship application. It is a bureaucratic tour de force. You need all kinds of things from the past five years, not to mention the fact that you have to convince the powers that be that you are not a “habitual drunkard!” It’s kind of a pain, which is why it has taken me so long. But, now that “change” has come to this great nation, I am ready!
Well, I thought I was ready. As we were going over the forms last night for the umpteenth time, we realized that I had forgotten to use all capital letters. So, it was off to fill out the form again. Then there was the debate about how I qualify for citizenship. I qualify in two categories, but you can only use one, but which one is right?! Then came the kicker: Documentation.
The instructions say you need photos and a copy of your green card, plus payment. The instructions also refer you to something called the “guide.” This is right out of Lost. I’m waiting for some film reel from the Dharma Initiative. The “guide” is nowhere to be found on the USCIS website, but thankfully we have Google which allowed us to find something. The “guide” says you need more documents: tax returns, birth certificates of children, passports, and the infamous “proof of termination.”
Proof of termination disturbed Doug to no end. He had to find out if he needed it. Here, I will elaborate: Proof of Termination is proof of termination of previous marriages. Now, I was a little perplexed because I have only been married this one time, and Doug has assured me that I am his only wife (therefore also his favorite), yet, he spent twenty minutes trying to make sure that there wasn’t a form for our particular situation.
Doug is very concerned because this is the government, and this is my citizenship, so we want everything to be perfect. I’m a little less concerned with perfection, but that is a fault of mine! I would have probably mailed it off without capitalizing every letter, but then I probably would have been deported, so it’s good I’m married to Doug!
Now, I am not making light of the whole application process. This is a very big step for me, and I’m very excited about my impending voting rights, but there has got to be some way to help out the process. Maybe these forms are all about weeding out the people who are to lazy to read all the instructions! Alright, I think I have about 18 months to wait to hear back, but it’s never to soon to start preparing myself for the citizenship test. Click on the link and see if they would let you be a citizen!