This afternoon Nabila and I went down to the local USCIS office in Seattle and became American citizens.
After eleven years in the US, seven of them as a permanent resident, I'm finally there. Theoretically I could have become a citizen two years ago as you only have to wait five years as a permanent resident before you can apply for naturalization, but I just never got around to it.
Then last October, two things occurred to me:
- We have kids who are both US (and UK) citizens.
- An election is coming and dammit, I'm voting this time.
We cut it close.
The deadline for registration is October 4th by mail or online and October 20th in person, so this evening I registered to vote and for the first time, when asked “are you a US Citizen?”, I selected “YES”.
The oath ceremony was pretty nice, not what you'd expect when sat in a building with the words “Department of Homeland Security” written everywhere. We watched a few short videos (which included probably the nicest video I've seen that starred George W. Bush) and accepted our certificates of naturalization.
Probably the coolest thing was that from the 109 people that were there being naturalized, they represented 44 countries.
Anyhow, once we were done, we picked up the kids and I headed back to the office where I discovered that my co-workers had decorated my desk in honour of the occasion, and our resident Photoshop guru had created this as the centerpiece: