The USCIS waiting game

Over 25 million Italians have emigrated between 1861 and 1960 with a migration boom between 1871 and 1915 when over 13,5 million emigrants left the country for European and overseas destinations.
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jbp1966
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The USCIS waiting game

Postby jbp1966 » 23 Jan 2011, 01:29

Greetings,

In May 2010 my father submitted a request to the USCIS (Nebraska office) for a copy of his Certificate of Naturalization (according to the Italian Consulate in Houston, TX, this is the last document I need to submit for my citizenship). My father received a letter around June 15th stating his request has been transfered to the Kansas City office as they have jurisdiction of the request. On the USCIS website they claim the average processing time for this form - the N656 - is 6 months.

Has anyone had to request this document from the USCIS before? Any feedback on their claim of 6 months average processing time? My father has poor hearing, so he's asked me to call the 800 number to the USCIS. I've not found an option to speak with a person related to his request.

Thoughts or suggestions?

Thanks in advance,

jbp

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johnnyonthespot
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Re: The USCIS waiting game

Postby johnnyonthespot » 23 Jan 2011, 10:28

jbp,

1) The USCIS is notoriously slow in all things. Six months seems a bit long, but not at all out of the ordinary

2) The next time you call, select any option which will allow you to talk to a human being and then explain to said human being your problem and ask him/her to transfer you to the appropriate person

3) Although some consulate websites say a copy of the actual certificate of naturalization is required, this often proves not to be the case. If you already have the Petition for Natualization with completed Oath of Allegiance section, you may very well find that that is sufficient.

4) I assume you meant N-565? Isn't that the really, ridiculously expensive ($350+) certificate copy? I would cancel this order if at all possible or at least contact the consulate and be absolutely certain that it is required.

Please take a moment to tell us what, if any, of your father's naturalization documents you already have in your possession. Also, if he remembers, in what court did he naturalize?
Carmine

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jbp1966
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Re: The USCIS waiting game

Postby jbp1966 » 23 Jan 2011, 14:50

Carmine,

many thanks for your reply.

1) My late aunt had to request a copy of her Certificate of Naturalization in 2007. It took her nearly 18 months to get her replacement copy so I'm aware the USCIS is notoriously slow. However, I had hope that my father's application wouldn't be long to process since his request was of a different nature and he also sent in a photocopy of his existing Certificate of Naturalization, per the instructions of the help document provided by the USCIS.

2) I will try this, but the only number I have is the main USCIS 800 number. According to the letter my dad received from the USCIS, and the information posted on the USCIS website, his request was sent to the Kansas City office. The only phone number I have found for the KC office rings continuously without ever being answered. I will call the main 800 number try as you suggest.

3) I'd heard the Petition for Naturalization with completed Oath of Allegiance might suffice for this request, but when I asked the officer at the Houston Italian Consulate on one of the visits I made while gathering and organizing my required documents he said the Italian government needed the Certificate of Naturalization. He also stated a simply photocopy of my father's existing document would work, but my father will not make a photocopy of the document for my citizenship process because he understands this to be a violation.

4) Yes, I indeed mean the N-565. It was $380 for this request, and it's ridiculously expensive. Especially considering their speed at processing the document request. I would cancel if I could, but on the day I submitted all of my paperwork to the Italian Consulate the officer was about to package everything up and mail it, but he thumbed through the documents one more time. That's when he saw the Certificate of Naturalization was not in the documents and told me I would need it.

My citizenship quest has been fairly straight forward and not much of a challenge except for the USCIS document: My dad's family came to America in 1957 and my dad didn't become a US citizen until 1998 or 1999. The only real hurdle I've had was my father's birth certificate (He was born in Tripoli, Libya in 1932. His repeated requests for this document to the Italian Embassy in Tripoli went unanswered), but he received a paper from the Italian Consulate in Chicago, where he's registered, stating he was an Italian citizen. The officer at the Italian Consulate in Houston advised us that this document would work in lieu of the actual birth certificate.

I don't have the documents in front of me, but I know (according to the Houston Italian Consulate office) the Certificate of Naturalization is the the last document I need. My father was naturalized in Kansas City, MO in 1998 or 1999.

Thank you again for your information.

jbp

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jwazevedo
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Re: The USCIS waiting game

Postby jwazevedo » 27 Jan 2011, 06:03

I seem to remember that the consulate just needs to SEE the original. Then they make a copy and return the original. Would this work for you? Would your father have an objection to the consulate making the copy as part of their official business? Could you ask USCIS whether the U.S. government permits such copies? Just a thought.

Good luck,
Jerry

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jbp1966
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Re: The USCIS waiting game

Postby jbp1966 » 27 Jan 2011, 15:18

Jerry,

thanks for weighing in. You're correct - the consulate just needs to see the certificate and make a copy to submit with my paperwork. Unfortunately, my father will not allow them to make a copy of his certificate. I'm actually going to the USCIS office in Houston next week to ask them if this is a possible solution. My father is being quite adamant about not allowing photo copies since it's stated on the document not to make copies.

Thanks again for your info.

-jbp


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