Despite the economy or because of it, I've finally decided to move forward and file for my American Citizenship, I've been eligible for years but have dragged my feet for a variety of reasons, one of them being jury duty. Who wants to do that? The second reason was the $795 filing fee but the main reason was this section on the form that I couldn't imagine how I could get right.
The section of the citizenship form I'm referring to is where you have to fill in the # of days you have been out of the US of A since you received your green card and what day you exited and re-entered. Well, for somebody who stays home and watches soap operas all day this is very simple, but for a world traveller like me, it's rather challenging, especially considering those bastards at United Mileage Plus do not offer records past one year old online. I called them today asking for the last 10 years. I got some chick in India who told me to send a letter to Rapid City Iowa. I'm sure that letter would be filed in the trash.
In steps Google. You gotta love the internet and Google. Up popped a helpful little government website with information regarding the FOIA (Freedom of Information Act). I filled in a form (G-639 ) that allows you to request this of the USCIS (basically Homeland Security aka US Citizenship and Immigration Services). Sort of ironic don't you think? That I have to request my exit and entry dates from the same agency that needs them to process my citizenship papers.
So, I just emailed them a notarized G-639 form. Can you imagine, you can email the US government? I'll keep you posted on how this moves along. I cannot file my N400 form (Application for Naturalization) until I get this form back but at least I've made a step. I'm excited now actually, because rumor on the forums is that the current wait time for citizenship is down to 3 months. This is an incredibly short period in the history of the process so the time is now. Rumor has it that applications are down because the economy sucks and the filing fee is so high, no one can afford it.