We were about 8-10 people in the room. Since I was the first to enter, I was called up first. Concurrently two others also were called to the other two desks.

MY IO: A middle aged lady (looks exactly like ‘Sally’ from Tom Cruise’s Oblivion)
DEMEANOUR: Extremely polite, with a smile
TIME CALLED: 10:12 AM

IO: Good morning Mr. xxx, how was your day today?
ME: Thank you ma’am, great, and yours?
IO: Splendid, can I have your Driving Licence, PR Card, Health Card and Passports please?
ME: Handed them over, and also the “Entry/Exit Stamps Document” that I prepared with passport page numbers.

IO: Awesome. Makes my life easy eh!
ME: Oh, it sure did for me while filling-out the Physical Presence Calculator, ma’am.
IO: Checks the cards, ticks against the images of them I submitted with the application, also ticks a “white form” on her desk. She then enquires, Mr. xxx what are you doing now? Working?
ME: Oh yes, working ma’am. But freelancing, not ’employed’ in the classical sense. Then I explain what I do. (I have a feeling she wasn’t listening ~ b’coz she was busy ticking her form and was quiet when I finished talking. For about 5-6 seconds).
IO: Nice. Then she goes-on to check my passports and tally the stamps (with my Physical Presence Calculator and the ‘form’ I provided today). She just checks 3-4 stamps and returns back my passports, enquiring “only two passports?”.
ME: Yes ma’am.
IO: Thank you for this calculation document Mr. xxx, that was very meticulous.
ME: My pleasure ma’am, do you want to keep it?
IO: No, not required. I’m done. Everything is in place. (She takes back the ‘green’ form and hands me the ‘white form’* she was ticking) This is your verification form, can you please sign it here (points me to a location on the form) Now do you know the next steps?
ME: Oh yes, sort of… I sign the ‘white form’.

*this is a legal sized paper (longer than A4 at approx. 35cms), contains my particulars, ticked against various ID cards that I provided, with her dated signature stating that my physical presence calculations is correct. I sign stating that the documents I provided are true originals.

IO: Your process is complete, you will be required to attend a Ceremony shortly. You will receive an email, (she goes to check my file) in fact three emails, for your children as well, you have applied as a family unit of three right?
ME: Yes ma’am, me and my two minor children.
IO: Yes, all of you will get an Invitation to take Oath. Each. And you will know the date, time and place. It will come to you by October. That’s when you complete one year since applying. However, it could come within a few weeks as well and you’ll get a week or two head-on time.
ME: So, it could be earlier than October?
IO: Yes, could be. Likely to be. But remember, it will not be in this place. It could be anywhere else, so please be prepared for that ~ and ensure you know where you have to be for the oath ceremony.
ME: No issues ma’am, I’ll drive to wherever it is.
IO: That’s about it Mr. xxx, do you have any questions?
ME: No ma’am. Thanks (I shake her hand), you have a good day!
IO: Shakes hand, waves and says, “you too”!

I walk out of the room.

TIME OUT: 10:14 AM*
TOTAL TIME SPENT WITH IO: 2 minutes

*A minute before the actual appointment time

So, that was all about it. I also carried the following documents:

1. All original passports in the family (including my kids’)
2. Original COPRs (of everyone)
3. Copy of the Citizenship Applications (everyone’s) along with copies of all supporting documents
4. Copy of my House Ownership and the Tenancy Contract of the other
5. Copies of all Tax Returns for 5-yrs.
6. Two photocopies of everything (including the passports)

Nothing was seen by the IO except for the Driving License, PR card, Health Card and my original Passports. Everything only mine, she did not ask for the kids’ documents.

MY ATTIRE FOR THE INTERVIEW: Blue jeans, white full shirt, a Navy Blue Blazer and Black leather shoes.
PERSONAL EFFECTS: Only aftershave and deodorant used. No perfumes.
DOCUMENTS CARRIED IN: A black zipped folder

End Note: Even tho it is a document check and ID verification exercise, it still is an interview. And as with all interviews we need to dress well, appropriately. And maintain a professional demeanour alongwith extreme courtesy. Your attire, preparedness and positivity makes a difference.

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