This forum made me sleep better on many nights and told me what to expect at every step. Nothing was a surprise from Asylum to US Passport.
Waited many many years and got my Asylum I485 approved in 2002. Applied N400 in Aug 07, FP in Jan 08, Citizenship interview in April 08 and got my Oath in May 08. Applied for passport routine service at the oath ceremony and got my passport in 9 days. My online status still shows my case pending since Oct 2007 !!
The interview was taken by an officer who had good country specific knowledge of my COP. The officer had a thick file which had every application I ever sent to INS/BCIS/USCIS in Nebraska. He went thru my asylum application in detail and asked me several questions on whether I was ever arrested, any organization I joined in COP, whether I had visited my COP and what was my last date of visit to COP. When I said I never went to COP and my last date was in 1997 sometime the officer said "then its no problem" and went thru my N400 application and I was done in 10 min from that point. All the questioning and concerns were about my old presence in COP and whether I ever visited after my asylum application. My passport was seen in detail and he was comparing it to a printout of some sort in the file. While giving me a congratulation letter he said my file is being sent to an supervisor for review as it was an asylum case. My oath letter came 15 days later than other family members who gave interview on same date. All of us were interviewed by different officers at the same time in different rooms.
During last several years I have met several people who had applied for asylum and we kept in touch. All of them had similar experience in Citizenship interview about COP. DUI, Misdemenors in Traffic were also problems that some faced.
Visiting COP is a bad idea and I would advise you not to unless it is an emergency because it will come up and you will have to give a logical reason for your visits. During my citizenship interview I realized how vulnerable we are even with GC if it was thru asylum. The GC can be cancelled anytime if fraud is suspected.
My experience with USCIS has been very good and everyone was very efficient and helpful when I called or met or gave interview. Every file is unique and every officer has a lot of discretionary powers so time lines can be a little different.
Thanks to all of you who ever posted anything as feedback whatever it is is very helpful. Thanks to Rajeev for this free servive....Highly Appreciated.
NB: If you feel your timeline has many different results on the forum call USCIS and insist to be connected to an IO. The CSR who picks up initial calls when you call USCIS are all civilian employees who have the same access to info you see online. The IO can read the actual file and tell you current status and resend lost or misplaced letters etc. Patience is the key !!