Mom Surprises Teen With Letter Confirming His US Citizenship

Prince Ogidikpe's American dreams came true after six years.

ByABC News
December 29, 2016, 6:10 PM

— -- One teen was surprised with his ultimate dream: an invite to obtain his official certificate of U.S. citizenship.

Prince Ogidikpe, who originally moved to the U.S. in 2010 from Bayelsa State, Nigeria, said he's used to getting gag gifts from his mother on Christmas Day.

So when he tore off the wrapping paper on one gift last Sunday and the box appeared to advertise a diet plan, he said he was amused and confused. But he didn't think anything was out of the ordinary.

Then, in a now-viral video, Ogidikpe, 19, asks, "Man, what's this?"

"There was a random letter in it that was already opened," he told ABC News. "Then when I read the top of it ... [I said,] 'Whoa! This is not a joke!' And the excitement took over."

In the video, which has been viewed more than 70,000 times on Facebook, Ogidikpe is seen jumping up and down excitedly once he realizes he's been invited to obtain a certificate of citizenship. Later this month, he'll attend his swearing-in ceremony. (He is currently a permanent resident of the U.S.)

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services in California confirmed the authenticity of the letter to ABC News.

Ogidikpe moved from Nigeria, where he lived with his father, to San Bernardino, California, to live with his mother, who became a U.S. citizen herself in 2006, and attend school.

And although Ogidikpe excelled at school -- graduating at age 14 from high school and being accepted to California State University, San Bernardino, where he's now a 19-year-old senior majoring in Biology/Pre-Med -- obtaining his certificate of U.S. citizenship was a bit harder.

Due to financial constraints and missteps on his application, the process took six years, Ogidikpe said.

According to the California branch of USCIS, it normally takes six to 10 months. The cost is around $600.

"Time and time again, there was always something," Ogidikpe said. "After the last time we applied for it, I stopped thinking about it. That thought just left my head."

But it indeed happened. And in his caption on the Facebook video, Ogidikpe noted that he was thrilled that it occurred in the final days of President Barack Obama's administration.

"After 6 years, [finally] got my citizenship right before Obama leaves office best gift ever," he wrote.

Ogidikpe told ABC News that Obama is one of his heroes, in fact.

"He's given a lot of people hope ... that we can really do anything we set our minds to do," he added. "And just to have somebody who looks like you in that position as the leader of the free world, it's just amazing to me."

Ogidikpe said after graduating from college, he plans to continue his education by going to medical school or obtaining his Ph.D.

For now, he's relishing in his latest victory.

"I'm now part of what is called the greatest nation on Earth," Ogidikpe gushed. "It means a lot to me to finally say I am American."