After the strenuous naturalization journey you have, you are now nearing the end of the road to becoming a U.S. citizen. You are now feeling excited about the naturalization oath ceremony, or you may be nervous since you don’t know what to anticipate during the event. Worry not, for this article will cover all you need to know, including:
- What is a Naturalization Oath Ceremony?
- Oath of Allegiance
- Types of naturalization ceremonies
- What To Expect at Your Naturalization Ceremony
- What You Need to Bring to the Ceremony
If you have any immigration concerns, you may seek help from a competent immigration lawyer at Andres Mejer Law.
What is a Naturalization Oath Ceremony?
The oath ceremony in a naturalization process refers to the last step of your naturalization procedure in which you will take an oath of allegiance- swearing your allegiance to the United States – and receive your naturalization certificate.
This means that when you go through this ceremony, you will now be able to apply for various benefits and privileges that are exclusively available to U.S. citizens, such as a U.S. passport, registering as a U.S. citizen voter, obtaining a driver’s license, and getting Social Security services.
Please keep in mind that attending the Naturalization Oath Ceremony is required for you to complete your naturalization process.
Oath of Allegiance
To fully become a naturalized American citizen, you must recite the Oath of Allegiance to the United States in a naturalization oath ceremony.
When you take the Oath of Allegiance, you are effectively pledging to fulfill the following obligations that a U.S. citizen has to the United States:
- Support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States to the best of your ability against all enemies, foreign and domestic.
- Renouncing and abjuring loyalty and adherence to any country or sovereign state.
- Offer aid in the Armed Forces – by bearing arms on behalf of the United States or providing noncombatant services – and provide civilian service of national importance as required by law.
See a sample of the Oath.
Types of Naturalization Ceremonies
Your eligibility for a naturalization ceremony is usually determined on the same day as your interview. As part of your naturalization process, you must attend this ceremony. There might be one of two types of circumstances that one can experience:
- Judicial Ceremony – You can choose to have the court administer your Oath of Allegiance. If this is the type of ceremony you will have, the USCIS must notify the court, bearing the recommendation of the Secretary of Homeland Security, that the applicant is qualified for naturalization.
- Administrative Ceremony – In this type of Naturalization ceremony, the USCIS administers the Oath of Allegiance. This is the common type of Naturalization ceremony that an applicant will experience at the end of their naturalization process.
Furthermore, if you have a solid cause, you can request an expedited oath ceremony. However, this is still subject to approval by USCIS or the court.
Remember that if you are unable to attend the scheduled ceremony, you must tell your local USCIS office as soon as possible. You must have a letter that identifies and explains why you are unable to attend. When your application is granted, you will be given a new date for your naturalization ceremony.
While missing one naturalization ceremony for acceptable reasons will not harm your citizenship process, it should be remembered that if you miss repeated ceremonies, your application may be denied.
What To Expect at Your Naturalization Ceremony
You will be given the notice to take the Oath of Allegiance.
Before you can proceed in taking your Oath of Allegiance, you must first secure a Form N-445 which is given to you by USCIS. Form N-445, also known as the Notice of Naturalization Oath Ceremony, is a form or document given to an immigration applicant which indicates the date, time, and place for your oath ceremony. Typically, this is given to you during the naturalization interview or in the mail.
Naturally, you may be able to have your naturalization ceremony on the same day as your interview. If no ceremony is scheduled at that time, the USCIS will give you a Notice Form N-445.
Check-in with a USCIS officer at the Ceremony.
On the day of your naturalization ceremony, a USCIS officer at the event will review the responses you indicated in Form N-445. Doing so will help in double-checking the information you have entered so that there are no errors or typos that may cause you problems in the future.
Most of the time, they will review your answers to the yes-or-no questions. The inquiries revolve around changes that have occurred after your interview, such as your civil status, travel outside of the United States, and so on.
As a result, it is recommended that you finish filling out the form before arriving at the event to avoid delays.
You are required to return your Green Card.
When you arrive and check-in at the naturalization oath ceremony, you must return your Permanent Resident Card to the USCIS officer.
If you’ve misplaced or lost your Permanent Resident Card, you must offer proof during the naturalization interview that the card was lost and you sought to retrieve it or that you were never awarded permanent residency because of your military service.
Even if you have forgotten to return your green card, you may still take the oath, but it will be a problem on your part because a Permanent Resident Card is required (depending on the situation) in order to obtain your naturalization certificate. As a result, you must promptly return it to the USCIS before getting the certificate.
Take the Oath of Allegiance
This is the most important part of a naturalization oath ceremony. This is significant because taking the Oath of Allegiance signifies your allegiance to the United States and your acceptance of the obligations of a U.S. citizen.
Receive Certificate of Naturalization
After you have completed the ceremony, you must get a Certificate of Naturalization. Doing so is crucial since the certificate will serve as documentation that you earned U.S. citizenship through the naturalization procedure.
Moreover, you must also review the certificate’s contents to see whether there are any errors or inaccuracies to the important information like your name. If there are any errors, you must immediately notify any USCIS officer at the ceremony.
If you misplace your Certificate of Naturalization, you can get a new one by submitting Form N-565, Application for Replacement Naturalization/Citizenship Document.
What You Need to Bring to the Ceremony
When preparing for the event, keep in mind that you must bring the following with you to the naturalization ceremony:
- Permanent Resident Card
- Form N-445, also known as the Notice of Naturalization Oath Ceremony.
- An extra government-issued photo ID
- Permit for Re-Entry and Refugee Travel Document (if applicable)
- Other immigration documents that you have. This may come in handy later on.
What happens now that I’ve taken the oath of allegiance and received my Certificate of Naturalization?
When you have completed all of these requirements, you will be eligible to receive the privileges and benefits of being a U.S. citizen. These are as follows:
You can apply for a U.S. Passport and Passport Card
An application form for a U.S. passport is often included in the U.S. Citizenship Welcome Packet, which is given to you during your naturalization ceremony.
Change some details in your Social Security Record
As a new U.S. citizen, you are eligible for Social Security benefits.
After you have legally become a citizen of the United States, you must go to any of your local Social Security Administration (SSA) offices to update your Social Security record. New citizens must generally wait at least 10 days following the ceremony before updating their SSA records.
You can now register to vote for National and Local elections.
Of course, you must exercise your right to vote by becoming a registered voter, just as you would in any other country.
You will be given a voter registration application at the naturalization ceremony. You may apply at any location in your area.
This is often issued by a state or local government election official, a non-governmental organization, or a USCIS officer.
Take the first step in your immigration journey by contacting us today!
Of course, before a person can attend the ceremony, they must go through the strenuous naturalization process, such as determining under which type of immigration visa you should apply for and the needed documents that you need to gather. It is undeniable that you will face challenges during your citizenship process, which is why hiring legal assistance from one of our reliable immigration attorneys will assist you throughout the course of your naturalization process.
Andres Mejer Law, a New Jersey immigration law firm, has handled a variety of immigration-related issues. We have years of experience that sharpened our skills and knowledge of immigration laws. So, what are you holding out for? Begin following your dreams right away with the help of a competent and experienced immigration attorney.