What to Expect at the Naturalization Oath Ceremony

Immigration Attorneys in St. Charles, Missouri

Becoming a United States citizen is a powerful and meaningful experience. The journey starts with becoming naturalized and taking the oath. 

But are you looking for answers to your questions about this process? How do you prepare for this big day? What happens when it’s all over? Who do you contact for more information? 

Contact Gateway Immigration Law Firm, your trusted immigration attorneys in St. Charles, Missouri. We will guide you through the naturalization from start to finish. 

What is an Oath Ceremony?

The Naturalization Oath Ceremony is a solemn statement required of all candidates for U.S. citizenship. Before completing the naturalization process, applicants must take the Oath of Allegiance in a formal ceremony. This event is a U.S. immigration law custom that stretches back to the 18th century.

The Oath will require you as a new citizen to swear that you will:

  • Support and defend the ideals of the United States’ laws and Constitution against its adversaries as a new American citizen.
  • Give up loyalty to any other foreign kingdoms, countries, or sovereigns, and give up whatever hereditary or aristocratic titles you may have.
  • If the government ever asks you to, you may serve in the United States military armed forces or as a civilian.

To become a citizen of the United States, you must attend the ceremony. Attending your Oath of Allegiance ceremony is the last step in the naturalization process that must be completed.

When is the Oath Ceremony take place?

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The Oath of Naturalization ceremony occurs following the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) authorizes your Form N-400 (the “Application for Naturalization”). In many situations, USCIS may have all of the information necessary to accept your application straight after your citizenship interview and English and civics exams. Your naturalization ceremony may then take place on the same day. A USCIS officer will ask you to depart after your naturalization interview and test and come back that day for your Oath of Allegiance ceremony.

In other situations, USCIS may issue you a Form N-445 appointment letter, the “Notice of Naturalization Oath Ceremony,” with your ceremony’s date, time, and place. Typically, your Oath of Allegiance ceremony will take place at the same USCIS field office where you conducted your test and interview.

If you cannot attend the planned citizenship ceremony date, you must submit Form N-445 to the USCIS field office where your citizenship ceremony would have taken place. You must give a letter stating why you cannot attend the original day and time and requesting that USCIS reschedule your citizenship oath ceremony engagement.

If you miss your appointed ceremony date more than once, the USCIS may refuse your citizenship application.

Where does a Naturalization Oath Ceremony Take Place?

Your ceremony might take place anywhere from a tiny office to a major stadium or convention center, depending on the nature and availability of facilities. This event is often held at historical sites such as Independence Hall or the United States Constitution. As could be imagined, this is a major event, and it would be wise to dress appropriately. Avoid wearing T-shirts, jeans, shorts, or flip-flops. 

Please ensure that you appear on time and at the correct location as specified on your Form N-445 notice. You may be qualified for naturalization, but you will not be allowed to conduct the ceremony unless you are named one of the event’s guests.

What will I Need to Bring?

You must bring Form N-445, Notice of Naturalization Oath Ceremony, which you will either get at the end of your interview or later in the mail. The letter will contain a list of items you need to bring to the oath ceremony, which includes:

  • Your lawful permanent resident card. (If you have forgotten it, you may take the oath but must return it before receiving your naturalization certificate; if your card has been lost or stolen, you must sign a form and may be required to file a police report.)
  • Your re-entry permit or Refugee Travel Document (if you have one).
  • Any immigration credentials you may have.
  • Your children, if they have also been authorized for U.S. citizenship.
  • Any additional documentation is required by USCIS.

Form N-445 comprises a questionnaire identical to the one you got with Form N-400. When you arrive at the oath ceremony, a USCIS official will receive your Form N-445. If you respond “yes” to any of the questions, you may not be able to take the oath that day.

What should I do to Prepare for Citizenship Ceremonies?

There is no need to prepare. Simply bring all of the materials mentioned above with you and follow the directions on your appointment letter.

Is it Necessary for me to Learn the Words of the Oath of Allegiance?

No, you are not required to remember anything! You will be handed a piece of paper with the wording of the Oath of Allegiance during the ceremony, or the words will be presented on a screen. 

What Occurs During the Oath of Naturalization Ceremony?

A USCIS officer will check you in when you arrive at the field office. They will check your Form N-445 appointment letter to ensure you didn’t respond “yes” to every question on the questionnaire. A valid green card and any USCIS-issued travel papers are required for citizenship. In their stead, the USCIS will issue Form N-550, “Certificate of Naturalization.”

You may also get a welcome package, an American flag, Form M-76 (the “Citizen’s Almand”), and Form M-654 (a pocket-sized pamphlet of the Declaration of Independence and U.S. Constitution). Arrive 30 minutes early to check in and get ready for your ceremony. 

Applicants usually go through the ceremony together.

A Master of Ceremonies and/or a guest speaker will deliver information, films, and music at the event’s start. All applicants must stand, raise their right hand, and recite the Oath of Allegiance before USCIS authorities.

You will finish the ceremony by saying the Pledge (note that the pledge and the oath are different). After then, the Master of Ceremonies will conclude the ceremony.

After the Naturalization Oath Ceremony

Congratulations! You are now a U.S. citizen, with all of the rights and obligations that come with it.

After taking the Oath of Allegiance, you will be given your Certificate of Naturalization. Before leaving the USCIS field office, you must examine it for inaccuracies and contact USCIS if you find any.

Keep your Certificate of Naturalization in a secure location since it will act as evidence of your citizenship. The expense of replacing lost certifications is high. 

To get a replacement certificate, fill out Form N-565 (formally known as the “Application for Replacement Naturalization/Citizenship Document”) and pay a $555 charge.

It’s also a wise to upgrade your Social Security record, register for a U.S. passport (your welcome package may contain a passport application), and register to vote soon after the ceremony. However, certain USCIS offices may enable you to register to vote on-site after your ceremony.

The Rights of a Citizen of the United States after Naturalization

  • You cannot be deported to your prior country of citizenship or nationality. 

You will have the same right as any other American to live and work in the United States. Even if you are charged with a felony in the future, you will be entitled to remain in the United States. (Although recent news reports suggest that the U.S. government intends to seek more “denaturalizations” based on past criminal charges, this should not impact most naturalized U.S. citizens.)

  • You may travel with one of the most powerful passports in the world.

 Applying for a U.S. passport after getting your Certificate of Naturalization is a significant advantage of U.S. citizenship. With a U.S. passport, you may travel to more than 180 countries for short-term vacations without a visa, take as many trips abroad as you want for as long as you want, and seek help from the local U.S. consulate in times of need.

  • You may apply for government benefits that are only accessible to U.S. citizens. 

After naturalizing, you will have full access to some government benefit programs, such as federal college funding, which is exclusively accessible to U.S. citizens.

  • You may apply for a green card for your family.

 You will be able to sponsor your parents, adult children, and siblings for their own green cards.

Even if your children are born in another country, they will immediately become citizens of the United States. You merely need to notify a U.S. embassy or consulate about your kid’s birth.

  • You no longer have to worry about immigration papers. 

You will not be required to renew your green card or pay any immigration filing costs. You would also not have to inform USCIS every time you relocate.

  • You may apply for employment with the United States government. 

The vast majority of government jobs are exclusively available to residents of the United States. Although every employment has advantages and disadvantages, government employees and their families often have greater benefits and wages than private-sector workers.

  • You have the right to vote in any United States election.

Only citizens of the United States are allowed to vote in federal elections. Non-citizens are only allowed to vote in local elections. If you want to have an impact on leadership in your community or the United States as a whole, the voting booth is the place to begin.

You have the option of running for public office. Citizenship in the United States is required for federal office and the majority of employment in state and local government.

Seeking Legal Help from Missouri Immigration Attorney

As you can imagine, attending your Naturalization Oath Ceremony will be an exciting and momentous occasion in your life. It should not be missed. 

What’s more, we encourage you to actively participate in your ceremony and to enjoy every second of this unique experience.

Our Missouri immigration attorney can help you in applying  for the Naturalization Oath Ceremony and make sure that you go through it smoothly. Gateway Immigration Law Firm likewise assists in the process of waiting for a decision before your application is approved. Schedule a consultation now! 

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