The naturalization ceremony is the final stage of the naturalization process to become a US citizen. During your naturalization ceremony, you will take the Oath of Allegiance, after which you will receive your Certificate of Naturalization. Taking the oath is an integral part of completing the process of becoming an American citizen.
There are two types of ceremonies:
- A judicial ceremony where the Oath of Allegiance is administered by the court
- An administrative ceremony where the Oath of Allegiance is administered by USCIS
Taking the Oath of Allegiance
1. Obtain a notice inviting you to take the Oath of Allegiance
You may be eligible to participate in the naturalization ceremony on the very same day as your naturalization interview. If this is not possible, USCIS will mail you the time, date, and location of your naturalization ceremony, which will be printed on Form N-445, Notice of Naturalization Oath Ceremony.
If you are unable to attend the scheduled ceremony, return Form N-445 to your USCIS office with a letter requesting for a new time and date along with the reason of why you are unable to attend the next naturalization ceremony. If you fail to appear more than once for the naturalization ceremony, it may result in a rejection of your application.
2. Arrive at the Ceremony
Upon arrival at the ceremony, check in with a USCIS officer. This officer will evaluate your answers to the questionnaire, Form N-445. Please complete this questionnaire at home before arriving for the ceremony.
3. Surrender your Permanent Resident Card
Hand your permanent resident card (green card) to a USCIS officer when you arrive at your naturalization ceremony. This requirement will be waived if you showed proof during the interview that your card was lost and you were unable to recover it. This requirement is also waived if you were a part of military service and were never given a permanent resident card. Once you become a US citizen, you will no longer need your green card.
4. Take the Oath of Allegiance
You must take this oath at the naturalization ceremony. After taking the oath, you will be able to collect your Certificate of Naturalization.
5. Certificate of Naturalization
When you receive your certificate, be sure to review it carefully. If you notice any mistakes, notify the USCIS immediately of any errors prior to leaving the naturalization ceremony. Your Certificate of Naturalization is an official proof showing that you are an American citizen.
After the Naturalization Ceremony
Once you have completed the naturalization ceremony and received your Certificate of Naturalization, you can get started on the following actions as a new US citizen.
Apply for a Passport Card/U.S. Passport
After taking the Oath of Allegiance, it is recommended that you apply for a passport via the U.S. Department of State. Please ensure there is adequate time between the naturalization ceremony and planned travel dates, in order to receive your passport.
Your U.S. passport is an additional proof of citizenship along with your Certificate of Naturalization. You will receive an application for the U.S. passport at the naturalization ceremony. This will be located in the U.S. Citizenship Welcome Package. You may also obtain the form from U.S. Post Offices.
Register to Vote
After becoming a US citizen, you now hold the right and responsibility to vote in US elections. You can register to vote immediately after taking the Oath. At an administrative naturalization ceremony, these forms are distributed by the local or state government electoral office, a USCIS official, or a non-governmental organization. You may also register to vote at post offices, county board elections, at the office of your Secretary of State and motor vehicle offices.
Update Social Security Records
After the naturalization ceremony, you must update your Social Security record at the Social Security Administration office (SSA). You are advised to wait for a period of ten days before visiting the SSA office so as to ensure that your data concerning your naturalization is up-to-date. Your US passport or your Certificate of Naturalization will be required to update your SSA record. To locate your nearest SSA office, please call 1-800-772-1213.