by Marie Puertollano, Esq.
When will I be scheduled for an oath ceremony?
After your naturalization interview, if your case is approved, you will be scheduled for the naturalization oath ceremony. USCIS will send you the form N-445 indicating the date for your oath ceremony. If you cannot attend, reschedule immediately by sending back the notice to the USCIS local office with a letter explaining why you cannot attend.
What should I bring?
Bring your N-445 notice, and your green card. On the back of the form N-445, there is a list of questions to answer about what happened since the interview regarding travel, arrests… Check the Yes or No box for each of the questions.
Dress properly for the ceremony.
What happens during the oath ceremony?
First, you must check in. Show your N-445 notice and green card. The officer will keep your green card and you will never get it back.
Once all the applicants are seated, the ceremony starts. All the ceremonies will include the Oath of Allegiance. You will have to repeat after the person administering the Oath.
Ceremonies also include the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag. And you will have to sing the National Anthem. No need to memorize them, you will be given a piece of paper or it will be on a screen.
Very often, the officer will call the countries represented and the applicants are invited to stand when their (former) countries are being called. A pre recorded message from the U.S President may also be shown.
What happens after the ceremony?
Once the ceremony is over, do not forget to pick up your naturalization certificate. Sign the certificate with the same signature than the one on your certificate picture.
And outside, people will invite you to register to vote.
Also let the Social Security Administration and DMV know that you became a U.S citizen by bringing your Naturalization certificate. Do it as soon as possible if you asked your name to be changed during the naturalization process.
We also recommend that you apply as soon as possible for an American passport. If you need to travel, you will need an American passport to be able to reenter in the U.S. You can keep your passport from your country of birth if dual citizenship is allowed but it will not allow you to reenter in the U.S.
How long is the oath ceremony?
It greatly varies. Some ceremonies last less than one hour such as the one in Chula Vista Field Office. Others are longer because they are held in bigger buildings with many people.