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USCIS Naturalization Ceremony: What to Expect and Receive
I hope that you will not miss this ceremony since it’s a very uplifting one. I can still remember that the people in the room have full of energy. You can feel in the atmosphere that the applicants and their families are indeed happy and excited. I want to share the Documents and Booklets that I was able to receive on the US Citizenship Oath of Allegiance Ceremony that I was able to attend to so that you’ll have an idea on what to receive as well.
So once the USCIS approves your Form N-400 (Application for Naturalization) they will schedule you to take the Oath of Allegiance at a naturalization ceremony. This is the most important part because taking the oath will fully complete the entire and long awaited process of you becoming an American citizen. There are two types of ceremonies. The first one is in a judicial type where the court administers the Oath of Allegiance while the second one is an administrative where the USCIS officials will administer. I was able to attend an administrative type and we were 750 applicants.
When taking the Oath, as a new citizen you have to promise to fulfill important duties such as supporting and defending the U.S. Constitution and the laws of the United States against its enemies, giving up allegiance to any other nation or sovereign, and providing military or civilian service when called upon by the government.
First, you’ll receive a Notice to Take the Oath of Allegiance. Some applicants could participate in a naturalization ceremony on the very same day as their interview. I was able to receive this Form N-445, this is the Notice of Naturalization Oath Ceremony after my Naturalization Interview and this was given to me by the USCIS Officer (hand delivered) who interviewed me on January 9, 2019. So after my interview, I waited for 13 days to actually attend my Naturalization Oath Ceremony. If in any case that a ceremony is unavailable, you’ll be mailed a notice with the date, time, including the location of your upcoming scheduled naturalization ceremony on a Form N-445, this is the Notice of Naturalization Oath Ceremony. You can also know in advance if you have a USCIS Online Account of when it will be held.
Take note that if you will not be able to attend your scheduled naturalization ceremony, you must return the notice Form N-445, Notice of Naturalization Oath Ceremony at your local USCIS office together with a letter requesting a new date including an explanation why you will not be able to attend the upcoming scheduled naturalization ceremony. You should not fail to appear more than once for your naturalization ceremony because this could only cause for a denial of your application.
Second, check in at the right time for the ceremony with the USCIS once you arrive. There will be a USCIS officer who will review your written responses to the questionnaire that was mailed to you which was the Form N-445, the Notice of Naturalization Oath Ceremony. I highly suggest that you complete your responses to the questionnaire at the back page of the N-445 Form early in the morning on your scheduled naturalization ceremony before you arrive at the location so that everything is already filled-up and ready for submission. Before you’ll enter the building, you will be checked, just like in any international airport, so make sure that you will not bring things that are prohibited on federal and government locations.
Third, if there are many applicants, you may be instructed to follow a line and return your Permanent Resident Card to the USCIS when you check in for your naturalization ceremony. Please take note that this requirement will be waived if you’ll be able to give proof during the naturalization interview that the card was lost and you have tried your best to recover it. Another reason was you were in the military service and therefore was never granted permanent residence. You have to surrender or give the Permanent Resident Card because you will no longer need it. Once you receive your Certificate of Naturalization after you take the Oath of Allegiance, it’s already one of the most important documents that you will be keeping in a safe place.
Fourth, you will take the Oath of Allegiance. This is the most exciting part because you are not yet an American citizen until you finally take the Oath of Allegiance at a naturalization ceremony. You will also hear a congratulatory recorded speech from the President welcoming you as a full-fledged U.S. citizen including a document signed by him coming from the White House. You’ll also receive an envelope which contains booklets like the Citizen’s Almanac and The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States. The USCIS will also provide the U.S. Passport Application Form, Important Information for New Citizens, the Oath and Pledge of Allegiance for you to read with the Star-Spangled Banner Lyrics at the back and a small American Flag with the USCIS print on the stick.
Fifth, you’ll finally receive your Certificate of Naturalization after taking the Oath of Allegiance. The Certificate of Naturalization will serve as an official proof that you are an American citizen. Congratulations! You can sign it but never laminate it.
If ever you will lose your Certificate of Naturalization, you can request a replacement by filing the USCIS Form N-565, Application for Replacement Naturalization/Citizenship Document but this could be very expensive at about $555 for the filing fee so always put it in the safest place. You may request Form N-565 by calling the USCIS Forms Line (1-800-870-3676) or simply download the form via the USCIS official website.
Tip: I highly recommend that you get a very good fireproof document safe that’s certified to withstand high-temperature fires. You can also place to this safe your passport, birth certificate and other important paperwork that you need to keep safe.
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