Chapter 2: The Oath of Allegiance

A. Oath of Allegiance​

In general, naturalization applicants take the following oath in order to complete the naturalization process: ​

“I h​ereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty, of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen; that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I will bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform noncombatant service in the Armed Forces of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform work of national importance under civilian direction when required by the law; and that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; so help me God.”​ [1] See INA 337(a). See 8 CFR 337.1(a).

The Oath of Allegiance is administered in the English language, regardless of whether the applicant was eligible for a language waiver. However, an applicant may have a translator to translate the oath during the ceremony. ​In addition, an applicant may request a modification to the oath because of a religious objection or an inability or unwillingness to take an oath or recite the words “under God.”​ [2] See Chapter 3, Oath of Allegiance Modifications and Waivers [12 USCIS-PM J.3].An applicant or a designated representative may request an oath waiver when the applicant is unable to understand the meaning of the oath.​

B. Authority to Administer the Oath​

The following persons have the authority to administer the Oath of Allegiance: ​

The Director;​

The Deputy Director;​

District Director;​

Field Office Director; or​

Courts.​ [3] See INA 310(b). The authority to administer the Oath of Allegiance is delegated by the Secretary of Homeland Security

Other USCIS supervisory officers may act on behalf of the District Director or Field Office Director on a temporary basis in case of absence or if the position is vacant.​ [4] See INA 310(a). See 8 CFR 310.1(b) and 8 CFR 337.2.In addition, Immigration Judges may also administer the Oath of Allegiance in administrative ceremonies.​

C. Renunciation of Title or Order of Nobility​

Any applicant who has any titles of heredity or positions of nobility in any foreign state must renounce the title or the position. The applicant must expressly renounce the title in a public ceremony and USCIS must record the renunciation as part of the proceedings.​ [5] See INA 337. Failure to renounce the title of position shows a lack of attachment to the Constitution.​

In order to renounce a title or position, the applicant must add one of the following phrases to the Oath of Allegiance:​

I further renounce the title of (give title or titles) which I have heretofore held; or ​

I further renounce the order of nobility (give the order of nobility) to which I have heretofore belonged.​ [6] See 8 CFR 337.1(d).

An applicant whose country of former nationality or origin abolished the title by law, or who no longer possesses a title, is not required to drop that portion of his or her name that originally designated such title as a part of his or her naturalization.​ [7] See Society Vinicole de Champagne v. Mumm, 143 F. 2d 240 (1944).