Official Website of the United States Department of Homeland Security

Naturalization Ceremonies

If USCIS approves your Form N-400, Application for Naturalization, we will schedule you to take the Oath of Allegiance at a naturalization ceremony. Taking the oath will complete the process of becoming a U.S. citizen.

Types of Ceremonies:

  • In a judicial ceremony, the court administers the Oath of Allegiance.
  • In an administrative ceremony, USCIS administers the Oath of Allegiance.

Here is what to expect at your naturalization ceremony:

1.  Receive a Notice to Take the Oath of Allegiance

You may be able to participate in a naturalization ceremony on the same day as your interview. If a ceremony is unavailable, we will mail you a notice with the date, time, and location of your scheduled naturalization ceremony on a Form N-445, Notice of Naturalization Oath Ceremony.

If you cannot attend your scheduled naturalization ceremony, return the notice, Form N-445, Notice of Naturalization Oath Ceremony, to your local USCIS office, along with a letter requesting a new date and explaining why you cannot attend the scheduled naturalization ceremony. Failing to appear more than once for your naturalization ceremony may lead to a denial of your application.

2.  Check in at the Ceremony

After you arrive at the ceremony, check in with USCIS. A USCIS officer will review your responses to the questionnaire, Form N-445, Notice of Naturalization Oath Ceremony. Please complete your responses to the questionnaire before you arrive.

3.  Return your Permanent Resident Card

You must return your Permanent Resident Card to USCIS when you check in for your naturalization ceremony. This requirement is waived if you provided proof during the naturalization interview that the card has been lost and you have attempted to recover it, or if, because of your military service, you were never granted permanent residence. You will no longer need your Permanent Resident Card because you will receive your Certificate of Naturalization after you take the Oath of Allegiance.

4.  Take the Oath of Allegiance

You are not a U.S. citizen until you take the Oath of Allegiance at a naturalization ceremony. You will receive your Certificate of Naturalization after taking the Oath of Allegiance.

5.  Receive Certificate of Naturalization

Carefully review your Certificate of Naturalization and notify USCIS of any errors before leaving the ceremony. You may use your Certificate of Naturalization as official proof that you are a U.S. citizen.

If you lose your Certificate of Naturalization, you may request a replacement by filing Form N-565, Application for Replacement Naturalization/Citizenship Document. You may request Form N-565 by calling the USCIS Forms Line (1-800-870-3676) or by downloading the form. The fee to file this form is $345.

Once you become a U.S. citizen, you can do the following:

Apply for a U.S. Passport/Passport Card

We strongly recommend that you apply for a U.S. passport through the U.S. Department of State soon after you take the Oath of Allegiance. Please allow sufficient time between your naturalization ceremony and any planned travel to receive your passport.

  • In addition to your Certificate of Naturalization, a U.S. passport serves as official proof of citizenship.
  • You will get an application for a U.S. passport at your naturalization ceremony in the U.S. Citizenship Welcome Packet. It is also available at most U.S. Post Offices or via the web at http://travel.state.gov

Register to Vote

Voting in federal elections is both a right and a responsibility that comes with U.S. citizenship. After you take the Oath of Allegiance at an administrative ceremony, you will have the opportunity to register to vote. At administrative naturalization ceremonies, forms may be distributed by a state or local government election office, a non-governmental organization, or a USCIS official. If a non-governmental organization assists you in registering to vote at a USCIS naturalization ceremony, that organization may collect and submit your form to the appropriate Election Official, but it is not permitted to retain any of your personal information. Please notify your local USCIS office if you believe that an organization has retained and used your personal information after assisting you with a voter registration application at a USCIS naturalization ceremony.   

You may register to vote at other locations in your community, which may include post offices, motor vehicle offices, county boards of election, and offices of your state Secretary of State.  For more information, please see “A Voter’s Guide to Federal Elections."

Update your Social Security Record

After your naturalization ceremony, you should update your Social Security record at a local office of the Social Security Administration (SSA). Please wait at least ten days after your ceremony before going to the SSA to ensure that data reflecting your naturalization has been updated. You will need your Certificate of Naturalization or U.S. passport when you visit the SSA to update your record. To find your local Social Security office, call 1-800-772-1213 or visit www.socialsecurity.gov.

Last Reviewed/Updated: 06/25/2014