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.
As USCIS safely resumes in-person services, some naturalization ceremonies may be conducted differently than in the past. You may receive supplemental information from USCIS that provides detailed instructions for your ceremony. Please pay close attention to this information to ensure a safe and enjoyable ceremony experience.
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 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
Once 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.
To see what items are prohibited on federal properties, you can check the Federal Protective Service’s frequently asked questions web page.
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.
When you Become a U.S. Citizen
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 travel.state.gov.
You will need to submit your original certificate of naturalization or citizenship AND a photocopy when applying for your U.S. passport. USCIS does not prohibit photocopies of certificates when providing proof of U.S. citizenship to the Department of State.
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, visit socialsecurity.gov.
Ceremony Multimedia Presentations
The naturalization ceremony is the culmination of the naturalization process. USCIS wants to make ceremonies a positive and memorable experience. During most naturalization ceremonies, we may play the following videos to help welcome you as America’s newest citizens.
- "Faces of America" (video)
This four-minute video illustrates our nation’s immigration history by featuring historical images and highlighting naturalization ceremonies throughout our country. The video also includes inspirational quotes from proud naturalized citizens.
- "America the Beautiful" (video)
This picturesque video features the patriotic song, “America the Beautiful,” written by Katharine Lee Bates in 1893, along with various scenes of naturalization ceremonies and American landscapes from sea to shining sea.
- "The Star-Spangled Banner" (video)
Beginning early in our nation’s history, citizens have used songs, poems, and symbols to express the ideals and values of the United States. “The Star-Spangled Banner” is the national anthem of the United States. It was written by Francis Scott Key after a critical battle in the War of 1812.