Chapter 3 - USCIS Authority to Naturalize

It has long been established that Congress has the exclusive authority under its constitutional power to establish a uniform rule of naturalization and to enact legislation under which citizenship may be conferred upon persons. [1] Before 1991, naturalization within the United States was a judicial function exercised since 1790 by various courts designated in statutes enacted by Congress under its constitutional power to establish a uniform rule of naturalization.

As of October 1, 1991, Congress transferred the naturalization authority to the Attorney General (now the Secretary of DHS). [2] USCIS is authorized to perform such acts as are necessary to properly implement the Secretary’s authority. [3] In certain cases, an applicant for naturalization may choose to have the Oath of Allegiance [4] administered by USCIS or by an eligible court with jurisdiction. Eligible courts may choose to have exclusive authority to administer the Oath of Allegiance. 

Footnotes


1. [^] See Chirac v. Chirac, 15 U.S. 259 (1817).

2. [^] See INA 310(a).

3. [^] See INA 310.

4. [^] See INA 337(a).

8 CFR 2 - Authority of the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security

INA 310, 8 CFR 310 - Naturalization authority

INA 316, 8 CFR 316 - General requirements for naturalization

INA 318 - Prerequisite to naturalization, burden of proof

INA 332, 8 CFR 332 - Naturalization administration, executive functions

INA 335, 8 CFR 335 - Investigation of applicants, examination of applications

INA 336, 8 CFR 336 - Hearings on denials of applications for naturalization

INA 337, 8 CFR 337 - Oath of renunciation and allegiance

Appendices


No appendices available at this time.

POLICY ALERT - Comprehensive Citizenship and Naturalization Policy Guidance

January 07, 2013

USCIS is issuing updated and comprehensive citizenship and naturalization policy guidance in the new USCIS Policy Manual.

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