After tons of hard work, immense dedication, and countless hours studying, you have passed your naturalization test and are one step closer to becoming a United States Citizen. The Citizenship Ceremony, also known as the Oath Ceremony, is the final event in your journey to becoming a United States Citizen. After you pass your final interview, you take part in this last event that will open the door to all the full rights and responsibilities of a natural-born citizen. You probably have many questions about this last rite. In order to give soon to be fellow-citizens an idea of what to expect, Hernandez Law Group, P.C. has taken the time to answer the 7 most commonly asked questions about the Citizenship Ceremony.
1. What Is The Citizenship Ceremony?
The Citizenship Ceremony, or Oath Ceremony, is the celebration of those who have completed the process of becoming a natural citizen. In this ceremony, new citizens swear their allegiance to the United States and receive their naturalization certificate.
2. When And Where Does The Ceremony Take Place?
There is no specific time or place for the Oath Ceremony. Fortunately, this means you shouldn’t have to travel too far, since each district has its own time and place for the Citizenship Ceremony. Once you pass your interview, they should be able to schedule when your ceremony will take place. The time frame can be the same day as your interview, or you may have to wait a couple of months. It all depends on when the next scheduled ceremony is set to take place.
Depending on where you live, the event can take place in a small room or it could be held in a federal building, such as a courthouse. In some places, the ceremony even took place in a large stadium; it all depends on the number of people they are expecting.
3. What Should I Wear?
Remember, this is a huge moment in your life. Your naturalization ceremony only happens once, and you want to be dressed for the occasion. You also want to make sure that whatever you wear is comfortable, too. You don’t want anything to take away from your big day, whether that’s being distracted by uncomfortable clothes or feeling underdressed.
4. What If I Cannot Make It?
In order to receive your naturalization certificate, you must attend the ceremony. If there is a pressing conflict that makes it impossible for you to attend your scheduled ceremony, you will have to request a new date. This request must be provided in writing and include an explanation for why you are unable to attend your previously scheduled ceremony.
5. What Time Should I Get There?
Plan to arrive at the ceremony an hour before the event is scheduled to start. This will give you plenty of time to check in with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service Officer. They will collect your paperwork and direct you to where the ceremony will take place.
6. What Should I Bring?
While you have already passed the previous steps to get to this final point, you will still need to make sure you bring along the necessary paperwork. The materials you must have with you during the ceremony include:
- Form N-455
- Notice of Naturalization Oath Ceremony
- Your permanent resident card
- Any immigration documents you may have
- Your re-entry permit or refugee travel document
- Any other documents requested by the USCIS
7. What Does the Oath Mean?
The oath is not to be taken lightly. During the Oath Ceremony, you will renounce your allegiance to any foreign nations. You will then declare that you will support and defend the U.S. Constitution.
Next, you will agree to bear arms, if asked, on behalf of the U.S. or perform noncombatant service in the armed forces if the need arises. You can opt-out of military oaths if, and only if, you have proof that your objection is based on seriously held religious beliefs. This can include a strongly held moral or ethical code.
Finally, you will agree to work any job that is of national importance under civilian direction if the need arises as required by law. Once you have pledged these things, you will be a United States Citizen. The Ceremony will then conclude with a speech from one of the representatives of the United States government at the ceremony.
The Hernandez Law Group, P.C. understands the importance of this ceremony and its meaning for those who have worked hard to become a part of this great nation. That is why our immigration and citizenship lawyers work tirelessly to ensure that our clients are given the tools and support to succeed. If you are looking to immigrate to the United States or apply for United States Citizenship, contact the lawyers at Hernandez Law Group, P.C.