What to Expect at Your Naturalization Oath Ceremony

Judge and a man
A man standing in front of a judge at a courtroom

At the Naturalization Oath Ceremony, immigrants who have received approval for their Application for Naturalization (Form N-400), taken an English and Civics test, and passed their citizenship interview will recite the Oath of Allegiance before a USCIS official to become American citizens. After taking the oath, people will receive the Certificate of Naturalization, which serves as proof of U.S. citizenship.

What Is a Naturalization Oath Ceremony?

The Naturalization oath ceremony is the final step in becoming a U.S. citizen. A tradition that dates back to the 18th century, attending this formal ceremony and reciting the Oath of Allegiance is mandatory for all naturalization applicants.

Where and When Does the Citizenship Ceremony Take Place?

Depending on the schedule for the individual’s district, the ceremony could take place anywhere from the same day as the interview to several months later.

The ceremony can take place in a courtroom or a smaller room in a state or federal building, or in a convention center or stadium. On some occasions, these ceremonies take place at historical landmarks such as the U.S.S. Constitution. Regardless of where the ceremony occurs, wearing the appropriate attire is advised, including suits, dresses, or other formal wear.

Citizenship applicants are required to attend the ceremony unless they request to reschedule and provide a specific reason for their inability to attend. Arriving about an hour before the ceremony is advised. This gives applicants ample time to check in with a USCIS officer who will ensure eligibility and collect all required documents.

Documents Required for the Ceremony

Form N-445, Notice of Naturalization Oath Ceremony will provide immigrants with a list of what to bring to the ceremony. The list may include:

After taking the Oath of Allegiance, the person will receive his or her Certificate of Naturalization. The certificate serves as proof of United States Citizenship.  If the individual has chosen to undergo a name change, the new name will appear on the naturalization certificate.  Once received, individuals can use this certificate to vote in local, state, and national elections and apply for U.S. passports, driver’s licenses and social security cards.