When an immigrant comes to the U.S. and applies for citizenship, they must make a formal, legally-binding declaration called the Oath of Allegiance. After the person makes the declaration, they will be formally recognized as a U.S. citizen.
You and your family may have to swear the Oath of Allegiance if you are immigrating to the U.S. and want to become citizens. You will be protected from deportation and enjoy many other benefits by becoming U.S. citizens.
What is Involved in Swearing the Oath of Allegiance?
You will swear your Oath of Allegiance during a formal, public ceremony typically held just before or during national Independence Day (July 4th). When you pledge the Oath of Allegiance, you will be promising to do the following:
- Renounce your allegiance to your former country and renounce any former hereditary/noble titles you had
- Support the constitution of the U.S.
- Follow U.S. law
- Perform work of national importance when required to under law
You do not have to memorize the Oath or any of the promises. The words to the Oath will be provided during your ceremony. In addition, you can view the Oath on the website for the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
Oath of Allegiance Modifications and Waivers
You might have religious beliefs that make it difficult or impossible to recite the Oath of Allegiance. You may be permitted to recite a different, modified Oath. You will have to provide proof of your conflicting religious beliefs to USCIS.
A person may not have to take the Oath of Allegiance if they are:
- Mentally impaired (and thus unable to understand the Oath)
- Physically impaired (and thus unable to show they understand the Oath)
- Only 14 years of age or younger (children may not have to take the Oath)
You can request a waiver before the ceremony takes place. You must provide proof of qualification for the waiver.
Where Will I Swear the Oath of Allegiance?
You might have your ceremony in a convention center, courthouse, or the USCIS field office you have been going to. USCIS will tell you your ceremony location in your invitation.
Who Will Conduct My Ceremony?
Typically, the Secretary of Homeland Security will conduct the Oath, but another Department of Homeland Security (DHS) official may take over this responsibility.
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What Happens Before I Swear the Oath?
Before you can swear the Oath and formally become a U.S. citizen, you must pass your civics and English tests and have your citizenship application approved. Shortly after that, USCIS will send you a notice for the ceremony with a date and time to attend.
It is important to attend the ceremony because it is the final part in the process of becoming a naturalized U.S. citizen. In addition, you can bring your family to witness the ceremony.
If you cannot attend the ceremony at the given date or time, you may be able to reschedule with the USCIS field office where the ceremony will be held. However, if you do not go to a rescheduled ceremony, you may have your citizenship application denied.
What Should I Bring to the Ceremony?
When it is time for your ceremony, you should make sure you are fully prepared. You will need to bring:
- Form N-445, the Notice of Naturalization Oath Ceremony (You must complete the questionnaire on the back of the notice if there is one)
- Your green card (Your permanent resident card)
- Your identification documents (Pieces of government-issued photo identification, such as your state I.D., passport, or driver’s license)
- Any other relevant information you forgot to disclose
Also, you must refrain from bringing any prohibited items to the ceremony.
What Happens After I Swear the Oath of Allegiance?
Soon after you have made your pledge, you will be given a Certificate of Naturalization, which formally recognizes you as a naturalized U.S. citizen. From that point onward, you are a citizen of the United States of America, and you will be able to enjoy the benefits that come with your citizenship. Some of the benefits you will be able to enjoy are being able to:
- Petition green cards for your family outside of the U.S.
- Practice your religion freely.
- Vote in all elections (after you are registered to vote)
- Run for elected office
After your ceremony, you should:
- Keep your Certificate of Naturalization (it is your proof of citizenship)
- Update your social security record to show your citizenship (this is necessary to get a job)
- Apply for a U.S. passport
- Register to vote
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Learn More About the Oath of U.S. Citizenship by Contacting Our Office Today
If you would like to learn more about the Oath of Allegiance or if you need any legal advice, consult an immigration attorney from our firm. We want to help you and your family obtain your citizenship to be fully protected from deportation and stay in the country. We also want you to be able to enjoy all of the benefits that come with being a U.S. citizen. We believe our advice and services can help you obtain your citizenship.
During a strategic session with our immigration law firm, we will answer your questions, advise you, and help you prepare for your citizenship. Call New Frontier Immigration Law today.