You’ve been in the U.S. with your green card for at least five years. You’ve applied for citizenship and taken the test. Now USCIS has approved your Form N-400, Application for Naturalization. The next and final step is to schedule your naturalization ceremony.
Types of ceremonies
There are two types of ceremonies honoring the taking of your Oath of Allegiance to the U.S. – a judicial ceremony and an administrative ceremony. In a judicial ceremony, a court takes you through the oath. In an administrative ceremony, USCIS administers the oath.
If you are participating in the administrative version, you will receive a packet welcoming you to citizenship and taking you through the day. That packet will come in the mail.
You will also receive a notice giving you the date and time of your ceremony. If you cannot attend at that time, return Form N-445, Notice of Naturalization Oath Ceremony, to a local USCIS office, along with a letter requesting a new date and an explanation as to why you cannot attend the scheduled naturalization ceremony.
Before heading off on the day of the ceremony, be sure you have filled out the questionnaire on Form N-445.
At the ceremony
Once you’ve arrived, you should check in with a USCIS officer and hand in the N-445 questionnaire. You will then hand in your permanent resident, or green card, identification. In its place, you will receive a naturalization certificate. Finally, you will take the Oath of Allegiance, which officially seals your citizenship. The oath can be found in your ceremony welcome packet.
Now you’ve taken the Oath of Allegiance and become a U.S. citizen. Take a moment to appreciate how far you’ve come. You will receive your certificate of naturalization. Carefully review the details to be sure all the information is correct. With this certificate you can apply for a passport, register to vote and update your social security record.