How Long After Citizenship Application Will Naturalization Oath Ceremony Be Scheduled?
Say you have already applied for citizenship. You may be wondering when the oath ceremony will be scheduled.
The short answer is six to eight months.
But to learn more about your naturalization ceremony and when your oath ceremony is scheduled, read on below.
The Naturalization Process
Naturalization is the process where you become a U.S. Citizen after meeting the requirements.
You can apply for this if you:
- Are a child of a U.S. Citizen
- Married a U.S. Citizen
- Have a permanent resident card held for five years
- Served the U.S. Armed Forces
If you are indeed eligible, you may proceed with the following steps:
Step 1: Application
The first step is to file the N-400 or the application for naturalization.
It's best to hire an attorney from a reputable law firm to help you out with this. They can help ensure that your answers are correct and all the documents are complete.
This will save you the pain of getting a request for evidence (RFE) from the US Citizenship and Immigration Services.
Remember that an RFE will add a few more weeks or months to the timeline mentioned above.
Step 2: Biometrics
You should receive a Form 1-797C (appointment letter) within a month of filing your application.
This is a notice for you to attend your Biometrics interview, where a USCIS officer will take your photo, prints, and signature.
Again, it's important to bring all the necessary documents to this appointment. This will help you avoid a second Biometrics schedule that further delays your United States citizenship application.
Step 3: Naturalization Interview and Exam
Once all things are in order, a USCIS official will send you another letter. This will bear the date and location of your citizenship interview and the documents you need to bring to the local USCIS office.
If you can’t attend your interview, you may send a letter requesting to do it on a new date. But attorneys advise against this as the next available schedule may be weeks or months later.
Apart from your interview, you will need to take an exam. This will help the USCIS officer gauge your English skills and Civics knowledge.
If everything goes well, you will be notified of your approval on the date itself or up until 120 days from the date.
You can still retake if you fail the exam. It will be scheduled 60-90 days later. As this will again delay your swearing-in ceremony, it's wise to review for your exam and ace it!
Step 4: Naturalization Oath Ceremony
Once you've passed your interview, you can proceed with the final step: the naturalization ceremony.
Depending on the circumstances, you may have it on the same day. If not, you will receive a form N-445, with your oath ceremony scheduled 2-6 weeks later.
What Happens at Naturalization Ceremonies?
Upon arrival at the location, you first need to check in with a USCIS officer. They will review your answers on form N-445 or Notice of Naturalization Oath.
Next, you will need to surrender your green card if you've been granted permanent residence, which might not always be the case if you are on military service.
Finally, you may take the Oath of Allegiance.
In a nutshell, it covers the following principles:
- Support and defense of the constitution against all foreign or local enemies
- Renunciation of your fidelity to any foreign prince, state, or potentate
- The right to bear arms, perform noncombatant service, or complete work of national importance
If it's an administrative ceremony, the USCIS administers the pledge. If it's a judicial ceremony, the court administers the oath ceremonies.
Once your scheduled naturalization ceremony is done, you will be given your Certificate of Naturalization.
Make sure to check for errors. If there are any, have them corrected at the USCIS offices right away.
What Can You Do After Your Naturalization Ceremony?
Once you're a U.S. Citizen, you will be eligible to get a U.S. passport.
In fact, you'll receive an application form for this inside your Welcome Packet. You may also get a form online or in a Post Office near you.
Passport processing takes six weeks or longer, so make sure to plan your travels properly after filing.
After swearing the Oath of Allegiance, you can also register to vote. You may do this at any of the following locations:
- Post Office
- Motor Vehicle Office
- County Board of Election
- Secretary of State local office
As a naturalized citizen, you're also mandated to update your Social Security record. You can do this by submitting Form S-5 through mail or the local SSA office.
To wrap things up, it will take you 6-8 months after filing your application to get your scheduled naturalization ceremony. If you don't want this to get delayed by a request for evidence and other factors, make sure to hire a lawyer who can guide you through the process.