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Do you know what to expect at the naturalization ceremony?

If your application for naturalization as a citizen of the United States is approved, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, or USCIS, will schedule you to appear at a naturalization ceremony.

This will be an exciting and meaningful event. Here is what to expect.

Receive your notice

The USCIS will mail you Form N-445, the Notice of Naturalization Oath Ceremony. The form will set forth the date, time and location for this event and will contain questions for you to answer. If you cannot attend, return the Form N-445 to the local USCIS office with a letter explaining why you cannot attend and requesting a new date. Keep in mind that if you cannot attend on this alternate date, you may lose the approval of your application.

Check in for the ceremony

Upon your arrival at the ceremony, check in with a USCIS officer who will review the answers you gave to the Form N-445 questions. You must also give your Permanent Resident Card to a USCIS officer before taking the Oath.

Take the Oath of Allegiance

The next step on this eventful day is to take the Oath of Allegiance. You only become a U.S. citizen after you take the Oath.

Receive your Certificate

Your Certificate of Naturalization is proof that you have become a U.S. citizen. If you should ever lose it, you can request a replacement by filing Form N-565. You can download this form, but fair warning: The current fee to file for the replacement certificate is $555.00.

Looking forward

Congratulations are in order. The ceremony you attend will either be judicial, which means that the court will administer the Oath of Allegiance, or administrative, meaning that the USCIS will administer the Oath. The government recommends that you apply for a U.S. passport soon, and you should find a form in your citizenship welcome packet. Along with your Certificate of Naturalization, the passport serves as proof of your U.S. citizenship.

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