General Considerations for Taking Oath of Allegiance

General Considerations for Taking Oath of AllegianceTo become a US citizen, an applicant who has filed his naturalization application and who has appeared for the naturalization interview, must swear the Oath of Allegiance and renunciation, in a public naturalization ceremony. He must establish that he will discharge the obligations of the Oath of Allegiance and that he will support and defend the Constitution of the country. Naturalization oath ceremonies are generally being conducted by USCIS field offices and the USCIS must preserve the dignity of the occasion and its significance. USCIS field offices also may conduct ceremonies in the offices where it conducts naturalization interviews, in certain circumstances. However, the ceremonies that the USCIS conducts must comply with the Model Plan for Naturalization Ceremonies.

Generally, applicants who get through the naturalization interviews must appear in person for the oath ceremony and only in certain circumstances, USCIS will excuse the appearance of the applicants. After the naturalization interview, the applicants will be notified about the naturalization oath ceremony and the USCIS will designate the time and place for the oath ceremony. If the applicant fails to appear for the oath ceremony more than once, USCIS will presume that the applicant has abandoned his/her naturalization application. In such circumstances, USCIS will issue a motion to reopen the case and the agency will deny the naturalization application if the applicant does not respond within 15 days from the date of issuing the motion.

However, a USCIS officer may execute a motion only if the applicant misses two oath ceremonies without a good reason or if the USCIS receives disqualifying disparaging information about the applicant after the approval of his naturalization application and prior to the oath ceremony. USCIS will notify the applicant about the disqualifying derogatory information and will give the applicant 15 days to respond. Likewise, USCIS may not require the applicant to appear for the oath ceremony if the agency receives disqualifying disparaging information about the applicant and it must not administer the oath until the issue is resolved.

If the applicant responds within 15 days and overcomes the derogatory information and if the applicant is still eligible for US citizenship, USCIS officers will approve his application and schedule a naturalization oath ceremony. If the applicant fails to overcome the derogatory information and if he does not respond within 15 days, his application will be denied. USCIS will consider that the applicant who failed to appear for two naturalization ceremonies without a good reason, has abandoned his naturalization application and this will be considered equivalent to the receipt of disqualifying derogatory information.

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