Once USCIS has approved your Application for Naturalization (Form N-400) you will be scheduled to take the Oath of Allegiance at a naturalization ceremony. This will complete your process of becoming a U.S. citizen. There are two types of ceremonies; one is the judicial where the court administers the Oath of Allegiance and the other an administrative ceremony where USCIS will administer the Oath of Allegiance.
If the ceremony is available on the day of your final interview, you may be able to participate; otherwise you will receive a notice in the mail with the date, time and location of your naturalization ceremony (Form N-445).
If you are unable to attend on the scheduled date, you must return the notice to your local USCIS office together with a letter requesting a new date and with an explanation as to why you are unable to attend the scheduled naturalization ceremony. Failure to appear more than once for your naturalization ceremony could result in denial of your application.
Before you arrive for the naturalization ceremony you should have completed your responses to the questionnaire (Form N-445) which will be reviewed by a USCIS officer on your arrival for the ceremony. You must also return your Permanent Resident card to the USCIS officer. This requirement is waived if you have provided proof during the interview that your card has been lost and you have made every attempt to recover it, or if you are in the military service and were never granted permanent residence.
Once you take the Oath of Allegiance you will receive your Certificate of Naturalization and become a U.S. citizen. This Certificate of Naturalization should be reviewed carefully before you leave the ceremony and notify USCIS officials of any errors. This Certificate is official proof that you are a U.S. citizen.
Once you become a U.S. citizen you can now apply for a U.S. passport through the Department of State. In addition to your Certificate of Naturalization, your U.S. passport is official proof of citizenship.
Voting in federal elections is both your right and responsibility as a U.S. citizen. After you take the Oath of Allegiance, you can then register to vote. Forms may be available at administrative naturalization ceremonies, and you can also register to vote in other locations in your community such as post offices, motor vehicle offices, county boards of election and the state Secretary of State offices.
Your Social Security record should also be updated at the Social Security Administration, but this should not be done until ten days after your ceremony to give time for your naturalization to have been updated. You will need to take your Certificate of Naturalization or U.S. passport to update your record.
Always consult with an experienced immigration attorney who is a law graduate and certified in the United States of America by the Board of Immigration Appeals Federal Department of Justice.
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