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interview and oath in the same day?

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Filed: K-1 Visa Country: Canada

I've read some people had interview and oath in the same day. Anybody knows if in Pittsburgh office they do oath after interview in the same day?

Thank you.

Feb. 4/05 - Sent I-129F (Vermont)

Feb. 9/05 - NOA1

April 6/05 - NOA2

May 12/05 - Packet 3 (second one, the first was lost in the mail)

May 19/05 - Police certificate (RCMP London, ON)

May 20/05 - Packet 4 with interview set on July 26/2005

May 25/05 - Medical in Toronto (dr. Seiden)

July 26/05 - Interview in Montreal (successful)

Aug. 15/05 - Visa and the brown envelope in hand

Sept. 28/05 - Moved to the U.S.A. (Ambassador Bridge (Detroit) POE, asked for and got temp. EAD stamp on I-94)

Oct. 6/05 - Civil wedding ceremony

Oct. 8/05 - Religious wedding ceremony

Oct. 13/05 - Sent AOS/EAD/AP

Oct. 14/05 - Applied for SSN

Oct. 22/05 - Received SSN card in the mail

Oct. 24/05 - NOA for AP received (issued Oct. 21)

Oct. 25/05 - NOA's for AOS/EAD received (issued Oct. 21)

Nov. 4/05 - Appointment letter for AOS fingerprints/bio for Nov. 15/2005

Nov. 15/05 - Fingerprints/bio taken for AOS and EAD

Dec. 19/05 - EAD/AP approved

Dec. 27/05 - Received EAD card/AP

Jan. 28/06 - Appointment letter for AOS interview (set on March 15, 2006)

Mar. 15/06 - AOS interview (successful)

Mar. 18/06 - "Welcome to the United States of America" letter

Mar. 25/06 - Received Green Card (good for 2 years)

Dec. 18/07 - Sent I-751 to VSC

Jan. 03/08 - NOA

Feb. 7/08 - Biometrics

Oct. 28/08 - I-751 approved (on-line status)

Nov. 3/08 - Received in the mail the new 10 year GC

Feb. 1/10 - Sent N-400

Feb. 8/10 - NOA

Mar. 24/10 - Fingerprints

May 11/10 - Interview

June 18/10 - US Citizenship Oath

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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Canada

I don't know if Pittsburgh does or doesn't. One thing to keep in mind, though, in wondering if you will have a same day ceremony is the time of your interview. If your office does do them, your interview needs to be completed by around 11 am or so depending on what time in the afternoon the ceremony is held. They need to have time to process the paperwork. So if your interview is before 11 am, then you might have the option of a same day oath ceremony. If your interview is after 11 am then you will have to wait until another oath ceremony. Now, hopefully someone from Pittsburgh will show up and answer the question if they do offer same day ceremonies :) .

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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Colombia

Here are the rules regarding the oath ceremony:

"75.2 The Oath Ceremony. [Revised 08-24-2006]

(a) Authority to Administer the Oath .

(1) General Authority . The authority of the Secretary of Homeland Security to administer the oath of allegiance can be delegated to the following officers of USCIS:

· The Director;

· The Deputy Director;

· District Director;

· Officers in Charge; or

· Other Courts (See section 310(b) of the Act).

(2) Temporary Delegations of Authority . Other persons may act in behalf of such officers in their absence or if their positions are vacant. In exceptional cases where the District Director or Officer in Charge determines that it is appropriate for employees of a different official position to conduct ceremonies, the District Director or Officer in Charge may make a request to the Regional Director, for forwarding to the Director of Field Operations for permission to delegate such authority. The request must provide the reasons for requesting an exemption from the requirements. The Director may delegate such authority to such other officers of USCIS and the Department of Homeland Security as he or she may judge it necessary. See Section 310(a) of the Act, 8 CFR 310.1(b) , and 8 CFR 337.2 .

(b) Types of Oath Ceremonies . The oath will either be administered by USCIS at an administrative ceremony, or by a judge in a court ceremony. See Section 310 of the Act.

(1) Advising the Applicant of Oath Ceremony Options . At the time of the examination, you should advise the applicant that he/she can choose to have his oath administered via an administrative ceremony conducted by USCIS or a court ceremony. In certain districts, a court will have exclusive authority to conduct the oath ceremonies, and you should be familiar with your local office’s agreements with the court. In addition, you must inform the applicant that a naturalization ceremony is a solemn and meaningful event and the applicant should plan to dress in pr oper attire to respect the dignity of this event (please no jeans, shorts, or flip flops).

(2) Advising the Applicant about Making Name Changes . As USCIS has no authority to legally change a name, if an applicant wants to have his or her name changed as part of the naturalization process, he or she must attend a court ceremony. In order to assist the applicant in making an informed decision, you should advise the applicant of the upcoming administrative and court ceremonies at which the applicant may appear, if the applicant is found eligible for naturalization. If the applicant is subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of a court, you should advi se the applicant of the next available court ceremony and provide a written notice to appear for the ceremony. See 8 CFR 337.7 - 8 ; see also section 310 of the Act for a complete discussion of exclusive authority.

© Background on Judicial Naturalization . While this chapter is a discussion of the current oath ceremonies, it is important that you know about the naturalization process prior to October 1, 1991, because the information has historical value and there are pre-October 1, 1991 cases still pending. This segment will provide you with a brief overview of the role that examiners played in the naturalization process at that time so you will know what to do should you encounter these kinds of cases today. This segment is not meant to be a substitution f or a comprehensive discussion on the naturalization process prior to October 1, 1991.

(1) The Petition Process . Prior to October 1, 1991, the courts exercised sole authority to naturalize persons as citizens of the United States. Since the creation of the Naturalization Service by the Naturalization Act of June 29, 1906, the entire naturalization process consisted of three separate steps, the first of which is the filing of N-400, Application to File Petition for Naturalization. Applicants would then appear before a Service examiner who would conduct an examination, which involved reviewing the contents of the appl ication, questioning the petitioner regarding all material matters, questioning the witnesses, and making a preliminary determination as to the petitioner’s eligibility for naturalization. The primary purpose of the examination was to insure that a proper petition for naturalization was prepared for submission to the court. The examiner questioned the petitioner to make certain that he or she:

· met the residence and physical presence requirements;

· was a person of good moral character;

· had no connection with any subversive organizations;

· had knowledge of United States history and government; and

· was able to read, write, and speak English.

At the conclusion of the examination, the examiner would make a recommendation as to the petitioner’s eligibility for naturalization based on the section of law under which the petitioner filed. If it appeared that the petitioner had met the requirements for naturalization, the petitioner signed the petition. The petitioner would then be asked to sign the Oath of Renunciation and Allegiance that was printed on the reverse side of the Court copy of the petition. In addition, the examiner would complete the r elevant portions of Form N-405 , Petition for Naturalization, and duly note his or her recommendation as well as other pertinent information on the form. Finally, the examiner would seal the petition in an envelope and give it to the petitioner to file in duplicate form with an authorized naturalization court after the examination. The clerk of the court would receive the petition, accept the fee, assign a petition number, and send the file copy of the petition to the Service office to be placed in the file.

(2) Case Recommendation . In cases where there were no questionable eligibility issues requiring resolution, the examiner would make a recommendation to the court to “Straight-Grant” the petition. A “Straight-Grant” recommendation usually allowed the court’s to rely on the Service’s determination of any questions of fact or law and adjudication of the petitioner’s qualifications for naturalization. These cases would then be presented to the court at the Final Hearing and in most cases the court would adopt the examiner’s favorable recommendation. The court would then naturalize the petitioner as a citizen of the United States.

In certain cases, where the examiner concludes that the petitioner is eligible after weighing all of the evidence and testimony, but there are unresolved legal questions that the court should be informed of; the examiner would make a “Grant-Facts” recommendation to the court. The outstanding issues involved in these types of cases were issues such as:

· whether the petitioner had requested an exemption from military service;

· whether a conviction for drunken driving prevented a finding of good moral character;

· whether a petitioner’s spouse’s employment entitled the petitioner to 319(b) eligibility; or

· whether the petitioner’s membership in a Communist Workers Party bars the petitioner from naturalization because of Section 313.

In cases where there were outstanding eligibility issues that precluded the petitioner from establishing eligibility, the examiner would make a recommendation to the court to “Deny” the petition. The grounds for recommendation of denial were based on the requirements found in the law. When an examiner made a recommendation to deny a petition, he or she had to be prepared to support the recommendation when the case was presented to the court at the final hearing.

In cases where additional action had to be taken or additional documents were needed, the examiner would make a recommendation for continuance to the court. The examiner had to be prepared to provide sufficient justification for the recommendation for continuance at the final hearing.

(3) Notice to the Petitioner . The petitioner would be sent Form N-445, Notification of Naturalization Oath Ceremony with instructions to complete the questionnaire porti on of the form and would bring it to the court on the day of the final hearing. This form served the same purpose then as it does today. It notified the petitioner of the date, place and time of the hearing, and required the petitioner to state once again, under oath, that he or she continued to be eligible for naturalization. The petitioner would present the completed Form N-445 to an examiner immediately before the final hearing. At that time, the examiner would review it with the petitioner.

(4) Preparation for Final Hearing . Prior to the final hearing date, the examiner who would be attending the final hearing reviewed the petition file and all other related files. The information would be reviewed to determine whether:

· all matters that were at issue were resolved;

· all documentary evidence required to support the recommendation was present;

· (if relevant) the designated examiner’s memorandum, and case exhibits were present;

· a duplicate copy of the petition was contained in the file;

· the N-400 Application to file a Petition for Naturalization was in the file;

· all required witnesses would be present;

· (if relevant) subpoenas were obtained;

· new evidence provided after the recommendation was considered; and

· (if relevant) a brief in answer to the petitioner’s brief in response to a recommendation to deny the N-400 is prepared to present to the court.

After review of the files, those ready for final hearing would be separated from other files, and delivered to the person who would prepare the court list and orders for the court.

(5) Final Hearing . Final hearings on petitions for naturalization were required by law to be held in open court before a naturalization judge. Examiners were required by regulations to attend all final hearings. The Service examiner in attendance at the final hearing was responsible for taking all actions deemed appropriate to ensure that final naturalization proceedings were meaningful and memorable ceremonies. Examiners were required to be familiar with the established procedures of the court. Prior to the convening of th e court, the Examiner was required to:

· review the questionnai re on Form N-445 with each petitioner;

· prepare Form N-338 in duplicate to account for changes, which may have occurred in the petitioner’s status after the filing of the petition, if relevant;

· ensure that all other required documents, including Service documents were surrendered;

· strike from the court list the petition numbers of those petitioners that were absent and list the petition numbers of the absentees in the court order to show continuance of those cases;

· advise the petitioners of the name of the judge and the courtroom procedures; and

· advise the petitioners of the method of distributing the certificate of naturalization.

During the court ceremony, examiners called the roll of the petitioners notified to appear from the court list and checked the names of those present. Also, a new citizens welcome letter, a copy of the Pledge of Allegiance, and a passport letter were distributed.

(6) Case Presentation . “Straight-Grant” cases were usually presented to the court with relative ease. Generally, when the court convened and the hearing called, the examiner informed the court of the number of petitioners to be presented, that they had been duly examined, and that the petitions were favorably recommended. The examiner announced any requests for name changes, modified oaths of allegiance, renunciation of title or nobility and any other special requests. The examiner signed and presented to the court the recommen dations as contained in the formal lists, in duplicate. After presentation of all recommendations and motions, the Judge administered the oath of allegiance to the petitioners as a group, except for those persons taking a modified oath. The modified oaths were administered individually. At the conclusion of the hearing, the clerk gave each petitioner a certificate of naturalization. In cases where a petitioner had indicated on the petition a request for name change, the reverse side of the original and dup licate of the certificate of naturalization would be endorsed with the particulars.

Cases where a recommendation was made to “Grant-Facts” were presented to the court in a different manner than “Straight Grant” cases. These cases involved unresolved legal issues of which the court had to be informed. The court would be orally given a brief resume of the facts and issues involved, Form N-400 , a memorandum containing the Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law, and any other documentary evidence required to support the recommendation would be introduced into evidence and marked as exhibits. Some courts had a policy whereby the examiner’s memorandum had to be furnished to the court before the hearing. When the presentation was completed, the examiner made a motion to the court to adopt the findings and conclusions. The court had the authority to both grant the Service motion and deny the petiti on, or to deny the Service motion and grant the petition, and naturalize the petitioner.

“Deny” cases were presented to the court in the same manner as “Grant-Facts” cases in terms of the paperwork provided to the court to support the recommendation. These cases were recommended for denial based on the merits of the case and usually involved issues that precluded the applicant from establishing eligibility for naturalization. The examiner made a motion to the court to adopt the Service’s recommendation. The court had the authority to both grant the Service motion and deny the petition or to den y the Service motion, and grant the petition, and naturalize the petitioner.

Finally, situations would arise where the Service would require additional time or actions before it was in a position to recommend for or against naturalization. If the case is set for hearing by either the court or the petitioner’s actions, a Service motion for continuance would be made providing a basis for the continuance.

(7) Service Responsibilities to the Court . Service officers on every visit to a court in connection with regularly scheduled naturalization ceremonies were required to check all unbound volumes to ensure that a Form M-154 label was pasted therein, and if not, affixed the label. In addition, officers were required, once every six months, or less frequently if a court was not visited that often, to spot check the naturalization records to ensure that regulations and instructions were being followed. The officer was required to note on the inside of the back cover of each volume the number of the last document checked and sign and date his or her notation. The documents therein were filed chronologically in loose-lea f form until a volume was ready for binding and locking. When the officer returned to the field office, he or she was required to note the results of his or her examination on Form N-30. A written report of any irregularities found would be submitted to the District Director.

(8) Other Service Responsibilities to the Court . Upon receipt of the monthly report on Form N-4 and the accompanying papers, the documents would be stamped to show the date of receipt and examined for correctness. A duplicate naturalization certificate or declaration of intention relating to a person residing in another Service district would be transmitted to the district in which the subject resided for inclusion in his or her file. Appropriate action was taken to correct errors and omissions. The duplicate papers that were in order would be immediately placed in the relating files. The corrected papers were filed upon their return from the clerk of court. The original report on Form N-4 was filed and the duplicate sent to the fiscal section in the regional office.

(9) Issuing a Damaged Certificate at a Court Ceremony to Petitioner Who Filed for Naturalization Prior to 1991 . Whenever a certificate of naturalization was damaged, mutilated, defaced, or otherwise spoiled before delivery by the clerk, the original and duplicate, with stubs intact, were marked “Spoiled” and transmitted to the appropriate immigration and naturalization office, in the manner described in 8 CFR 339.2 , with the monthly report of the clerk on Form N-4 . This section applies to certificates prepared by the clerk of court pursuant to 8 CFR 338.11 . See also 8 CFR 338.13 .

(d) General Considerations for all Oath Ceremonies . An applicant for naturalization who has elected to have his or her oath of allegiance administered by USCIS, their designee, or an Immigration Judge and is not subject to exclusive oath administration authority must appear in person in a public ceremony, unless such appearance is specifically excused in accordance with USCIS regulations. The ceremonies must be held at a time and place designated by USCIS or the Executive Office for Immigration Review within the jurisdiction where the application was filed , or where the application was transferred. The ceremonies must be conducted at regular intervals as frequently as necessary to ensure timely naturalization, but at least once monthly where it is required to minimize unreasonable delays. Ceremonies must be conducted in such a manner as to preserve the dignity and significance of the occasion. District Directors and Sub-Office managers must ensure that ceremonies conducted by USCIS are in keeping with this Model Plan of Naturalization Ceremonies.

Daily oath ceremonies are cases where examinations are conducted, applications are approved, and applicants are administered the oath of allegiance on the same day. A growing number of district offices and sub-offices are providing daily ceremonies as a convenience to the applicant. In these cases, the examination is conducted, the application is approved, and the applicant is administered the oath of allegiance on the same day. This is a USCIS sanctioned practice as long as each office that conducts daily ceremonies ensures that all USCIS laws, polices, and processing procedures are adhered to, and that the ceremonies are conducted in such a manner as to preserve the dignity and significance of the occasion

(1) Interagency Border Inspection System (IBIS) Records Check . Current USCIS policy requires all USCIS personnel who handle applications and petitions to ensure that no application or petition shall be approved until the name of the applicant or principal beneficiary, and the names of any spouse and children who may derive status through their relationship to that applicant or principal beneficiary have been checked against the Interagency Border Inspection System. This policy extends to all naturalization applicants as well. In addition, IBIS checks must be conducte d on all applicants whose naturalization application may have been adjudicated prior to the initiation of this policy, but before the naturalization ceremony.

(2) Failure to Appear at the Oath Ceremony Conducted Either by USCIS or Authorized Court . An applicant who fails to appear without good cause for more than one oath administration ceremony for which he or she was duly notified will be presumed to have abandoned his or her intent to be naturalized. Such presumption must be regarded as the receipt of derogatory information, and the procedures contained in 8 CFR 335.5 should be followed. USCIS shall execute a motion to reopen on an application where an applicant has failed to show for more than one oath ceremony. If an applicant provides good cause for his or her failure to appear for more than one oath ceremony within the required time period, the application will remain granted and he or she will be scheduled to take the oath of allegiance. (See 8 CFR 337.10 , 8 CFR 335.5 , and Chapter 72.3 of the Adjudicator’s Field Manual for a complete discussion of what happens when derogatory information is revealed.)

(e) General Processing Procedures for All Oath Ceremonies . There are certain general processing procedures that must be followed regardless of where the oath ceremony takes place (i.e., in a court or administrative ceremony). These processing procedures must be followed to ensure that the naturalization process is successful in terms of being effective, efficient, and meeting the requirements of the law.

(1) Establish Effective Ceremony Check-In Procedures . Each District Director and Officer in Charge should establish an efficient process to check in applicants on the day of the ceremony. Accommodations should be made during check-in for candidates for citizenship and guests with disabilities or who are pregnant.

(2) Notifying the Applicant of the Time, Date, and Place of the Ceremony . Form N- 445 is the Notice of Naturalization Oath Ceremony. The N-445 notifies naturalization applicants of the date, place and time of the naturalization ceremony, and requir es the applicant to state once again, under oath, that he or she continues to be eligible for naturalization. This is accomplished by requiring the applicant to answer a number of questions printed on the form. The N-445 contains questions regarding:

· the applicant’s marital status;

· good moral character (GMC) issues;

· willingness to serve in the military;

· organizational memberships;

· trips outside the United States;

· the applicant’s willingness to take the oath of allegiance.

The regulations require that each applicant complete Form N-445 immediately preceding the ceremony. If the ceremony will take place on a future date, you should tell the applicant that he or she will receive an N-445 in the mail noting the time, place and date of the ceremony. Please note that the applicant must complete the N-445 even if the oath ceremony takes place on the same day as the examination. It is extremely important that every applicant complete the N-445 regardless of when the examination took place, see 8 CFR 337.2© “Execution of questionnaire.”

The N-445 is designed to cover issues that may have arisen since the examination and that could affect an applicant’s eligibility for naturalization, or affect the information placed on the naturalization certificate. It is crucial that this form be:

· correct;

· legible;

· retrievable; and

· properly dated and signed

(A) Form N-445 History . The language on the questionnaire is there as a result of many years’ experience with revocation proceedings. The language was crafted when the court conducted naturalization, with INS preparing the applicant for the admission to citizenship and assisting the applicant with filing his or her petition. The courts, over the years, developed specific forms with specific questions to cover pertinent aspects of naturalization eligibility. Thus, if there was a question about the applicant’s eligibility for natu ralization after the court had admitted the applicant to citizenship, the court had specific information bearing on the issue. The language has been tested and refined through litigation, and must not be altered. To maintain the integrity of the process, you must use the current version of the form. The current version of Form N-445 has a revision date of 9/12/03. Do not change the language by making a local version of the form. If you find that the form is amenable to automation other than that provided by CLAIMS 4, you may print the forms yourself, but you must not change the language of the questions in any way, nor may you omit any part of the form.

(B) Providing Applicants with Form N-445 . There are an increasing number of daily naturalization ceremonies being conducted at USCIS offices on the same day of the applicants’ examination. If the naturalization ceremony is taking plac e on the same day as the examination, you should give the applicant Form N-445 that same day immediately prior to the oath ceremony. If the naturalization ceremony is not taking place immediately after (the same day as) the examination, Form N-445 should be mailed to the applicant. When the notice is from USCIS, the signature shall be “U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services” and the form shall be processed as a notice, rather than a letter, without salutation, complimentary closing, and signature of an i ndividual.

© Revie wing Form N-445 . Regardless of wh ere the oath ceremony occurs, immediately prior to the administration of the oath allegiance, each applicant must complete and sign this form. Applicants who have requested a name change must sign their old name on the form. This is necessary because the name is not changed until the judge grants the motion to change the name. You or, in very limited circumstances, an officer of the court (see 8 CFR 337.8(e) ) must review the questionnaire with each applicant to ensure that the applicant has signed and dated the form on the date of the ceremony, and that all the questions are answered. It is important that the N-445 be dated on the date of the ceremony to show that the applicant’s answers cover the entire period between the examination and the oath ceremony. In cases where the examination and the ceremony take place on the same day, the applicant will usually date the form correctly, but when the ceremony takes place on a day other than the examination, the applicant sometimes writes the wrong date on the form. You should always verify that the correct date is written. If the written date is not the date of the ceremony, change the date, clearly mark the change with your identifying information, and be sure that the applicant understands that the questions must be answered as of the date of the ceremony. If the applicant changes the date have him/her initial next to the change.

(D) Correcting Information on Form N-445 . Whe never there is a correction or change to be made on the form, whoever makes the change must endorse it. If the applicant makes the correction/change, he/she must initial next to the appropriate correction/change. If you are making a correction/change, you must include enough information to justify the change and the naturalization of the applicant. If the explanation cannot be properly documented on the questionnaire, you, the officer, should write a memo explaining the facts surrounding the answer and reso lution and place it in the file immediately after the ceremony. When making a correction/change, you must include your initials or stamp number so that you can answer any question that may arise about the applicant’s responses on the form, and his or her eligibility to naturalize.

In those very rare circumstances where a USCIS officer will not attend the final hearing, the applicant shall be required to complete the questionnaire portion of Form N-445, and submit it to the deputy clerk at the final hearing or court ceremony. The clerk shall be instructed to review the form with the applicant. The court shall return the N-445 along with the N-4 and other pertinent documents to USCIS.

(E) Legible Information on Form N-445 . The endorsements made by you or the applicant must be legible. The N-445 must be clea rly marked so that any USCIS employee can read the information and can determine who made or initialed any changes or explanations.

(F) Applicant’s Responses . You must resolve any affirmative answers (a “yes” answer) to any of the questions on the form before the applicant may take the oath of allegiance. If affirmative answers are resolved in favor of the applicant, that fact should be appropriately endorsed in the file; otherwise, you should remove the applicant from the oath ceremony until the eligibility issue is resolved. see OI 336.5(a). If doubt exists about the applicant’s eligibility or derogatory information has been revealed, you must remove the appl icant’s name from the list of eligible persons as provided in 8 CFR 335.5 , and he or she shall not be administered the oath, see 8 CFR 337.2© . Do not issue the certificate of naturalization. Retain the N-445 for the file and inform the applicant of the reasons for your actions and the procedure for resolving the issue (e.g. “you will receive an interview notice in the next two weeks; bring the documents noted on the Form N-14”).

(G) N-445 That Contains Derogatory Information . If derogatory information is revealed, the applicant’s name must be removed from the list of eligible persons as provided in 8 CFR 335.5 and he or she must not be administered the oath. (See 8 CFR 335.5 and Chapter 72.3 for a more complete discussion of the steps to take when derogatory information is revealed after an application is approved.)

(H) Filing Form N-445 . To be retrievable, the N-445 must be placed in the file containing the applicant’s N-400 as soon as practicable after the ceremony. The form must be stored in such a way that if a question arises concerning possible revocation of naturalization, USCIS can retrieve the file and Form N-445. Proper filing of Form N-445 is necessary to make it accessible for review and preparation should USCIS consider revocation proceedings. See Interpretation 340.2(b) “Revocation grounds: Current statute” and Interpretation 340.1(b) “Naturalizations subject to revocations.”

(3) Surrender of Form I-551 (Permane nt Resident Card) and USCIS Travel Documents . The applicant must surrender Form I-551 and any USCIS issued entry documents at the oath ceremony to a USCIS officer in attendance.

(4) Delivering Certificates When the Permanent Resident Card Is Lost . No Certificate of Naturalization will be delivered in any case in which the naturalized person has not surrendered his or her Permanent Resident Card to USCIS. Upon a finding that the card is destroyed or otherwise unavailable, the District Director may waive the surrender of the card and the Certificate of Naturalization must then be delivered to the naturalized person.

(5) Retrieving USCIS Issued Travel Documents . Your review of the A-file prior to the examination may reveal that the applicant applied for and was issued a travel document. You must retrieve all expired USCIS or legacy INS issued travel documents at the time of the examination. An applicant that has a travel document that has not expired at the time of the examination must surrender it to a USCIS officer at the oath ceremony.

(6) Lost Reentry Permit or Refugee Travel Document . Delivery of the Certificate of Naturalization must not be withheld for failure to surrender other existing entry documents, but USCIS officer in attendance must instruct the naturalized person to nevertheless submit such documents to USCIS for retention.

(7) File Review . Reviewing the A-file prior to the ceremony is important to ensure that it does not contain derogatory information that may have been received after the granting of the application. If derogatory information is discovered the applicant’s name must be removed from the list of granted applications or of applicants scheduled to take the oath until the matter is resolved. USCIS must then reopen the case and notify the applicant in writing of the receipt of the specific derogatory information, giving the applic ant 15 days to respond. If the applicant overcomes the derogatory information, the application will be granted and the applicant will be scheduled for the oath of allegiance. Otherwise the decision will be finalized and the application will be denied. See 8 CFR 335.5 and Chapter 72.3 for a more complete discussion of the steps to take when derogatory information is received after the application is approved.

(A) What to Look for When Reviewing the File . Prior to the ceremony, either an immigration clerk or an officer (depending on the local office) will check the file along with the oath ceremony list to make sure that:

· All NQP requirements regarding relevant supervisory review and reverification have been met. See NQP 4-TOC in Appendix 72-1 .

· The case was approved.

· The certificate of naturalization is completed and it matches the information in the file (i.e. applicant’s name is spelled correctly, date of birth, country of previous citizenship, etc).

· The photo of the applicant is correct.

· The applicant’s name appears on either the list prepared for a court ceremony or an administrative ceremony.

· There is no additional derogatory information in the applicant’s file. (See 8 CFR 335.5 and Chapter 72.3 for a more complete discussion of the steps to take when derogatory information is revealed after an application is approved).

· The applicant has a USCIS issued travel document to surrender at the oath ceremony (if relevant).

(8) Prepare the Certificate of Naturalization . USCIS must pre pare Form N-550, Cert ificate of Naturalization, for every applicant who becomes a naturalized citizen. In most offices, a clerk will prepare the certificate. This certificate of naturalization is provided to the applicant at the end of the oath ceremony. When distributing the Certificate of Naturalization, you should advise each new citizen to review his or her certificate to ensure that all of the information contained therein is correct as a quality assurance measure. The Certificate of Naturalization is the official record that the applicant is a naturalized United States citizen. See 8 CFR 338.1 .

There are very specific and stringent requirements for maintaining security, control and preparing of naturalization certificates. Naturalization certificates are controlled because they are evidence of naturalization. For this reason it is extremely important to control certificates, and to follow the measures discussed at length in the Administrative Manual and Security Officer’s Handbook to be sure that certificates are not compromised or lost. See the Administrative Manual, Procedures Volume, chapters 5.2.102 and 3.4.108 and Chapter X of the Security Officer’s Handbook.

(9) Information Included on the Certificate of Naturalization The naturalization certificate contains the following information:

· certificate number of application for naturalization;

· USCIS registration number (A-number);

· dotted line for signature;

· location of the District Office where the application was filed;

· full true and complete name;

· statement that the Secretary of Homeland Security found the applicant to be entitled to be admitted as a citizen;

· authority and location of the official or court administering the oath;

· date of naturalization;

· name of the USCIS Director;

· personal description of the naturalized person, including date of birth, sex, height marital status, and country of former nationality;

· photograph; and

· DHS seal.

The certificate must be issued to the applicant in his or her true, full, and correct name as it exists at the time of the administration of the oath of allegiance. The certificate must show, under “former nationality,” the name of the applicant’s last country of citizenship, as shown in the application and USCIS records, even though the applicant may be stateless at the time of admission to citizenship. Photographs must be affixed to the certificate in the manner provided in 8 CFR 333 . The applicant must sign the certificate and the USCIS Director’s signature shall be affixed to the certificate. See section 338 of the Act and 8 CFR 338.1(b) .

(10) Preparing the Certificate When the Applicant Changes His/Her Name . The Certificate of Naturalization should be issued in the name as changed. Whenever the name of an applicant has been changed by order of a court as part of the naturalization process, the clerk of court, or his or her authorized deputy, must forward a copy of the order changing the applicant’s name with the notifications required by 8 CFR 339 . The Certificate of Naturalization will be issued to the applicant in the name as changed. See 8 CFR 338.2 .

(11) Signing the Certificate of Naturalization in a Foreign Language . A naturalized person whose application was signed in a foreign language may sign the certificate of naturalization in the same manner. See 8 CFR 338.4 .

(12) Certificate of Naturalization That Contains Incorrect Information . When you present the Certificate of Naturalization to the applicant at the oath ceremony, you must advise the applicant to review it to be sure that all of the biographic information is correct. Whenever a Certificate of Naturalization has been delivered which does not conform to the facts shown on the application for naturalization, or a clerical error was made in preparing the certificate, an application for issuance of a corrected certificate, Form N-565, without fee, may be filed by the naturalized person. The application must be filed at the USCIS office having jurisdiction over the place of residence of the applicant. See 8 CFR 338.5(a) .

When there is a discrepancy with regards to biographic information, a correction will not be deemed to be justified where the naturalized person later alleges that the name or date of birth which the applicant stated to be his or her correct name or date of birth at the time of naturalization was not in fact his or her name or date of birth at the time of the naturalization. See 8 CFR 338.5(e) .

(13) Correcting a Certificate That Was Issued by a Court under a Prior Statute . If the certificate was originally issued by a clerk of court under a prior statute and the District Director finds that a correction is justified and can be made without mutilating the certificate, he or she must take the following steps. First, authorize the clerk of the issuing court, or his or her authorized deputy, o n Form N-459, in duplicate, to make the necessary correction. Second, place a dated endorsement on the reverse of th e certificate, over the clerk’s or deputy’s signature and the seal of the court, explaining the correction. The authorization must be filed with the naturalization record of the court, the corrected certificate must be returned to the naturalized person, and the duplicate Form N-459 must be endorsed to show the date and nature of the correction and endorsement made, and then returned to the District Director. No fee will be charged the naturalized person for the correction. The District Director must forwar d the duplicate endorsed authorization to the official USCIS file. See 8 CFR 338.5(b) .

(14) Correcting a USCIS Issued Certificate . If the certificate was originally issued by USCIS, and the District Director finds that a correction was justified, the necessary correction must be made to the certificate and a dated endorsement made on the reverse of the certificate, over the signature of the District Director and the seal of the Department of Homeland Security. A notation regarding the correction must be placed on t he Form N-565, which must be forwarded to the USCIS file. See 8 CFR 338.5© .

(15) Certificates That Are Mutilated While Being Corrected . When a correction would or does result in mutilation of a certificate, the District Director must issue a replacement certific ate on Form N-570 and the surre ndered certificate must be destroyed. The new certificate shall be delivered by personal service in accordance with 8 CFR 103.5a(a)(2) . See also 8 CFR 338.5(d) .

(16) Waiving the Oath for Applicants with Disabilities . Under section 337(a) of the Act, USCIS is authorized to waive the oath and attachment requirements for naturalization for an applicant who has a developmental or physical disability or mental impairment that makes him or her unable to understand, or communicate an understanding of, the meaning of the oath. If USCIS approves an oath and attachment waiver, the applicant is not required to appear in a public oath ceremony. Nevertheless, the USCIS will honor requests by applicants or their designated representatives either to pa rticipate in an oath ceremony or to receive the Certificate of Naturalization in such a manner as to preserve the dignity and significance of the occasion while respecting the wishes of the applicant and his or her designated representative.

(F) Oath Ceremonies Administered by USCIS . The Secretary of Homeland Security has the sole authority to naturalize persons as citizens of the United States. The Director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is authorized to perform such acts as are necessary and proper to implement the Secretary of Homeland Security’s authority. The final step in the naturalization process requires applicants to appear in person in a public ceremony to take the oath of allegiance. District Directors and Sub-office managers must ensure that ceremonies con ducted by USCIS in their districts are in keeping with this Model Plan for Naturalization Ceremonies. See section 310 of the Act and 8 CFR 310.1(a) , 8 CFR 310.1(b) and 8 CFR 337.2(a) .

(1) Planning for Ceremonies .

(A) Ceremony Notification . A separate calendar reflecting dates of administrative and judicial oath ceremonies for the following three months shall be completed for each USCIS office conducting naturalization activities. It shall be completed and forwarded to the Director, Field Operations at the beginning of every month.. The calendar, in addition to the dates of the ceremonies, must reflect the location of each ceremony and the number of persons to be scheduled for the ceremony.

Ceremonies that are held at non-traditional venues, feature a speaker of note, or are held in conjunction with a special date or event, may be of interest to community organizations, the media, Congress, or the public. District Directors or Officers in Charge should notify the USCIS Director, Field Operations of citizenship ceremonies that may receive local or national interest with as much advance notice as possible.

(B) Planning Ceremonies Around Special Events/Dates . In addition to regularly scheduled ceremonies, USCIS offices might consider holding ceremonies around local or national events or days of particular importance to the American civic culture, including:

· Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday (third Monday in January)

· Memorial Day (last Monday in May)

· Armed Forces Day (third Saturday in May)

· Flag Day (June 14)

· Independence Day (July 4)

· Citizenship Day & Constitution Week (September 17)

· Veterans Day (November 11)

© Recommended Locations to Conduct Administrative Oath Ceremonies . Oath ceremonies may be conducted in one of the following locations, as long as they are in keeping with the dignity of the occasion:

· USCIS offices or facilities;

· Public sites such as city, county, state or federal buildings;

· School auditoriums, possibly as a part of civics curricula;

· Court facilities;

· Historic sites (ideally as a part of special commemorative events);

· Outreach locations, such as community agencies or fraternal organizations; or

· Other appropriate facilities.

(D) Site Logistics . Whether a ceremony will be held at a USCIS office or a different venue, respective offices will need to coordinate the following items.

· Site preparation

· Stage or dais

· Seating arrangements

· Processing tables for applicants

· Signs directing flow of applicants

· Signs to reserve seats for applicants with disabilities or special guests

· U.S., DHS and state flags

· Copies of the letter from the President of the United States

· Audiovisual & PA systems

· Parking, traffic, transportation accessibility

· ADA issues (accessibility, appropriate facilities, sign language interpreter if needed)

· Volunteers

· Speakers

· Music

· Security

(E) Seating . Candidates for naturalization who are members of the U.S. military should be seated in the front rows of naturalization ceremony. Appropriate accommodations should also be made for people with disabilities who are attending naturalization ceremonies.

(F) Accepting Assistance from Non-Federal Organizations . Offers from civic groups or other non-federal organizations to provide services, such as food, performances, or patriotic materials, during naturalization ceremonies will be reviewed case by case for ethical and legal sufficiency. District Directors and Sub-Office managers should contact the Principal Legal Advisor to ensure that USCIS is following proper federal guidelines in this regard.

A dais and/or podium must be provided for the use of the officiating employees and speakers. The DHS seal must be placed on the front of the podium. Facilities must be clean and neat. When planning space requirements, ample provision must be made for the guests of new citizens. Offices must also be prepared to accommodate guests or applicants with disabilities.

Offices may give all new citizens miniature U.S. flags as they enter the ceremony location or on their chairs. In addition, the United States flag and the DHS flag must be prominently displayed at all administrative naturalization ceremonies. (2) Protocols for Conducting Ceremonies. Congress has directed that the oath ceremonies held by USCIS will have the basic elements of the dignity and decorum of court ceremonies. Ceremonies may include activities in addition to those specified in 8 CFR 337.2(a) provided the activities are in keeping with the dignity of the occasion.

(G) Required Elements . At a minimum the ceremony must contain the following elements in the listed order. Deviation from this plan must be approved by the Director of Field Operations.

(i) Introduction . The introduction will consist of preparatory remarks to explain the nature and significance of the Oath Administration Ceremony as well as an introduction of the USCIS representative conducting the ceremony and special guests, participants, or groups. In keeping with the solemnity and dignity of the occasion, remarks should not include partisan political statements, religious content, or inappropriate or idiomatic references.

(ii) National Anthem . The national anthem will be played at all administrative naturalization ceremonies.

(iii) Address or Remarks by Speaker . A guest speaker (e.g. prominent civic leader, naturalized citizen, a Member of Congress, judge, etc.) or a USCIS official will deliver appropriate remarks.

The speakers’ remarks should focus on the form and distinctiveness of the United States Government and the privileges and responsibilities of citizenship. In keeping with the solemnity and dignity of the occasion, remarks should not include partisan political statements, religious content, or inappropriate or idiomatic references. Ideally, speakers should be allotted five minutes or less for remarks.

(iv) Presentation of Candidates . A USCIS officer will present the candidates for naturalization to the USCIS official who will administer the oath. Suggested language includes: At this time, it is my privilege to present (insert number) applicants for naturalization from (insert number) countries. Each applicant has been examined by a USCIS officer and found to be eligible for naturalization.

(v) Roll Call . When possible, candidates for naturalization will be asked to stand by their country of origin when called and remain standing until the oath is administered. Accommodations should be made for candidates with disabilities and other persons who are unable to stand during the roll-call. If it is not practical to ask the new citizens to stand by country due to the large size of the group being naturalized, a brief statement as to the number of persons to be administered the oath and their countries of origi n should be made.

(vi) Administration of the Oath of Allegiance . The oath of allegiance is administered by a USCIS officer consistent with 8 CFR 337.2 .

(vii) Presentation of Certificates of Naturalization . An individual commencement- style presentation should be used whenever possible after the Administration of the Oath of Allegiance.

(viii) Pledge of Allegiance . The new citizens should be requested to recite the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag of the United States. USCIS personnel, a guest, or one of the new citizens may lead the group, while facing the flag. The Pledge of Allegiance should be recited as a group rather than repeated after the speaker.

(ix) President’s Message and Lee Greenwood Video . The new citizens will be invited to watch the recorded message from the President and the video of “God Bless the USA.”

(B) Recommended Elements. The following ceremony elements are examples of best practices that should be considered for naturalization ceremonies.

(i) Pre-Ceremony Announcements . Administrative announcements should be made after the applicants are seated, but before the ceremony begins. Such announcements could include advising the new citizens to review their certificates after the ceremony to be sure that all biographic information is correct; instructing the applicants on signing their certificate of naturalization; or providing information on applying for U.S. passports.

(ii) Video of Director’s Vision for USCIS filmed at Ellis Island . As applicants are waiting for the ceremony to begin, it would be appropriate to show the Director’s Citizenship Message to the audience.

(g) Oath Ceremonies Administered by the Court . In those instances in which the applicant has elected to have the Oath of Allegiance administered in a court ceremony, or if a court has exclusive jurisdiction, USCIS must notify the clerk of court, in writing, that the applicant has been determined by the Secretary of Homeland Security to be eligible for admission to U.S. citizenship. After administering the Oath of Allegiance, the clerk of court must issue to each person appearing in such ceremonies a document evidencing that such an oath was adminis tered and must issue a document evidencing an applicant’s change of name, if applicable. Those applicants who are administered the oath at a court ceremony must be provided with the President’s Congratulatory Letter. See Appendix 75-3 (Policy Memorandum number 81).

(1) USCIS Motion to the Court . USCIS advises the court through a court motion, which is announced during the oath ceremony that all of the applicants on the court list are eligible for naturalization. An example of a court motion may be:

At this time, Your Honor, it is my privilege to present to the Court (insert number) applicants for naturalization from (insert number) countries. Each applicant has been examined by an officer of the USCIS and each applicant has been found to be eligible for naturalization. USCIS now comes before the court to move that all candidates be naturalized.

(2) Applicant’s Election to Attend a Court Ceremony . An applicant for naturalization not subject to exclusive jurisdiction under section 310(b) of the Act and 8 CFR 310.2(d) must notify USCIS at the time of the filing of, or no later than at the examination on, the application of his or her election to have the oath of allegiance administered in an appropriate court having jurisdiction over the applicant’s place of residence. See 8 CFR 337.8(a) .

(3) USCIS Notification to the Court . If an applicant is changing his or her name as part of the naturalization process, the applicant must appear at a naturalization ceremony conducted by the court. USCIS shall notify the court of the applicant’s eligibility for admission to United States citizenship by submitting to the clerk of cou rt Form N-646 withi n ten (10) days of the approval of the application. See 8 CFR 337.8(b)(1) . If the applicant resides in a location where the court does not have exclusive jurisdiction, but the applicant elects to be naturalized by the court, USCIS shall notify the clerk of court that an applicant is eligible, in writing, using Form N-646, that the applicant has been determined by the Secretary of Homeland Security to be eligible for admission to United States citizenship. See 8 CFR 337.8(b)(2) .

(4) No Hearing Date Available at the Time of Notification . If a scheduled hearing date is not available at the time of the notificatio n, Form N-646 m ust indicate that the applicant has not been scheduled for a ceremony. The applicant must be informed in writing that the application has been approved but no ceremony date is yet available. See 8 CFR 337.8(b)(2) .

(5) USCIS Submission of the List of Applicants Being Naturalized . At or prior to the oath administration ceremony USCIS representative attending the ceremony must submit to the cour t on Form N-647, in du plicate, lists of persons to be administered the oath of allegiance and renunciation. After the ceremony, and after any required amendments and notations have been made therein, the clerk of court must sign the lists. See 8 CFR 337.8©(1) .

(6) Filing the Court Lists . The originals of all court lists must be filed permanently in the court, and the duplicates returned by the clerk of court to the appropriate USCIS office for retention by such office. The same disposition must be made of any list presented to, but not approved by, the court. See 8 CFR 337.8©(2) .

(7) USCIS Representative at the Court Oath Ceremony . A USCIS representative must attend a judicial oath administration ceremony to review each applicant’s completed questionnaire Form N-445. If necessary, USCIS representative must question the applicant regarding the information ther eon. If the questioning reveals derogatory information, the applicant’s name must be removed from the list of eligible persons as provided in 8 CFR 335.5 and the court must not administer the oath to such applicant. See 8 CFR 337.8(d) .

(8) USCIS Representative Unable to Attend the Judicial Oath Ceremony . If it is impracticable for a USCIS representative to be present at a judicial oath administration ceremony, USCIS should give written notice to the court. The forms, memoranda, and certificates of naturalization must be transmitted to the clerk of court, who shall submit the appropriate lists to the court. See 8 CFR 337.8(e) .

(9) Requests to Change from a Court to an Administrative Oath Ceremony . An applicant for naturalization not subject to the exclusive jurisdiction, who has elected to have the oath administered in a court oath ceremony, may, for good cause shown, request that his or her name be removed from the list of persons eligible to be administered the oath at a court oath ceremony and request that the oath be administered in a ceremony conducted by an Immigration Judge or USCIS. Such request must be in writing to USCIS office, which granted the application and must cite the reasons for the request. The district director or officer-in-charge must consider the good cause shown and the best interests of the applicant in making a decision. If it is determined that the applicant will be permitted to withdraw his or her name from the court ceremony, USCIS must give written notice to the court of the applicant’s withdrawal, and the applicant shall be scheduled for the next available oath ceremony, conducted by an Immigration Judge or USCIS, as if he or she had never elected the court ceremony. S ee 8 CFR 337.8(f) .

(10) Court Responsibilities . The court must ensure that the oath is administered to each applicant for naturalization who has chosen to appear before the court. The clerk of court must issue to each person to whom such oath is administered the Certificate of Naturalization provided by USCIS pursuant to 8 CFR 338.1 . The clerk of court shall provide to each person whose name was changed as part of the naturalization proceedings, pursuant to section 336(e) of the Act, certified evidence of such name change. See 8 CFR 339.1 .

(11) Other Court Responsibilities . Clerks of court must on the first day of each month submit to USCIS office having administrative jurisdiction over the place in which the court several reports. (The maintenance of records and submission of reports may be accomplished by either electronic or paper means.) See 8 CFR 339.5 .

A report on Form N-4 , in duplicate, listing all oath administration ceremonies held and the total number of persons issued the oath at each ceremony, in accordance with the instructions contained on Form N-4. The report must be accompanied by: all duplicate lists of persons attending naturalization oath ceremonies during the month, certified copies of any court orders granting changes of name, and the original of all certificates of naturalization which were voided by the clerk of court. In lieu of forwarding duplicate lists of naturalized persons to USCIS with the report on Form N-4, the clerk may deliver the lists to USCIS representative immediately after the oath ceremony. In such a case, the N-4 must reflect that the duplicate list was so delivered.

A report of all persons who have filed de novo review petitions before the court. The report must include each petitioner’s name, alien registration number, date of filing of the petition for a de novo review, and, once an order has been entered, the disposition.

For petitions filed prior to October 1, 1991, a report on Form N-4, in duplicate, listing all certificates of naturalization issued or spoiled pursuant to 8 CFR 338.11 during the preceding month in accordance with the instructions contained in Form N-4. All duplicates of certificates of naturalization with stubs intact must accompany the report. See 8 CFR 339.2 (a)-(d).

(12) Court Costs Incurred in Performing Oath Ceremonies . Form N-4 must be used by state and federal courts as a monthly billing document, submitted to USCIS for reimbursement in accordance with section 344(f)(1) of the Act. USCIS must use the information submitted on this form to calculate costs incurred by courts in performing their naturalization functions. State and federal courts will be reimbursed pursuant to terms set forth in annual agreements entered into between USCIS and the Administrative Office of United States Courts. See 8 CFR 339.2(e) .

(13) Court Relinquishes Naturalization Jurisdiction . Whenever a court relinquishes naturalization jurisdiction, the clerk of court must, within ten days following the date of relinquishment, furnish the district director having administrative jurisdiction over the place in which the court is located, a certified copy of the order of court relinquishing jurisdiction. See 8 CFR 339.3 .

(h) Expedited Oath . In certain circumstances an applicant may be entitled to an expedited administrative or judicial oath. See section <a class="Jump" href="http://www.uscis.gov/ilink/docView/SLB/HTML/SLB/0-0-0-1/0-0-0-29/0-0-0-10291.html#0-0-0-7951"> 337© of the Act and 8 CFR 337.3(a) .

(1) Expedited Oath Considerations . An applicant may be granted an expedited oath administration ceremony by either the court or USCIS upon demonstrating sufficient cause. In determining whether to grant an expedited oath administration ceremony, the court or the district director may consider special circumstances of a compelling or humanitarian nature. Special circumstances may include but are not limited to:

· The serious illness of the applicant or a member of the applicant’s family;

· Permanent disability of the applicant sufficiently incapacitating as to prevent the applicant’s personal appearance at a scheduled ceremony;

· The developmental disability or advanced age of the applicant which would make appearance at a scheduled ceremony inappropriate; or

· Urgent or compelling circumstances relating to travel or employment determined by the court or USCIS to be sufficiently meritorious to warrant special consideration. See 8 CFR 337.3(a) .

(2) Requests for Expedited Oath Ceremony Requirements . All requests for expedited administration of the oath of allegiance must be made in writing to either the court or USCIS. Such requests must contain sufficient information to substantiate the claim of special circumstances to permit either the court or USCIS to properly exercise the discretionary authority to grant the relief sought. The court or USCIS may seek verification of the validity of the information provided in the request. If the applicant submits a written request to USCIS, but is awaiting an o ath administration ceremony by a court pursuant to § 337.8, USCIS promptly must provide the court with a copy of the request without reaching a decision on whether to grant or deny the request. See 8 CFR 337.3© .

(3) Expedited Oath Ceremony Conducted by the Court . Courts exercising exclusive authority may either hold an expedited oath administration ceremony or refer the applicant to USCIS in order for either the Immigration Judge or USCIS to conduct an oath administration ceremony, if an expedited judicial oath administration ceremony is impractical. The court must inform the district director in writing of its decision to grant the applicant an expedited oath administration ceremony and that the court has relinquished exclusive jurisdiction as to that applicant. See 8 CFR 337.3(b) ."

From http://www.uscis.gov/ilink/docView/AFM/HTML/AFM/0-0-0-1/0-0-0-22614/0-0-0-22687.html

But finding the field offices that have the same day oath is not easy.

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