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Naturalization ceremonies and what to expect

Florida immigrants who wish to become citizens will need to go through a naturalization ceremony in order to gain citizenship status. People may become naturalized U.S. citizens either through a judicial ceremony or an administrative one.

Whether the naturalization ceremony is a judicial or an administrative proceeding, people will be required to take the oath of allegiance to the United States. Prior to naturalization, those who are eligible will receive a notice to take the oath of allegiance. Some people receive such a notice on the same day as their successful naturalization interview and are able to complete the process the same day. Others will receive the notice in the mail.

Along with the notice, a questionnaire is included. People should have the questions completed prior to arriving at the ceremony. Upon arrival, those who will become naturalized must check in with the United States Customs and Immigration Services official who is present. Upon arrival, people must return their permanent residence cards unless the person has lost it and provides documentation of its loss. During the ceremony, people will be required to take the oath and then will be given a certificate of naturalization. Immigration officials advise people to then apply for a U.S. passport for additional proof of citizenship following the granting of it. After the ceremony, people who have become eligible are also able to vote and so should register in order to do so.

Naturalization is understandably exciting for immigrants who have been working towards becoming U.S. citizens. Citizenship status accords people with certain rights they otherwise may not enjoy in the country, including the right to vote or run for certain elected offices. Immigration and naturalization lawyers may help people work towards attaining the ability to become naturalized, thus allowing them the ability to become U.S. citizens.

Source: USCIS, "Naturalization Ceremonies", accessed on Jan. 12, 2015

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