Chapter 1 - Purpose and Background

A. Purpose

Before becoming a U.S. citizen, an eligible naturalization applicant must take an oath of renunciation and allegiance (Oath of Allegiance) in a public ceremony. [1] The applicant must establish that it is his or her intention, in good faith, to assume and discharge the obligations of the Oath of Allegiance. [2] The applicant must also establish that his or her attitude toward the Constitution and laws of the United States makes the applicant capable of fulfilling the obligations of the oath. [3] 

B. Background

During the naturalization interview, the applicant signs the naturalization application to acknowledge his or her willingness and ability to take the Oath of Allegiance and to accept certain obligations of United States citizenship. Under certain circumstances, an applicant may qualify for a modification or waiver of the oath. [4] In such cases, an officer draws a line through the designated modified portions of the oath and the applicant is not required to recite the deleted portions. [5] 

Applicants must generally recite the Oath of Allegiance orally during a public ceremony. Merely signing the naturalization application and a copy of the oath does not make the applicant a U.S. citizen.

C. Legal Authorities

Footnotes


1. [^] See INA 337. See 8 CFR 337.1(a).

2. [^] See INA 337. See 8 CFR 337.1(c). Under certain circumstances, an “Affirmation of Allegiance” is the same as an Oath of Allegiance. See 8 CFR 337.1(b).

3. [^] See 8 CFR 337.1(c).

4. [^] See Chapter 3, Oath of Allegiance Modifications and Waivers [12 USCIS-PM J.3].

5. [^] See 8 CFR 337.1(b).

INA 310, 8 CFR 310 - Naturalization authority

INA 332, 8 CFR 332 - Naturalization administration, executive functions

INA 337, 8 CFR 337 - Oath of renunciation and allegiance

INA 341, 8 CFR 341 - Certificates of citizenship

Appendices


No appendices available at this time.

Technical Update - Moving the Adjudicator’s Field Manual Content into the USCIS Policy Manual

May 21, 2020

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is updating and incorporating relevant Adjudicator’s Field Manual (AFM) content into the USCIS Policy Manual. As that process is ongoing, USCIS has moved any remaining AFM content to its corresponding USCIS Policy Manual Part, in PDF format, until relevant AFM content has been properly incorporated into the USCIS Policy Manual. To the extent that a provision in the USCIS Policy Manual conflicts with remaining AFM content or Policy Memoranda, the updated information in the USCIS Policy Manual prevails. To find remaining AFM content, see the crosswalk between the AFM and the Policy Manual.

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Technical Update - Replacing the Term “Foreign National”

October 08, 2019

This technical update replaces all instances of the term “foreign national” with “alien” throughout the Policy Manual as used to refer to a person who meets the definition provided in INA 101(a)(3) [“any person not a citizen or national of the United States”].

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POLICY ALERT - Comprehensive Citizenship and Naturalization Policy Guidance

January 07, 2013

USCIS is issuing updated and comprehensive citizenship and naturalization policy guidance in the new USCIS Policy Manual.

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