How long does a citizenship ceremony last?

The citizenship or naturalization ceremony can be one of two types: an administrative ceremony and a judicial ceremony. Simply put, the latter usually lasts more than the former. But how much time it will take for your Oath of Allegiance ceremony to finish is actually difficult to tell.

The short answer is the Oath of Allegiance ceremony generally lasts for 60 up to 90 minutes. In fact, the ceremony is only part of the activity that will happen in the USCIS office, so you should plan your day accordingly.

Often immediately after you pass the naturalization test, the USCIS officer will hand you a sheet with information when the Oath of Allegiance ceremony starts with a recommendation to be at the ceremony location beforehand. It is strongly recommended that you arrive to the USCIS office at least 30 minutes before the ceremony starts. Therefore, the time you will spend for the naturalization ceremony can increase up to two hours.

Basically, the entire Oath of Allegiance ceremony consists of the following parts:

  • The introduction, National Anthem;
  • Several speeches, usually given by a USCIS naturalization officer and by other officials, and sometimes by a US citizen who was naturalized before;
  • Records of other Oath of Allegiance ceremonies;
  • A video of the President’s address; and
  • Oath and pledge of allegiance.

It takes time to organize everything, as coming people need to get seated and get their papers checked. As you receive the Notice of Naturalization Oath Ceremony form from the USCIS officer, you should answer all the questions in the form before you come to the ceremony. Answering the questions in advance will reduce the total time spent at the USCIS office on the ceremony day.

The ceremony timeframe may also be extended or reduced depending on how many applicants take oath. Be aware that the ceremony may take place the same day as your naturalization test. Therefore, you may pass entire day at the USCIS office.

In all, you should be prepared to spend one to three hours for the Oath of Allegiance ceremony. It’s best to schedule your time so you could freely complete the ceremony and become a true US citizen.

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