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Title 8 Part 337

Title 8 → Chapter I → Subchapter C → Part 337

Electronic Code of Federal Regulations e-CFR

Title 8 Part 337

e-CFR data is current as of September 17, 2018

Title 8Chapter ISubchapter C → Part 337


Title 8: Aliens and Nationality


§337.1   Oath of allegiance.

(a) Form of oath. Except as otherwise provided in the Act and after receiving notice from the district director that such applicant is eligible for naturalization pursuant to §335.3 of this chapter, an applicant for naturalization shall, before being admitted to citizenship, take in a public ceremony held within the United States the following oath of allegiance, to a copy of which the applicant shall affix his or her signature:

I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty, of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen; that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I will bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform noncombatant service in the Armed Forces of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform work of national importance under civilian direction when required by the law; and that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; so help me God.

(b) Alteration of form of oath; affirmation in lieu of oath. In those cases in which a petitioner or applicant for naturalization is exempt from taking the oath prescribed in paragraph (a) of this section in its entirety, the inapplicable clauses shall be deleted and the oath shall be taken in such altered form. When a petitioner or applicant for naturalization, by reason of religious training and belief (or individual interpretation thereof), or for other reasons of good conscience, cannot take the oath prescribed in paragraph (a) of this section with the words “on oath” and “so help me God” included, the words “and solemnly affirm” shall be substituted for the words “on oath,” the words “so help me God” shall be deleted, and the oath shall be taken in such modified form. Any reference to ‘oath of allegiance’ in this chapter is understood to mean equally ‘affirmation of allegiance’ as described in this paragraph.

(c) Obligations of oath. A petitioner or applicant for naturalization shall, before being naturalized, establish that it is his or her intention, in good faith, to assume and discharge the obligations of the oath of allegiance, and that his or her attitude toward the Constitution and laws of the United States renders him or her capable of fulfilling the obligations of such oath.

(d) Renunciation of title or order of nobility. A petitioner or applicant for naturalization who has borne any hereditary title or has been of any of the orders of nobility in any foreign state shall, in addition to taking the oath of allegiance prescribed in paragraph (a) of this section, make under oath or affirmation in public an express renunciation of such title or order of nobility, in the following form:

(1) I further renounce the title of (give title or titles) which I have heretofore held; or

(2) I further renounce the order of nobility (give the order of nobility) to which I have heretofore belonged.

[22 FR 9824, Dec. 6, 1957, as amended at 24 FR 2584, Apr. 3, 1959; 32 FR 13756, Oct. 3, 1967; 56 FR 50499, Oct. 7, 1991]

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§337.2   Oath administered by USCIS or EOIR.

(a) Public ceremony. An applicant for naturalization who has elected to have his or her oath of allegiance administered by USCIS or an immigration judge and is not subject to the exclusive oath administration authority of an eligible court pursuant to section 310(b) of the Act must appear in person in a public ceremony, unless such appearance is specifically excused under the terms and conditions set forth in this part. Such ceremony will be held at a time and place designated by USCIS or EOIR within the United States (or abroad as permitted for certain applicants in accordance with 8 U.S.C. 1443a) and within the jurisdiction where the application for naturalization was filed, or into which the application for naturalization was transferred pursuant to 8 CFR 335.9. Naturalization ceremonies will be conducted at regular intervals as frequently as necessary to ensure timely naturalization, but in all events at least once monthly where it is required to minimize unreasonable delays. Naturalization ceremonies will be presented in such a manner as to preserve the dignity and significance of the occasion.

(b) Authority to administer oath of allegiance. The Secretary may delegate authority to administer the oath of allegiance prescribed in section 337 of the Act to such officials of DHS and to immigration judges or officials designated by the Attorney General as may be necessary for the efficient administration of the naturalization program.

(c) Execution of questionnaire. Immediately prior to being administered the oath of allegiance, each applicant must complete the questionnaire on the form designated by USCIS. USCIS will review each completed questionnaire and may further question the applicant regarding the responses provided. If derogatory information is revealed, USCIS will remove the applicant's name from the list of eligible persons as provided in 8 CFR 335.5 and he or she will not be administered the oath.

[76 FR 53802, Aug. 29, 2011]

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§337.3   Expedited administration of oath of allegiance.

(a) 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 USCIS shall consider special circumstances of a compelling or humanitarian nature. Special circumstances may include but are not limited to:

(1) The serious illness of the applicant or a member of the applicant's family;

(2) Permanent disability of the applicant sufficiently incapacitating as to prevent the applicant's personal appearance at a scheduled ceremony;

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

(4) Urgent or compelling circumstances relating to travel or employment determined by the court or USCIS to be sufficiently meritorious to warrant special consideration.

(b) 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 shall inform USCIS 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.

(c) All requests for expedited administration of the oath of allegiance shall be made in writing to either the court or USCIS. Such requests shall 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 oath administration ceremony by a court pursuant to §337.8, USCIS promptly shall provide the court with a copy of the request without reaching a decision on whether to grant or deny the request.

[60 FR 37804, July 24, 1995, as amended at 76 FR 53803, Aug. 29, 2011]

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§337.4   When requests for change of name granted.

When the court has granted the petitioner's change of name request, the petitioner shall subscribe his or her new name to the written oath of allegiance.

[56 FR 50500, Oct. 7, 1991]

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§§337.5-337.6   [Reserved]

§337.7   Information and assignment of individuals under exclusive jurisdiction.

(a) No later than at the time of the examination on the application pursuant to §335.2 of this chapter, an employee of USCIS shall advise the applicant of his or her right to elect the site for the administration of the oath of allegiance, subject to the exclusive jurisdiction provision of §310.3(d) of this chapter. In order to assist the applicant in making an informed decision, USCIS shall advise the applicant of the upcoming Immigration Judge or USCIS conducted and judicial ceremonies at which the applicant may appear, if found eligible for naturalization.

(b) An applicant whose application has been approved by USCIS who is subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of a court pursuant to §310.2(d) of this chapter, shall be advised of the next available court ceremony and provided with a written notice to appear at that ceremony. If the applicant is subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of more than one court exercising exclusive jurisdiction, the applicant will be informed of the upcoming ceremonies in each affected court. The applicant shall decide which court he or she wishes to administer the oath of allegiance.

[58 FR 49915, Sept. 24, 1993, as amended at 60 FR 37804, July 24, 1995; 76 FR 53803, Aug. 29, 2011]

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§337.8   Oath administered by the courts.

(a) Notification of election. An applicant for naturalization not subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of 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.

(b) Certificate of eligibility—(1) Exclusive jurisdiction. In those instances falling within the exclusive jurisdiction provision of section 310(b)(1)(B) of the Act, USCIS will notify the court of the applicant's eligibility for admission to United States citizenship by notifying the clerk of the court within 10 days of the approval of the application.

(2) Non-exclusive jurisdiction. In those instances in which the applicant has elected to have the oath administered in a court ceremony, USCIS will notify the clerk of the court in writing that the applicant has been determined by the USCIS to be eligible for admission to United States citizenship upon taking the requisite oath of allegiance and renunciation in a public ceremony. If a scheduled hearing date is not available at the time of notification, USCIS will notify the applicant in writing that the applicant has been approved but no ceremony date is yet available.

(c) Preparation of lists. (1) At or prior to the oath administration ceremony, the representative attending the ceremony will submit to the court, in duplicate, 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 to the lists, the clerk of the court will sign the lists.

(2) The originals of all court lists specified in this section will be filed permanently in the court, and the duplicates returned by the clerk of the court to USCIS. The same disposition will be made of any list presented to, but not approved by, the court.

(d) Personal representation of the government at oath administration ceremonies. An oath administration ceremony must be attended by a representative of USCIS who will review each completed questionnaire and may further question the applicant regarding the responses provided. If derogatory information is revealed, the USCIS representative will remove the applicant's name from the list of eligible persons as provided in 8 CFR 335.5 and the court will not administer the oath to such applicant.

(e) Written report in lieu of personal representation. If it is impractical for a USCIS representative to be present at a judicial oath administration ceremony, written notice of that fact will be given by the USCIS to the court. The list of persons to be administered the oath of allegiance and renunciation, forms, memoranda, and certificates will be transmitted to the clerk of the court, who will submit the appropriate lists to the court.

(f) Withdrawal from court. An applicant for naturalization not subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of 8 CFR 310.3(d) 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 by an immigration judge or USCIS. Such request must be in writing to the USCIS office which granted the application and must cite the reasons for the request. USCIS will 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 will give written notice to the court of the applicant's withdrawal, and the applicant will 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.

[76 FR 53803, Aug. 29, 2011]

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§337.9   Effective date of naturalization.

(a) An applicant for naturalization shall be deemed a citizen of the United States as of the date on which the applicant takes the prescribed oath of allegiance in an administrative ceremony or in a ceremony conducted by an appropriate court under §337.8 of this chapter.

(b) [Reserved]

[56 FR 50500, Oct. 7, 1991, as amended at 60 FR 37804, July 24, 1995; 66 FR 32147, June 13, 2001; 76 FR 53803, Aug. 29, 2011]

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§337.10   Failure to appear for oath administration ceremony.

An applicant who fails to appear without good cause for more than one oath administration ceremony for which he or she was duly notified shall be presumed to have abandoned his or her intent to be naturalized. Such presumption shall be regarded as the receipt of derogatory information, and the procedures contained in §335.5 of this chapter shall be followed.

[58 FR 49916, Sept. 24, 1993]

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