Once your application for naturalization has been approved, you’re not far away from becoming an official United States citizen. If you’re at this point, congratulations! In today’s blog, we’ll be looking at the next few steps you can look forward to.
The naturalization ceremony is the true “final step” in the immigration process. While there are a few final steps to take following the ceremony, this is where you’ll truly be able to say that you are a US citizen—so be excited!
You may be able to partake in a naturalization ceremony the very same day your application is approved. Whether or not you actually do depends on the availability of such a ceremony that day and time. If you can’t take it the same day, don’t worry—the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will gladly mail you a notice explaining when and where your ceremony will be held. (If you can’t attend the given date and time, it’s important to let the USCIS office know so they can reschedule—however do try your best to make it, since failing to appear at your ceremony multiple times might lead to your application being denied.)
Once you check in at the ceremony and return your Permanent Resident Card (unless you can prove that it was lost or you were never issued one), you will be ready to take part in the main event: the Oath of Allegiance. Once you’ve done so, you are officially a US citizen! You will receive a Certificate of Naturalization, which you should review for accuracy before leaving.
Apply for a passport
It’s important that you apply for a passport soon after your naturalization so that you’re ready to travel. This is also important since a passport can serve as an extra proof of citizenship in addition to your Certificate of Naturalization. Allow plenty of time for your passport to process before you make travel plans.
Register to vote
You will be able to register to vote immediately following your oath, but you can also do so later on at governmental offices in your community. Voting is one of the most important parts of being a US citizen, so take pride in your ability to do it!
Update your information
Finally, you will want to update your information following your naturalization. This means going to the Social Security Administration location nearest you to make changes that reflect your new citizenship. Bring your passport or Certificate of Naturalization along with you for proof of your new status. Just be sure to allow at least ten days between your naturalization ceremony and your changing of records, to give system time to update itself.
Once you’ve completed your naturalization ceremony and the necessary steps that go along with it, you can officially say you’re a US citizen! In addition to the practical steps we mentioned above, be sure to celebrate your new citizenship with family and friends, spend time researching federal voting guides and enjoy other new opportunities.