In some cases, USCIS requires applicants for a Certificate of Citizenship to attend an Oath of Allegiance ceremony.
First, a USCIS office approves Form N-600. Then, USCIS administers the Oath of Allegiance before issuing a Certificate of Citizenship. The oath ceremony is not conducted on the same day as the N-600 interview.
Waiving the Oath of Allegiance
The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) permits USCIS to waive the taking of the Oath of Allegiance if USCIS determines the person is unable to understand its meaning. USCIS has determined that children under the age of 14 are generally unable to understand the meaning of the oath. Thus, USCIS generally waives the oath ceremony for children younger than 14 years of age. If USCIS waives the oath requirement, USCIS issues a Certificate of Citizenship after the officer approves the application.
Modifications to the N-600 Oath
An N-600 applicant may request to modify the oath requirement based on religious grounds or moral convictions. The most common parts of the oath that applicants wish to modify are: “I will bear arms” and “so help me God.” In both instances, an applicant must request a modification from USCIS. Applicants who wish to modify any phrases in the Oath of Allegiance should generally work with an immigration lawyer who can help develop alternative language and assemble evidence.