Written by attorney Carl Michael Shusterman

Naturalization - Oath of Allegiance (Part Two)

Can the Oath of Allegiance ever be waived or modified?

If you are not willing and prepared to make the commitment of the Oath of Allegiance, you should not file an application for naturalization. There are a few circumstances that will allow the modification of the Oath of Allegiance. These circumstances are as follows:

* If you cannot promise to bear arms or perform noncombatant service because of religious training and belief, you may request to leave out those parts of the oath.

o With your application for naturalization include a letter from your religious organization stating that you are an active member in good standing, explaining the beliefs of the church in this regard, and explaining why you desire to take a partial oath.

o You must still be willing to perform alternate government service as a civilian.

* USCIS can waive the Oath of Allegiance for children applying under special citizenship programs.

* USCIS can waive the Oath of Allegiance when it is shown that the person’s physical or developmental disability, or mental impairments, also makes them unable to understand, or to communicate an understanding of, the meaning of the oath.

Do I become a United States citizen when my application is approved or must I wait until I take the Oath of Allegiance?

Naturalization and United States citizenship will be effective when you take the Oath of Allegiance. From then on, the United States government will consider you to be a United States citizen and will not recognize any other citizenship.

By taking the oath do I give up my current citizenship?

In taking the Oath of Allegiance, you renounce all allegiance to all foreign states. From the point when you take the oath, the United States considers you to only be a United States citizen.

* Laws in many countries provide that a citizen of that country may automatically lose citizenship if they become a United States citizen through naturalization. * Other countries do not recognize any voluntary renouncing of citizenship, and will continue to consider you a citizen of that country.

For more information about the laws of a certain country, please contact that country’s embassy or consulate.

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