Becoming a citizen of the United States of America is obtained through a naturalization process that includes applications, interviews and various forms of testing. When that process is complete, an individual is invited to the citizenship ceremony, marking the final stage in becoming a naturalized citizen. Usually conducted at an office of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, a citizenship ceremony can be a meaningful event for immigrants and lets them know that their naturalization has been confirmed. It also gives a notable place and time for friends, family and members of the public to celebrate the swearing in of new citizens.
This ceremony is conducted for several reasons. First and foremost, it is to congratulate and welcome the individuals who are gaining new citizenship. A citizenship ceremony also serves to introduce the attendants to their new fellow Americans, giving them time to welcome them. It also provides a basic introduction to the United States system of justice, as well as stresses the importance of citizenship.
Citizenship ceremonies vary based on location and by those who are presiding over the event itself. All of these celebrations, however, follow a general outline of activities. To begin, a motion is always made to admit the applicants for naturalization, and the judge, or other official who is presiding, will affirm the motion. All new citizens must recite the Oath of Allegiance, and they will also recite the Pledge of Allegiance.
There are also various speakers at a citizen ceremony, such as government officials, members of the community and even the new citizens themselves. These individuals normally speak on the responsibilities, duties and importance of being a United States citizen. They also offer congratulations and well wishes to those being sworn in. Before completion, some ceremonies include an actual reading of a list of countries from which the new citizens hail originally and ask the applicants to stand in recognition as their country is called aloud. Receptions and various forms of entertainment usually wrap up the festivities.
The naturalization process can be a long and difficult one for many individuals. The citizenship ceremony is a way of rewarding them for their effort and completion of the journey. Many individuals enjoy being acknowledged, respected and celebrated in this way.