flowers-260894_640For those seeking citizenship, the “swearing in” ceremony is the highlight of this achievement. Swearing in ceremonies are designed to do more than just make one’s citizenship official, as they also serve to provide information and extend congratulations to recipients as well.

To attend a ceremony, an immigrant must have an approved N-400, which is an application for naturalization. Next, an interview and civics exam is required. After meeting these requirements, individuals will be invited to attend one of the many naturalization ceremonies that take place in various locations across the country.

During the ceremony, as many as several hundred potential citizens may attend with their family members. This ceremony is presided over by a judge, who will lead the immigrants in a citizenship oath and a recital of the Pledge of Allegiance. After that, guest speakers will give remarks, and then a reception will be typically be held in honor of the new citizens. The entire ceremony will typically take between one to two hours.

New citizens may also be given information concerning voting, and counselors may also talk with them about their new responsibilities as a U.S. citizen as well. As a memento of the occasion, many also receive miniature American flags and copies of the U.S. Constitution.

Becoming a U.S. citizen takes a great deal of discipline and hard work. As such, those who are invited to participate in a naturalization ceremony can truly be proud of their accomplishments, and many express their emotions with tears of joy.