Wednesday, November 16, 2022

USCIS Hosts Special Naturalization Ceremonies in Honor of Veterans Day

Agency Committed to Removing Barriers to Naturalization

WASHINGTON— U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services will host several Veterans Day-themed naturalization ceremonies across the country, welcoming veterans, service members, and military spouses as America's newest citizens.

More than 3,900 naturalization candidates, including members of the U.S military, veterans, and their families will take the Oath of Allegiance in 50 ceremonies. These events will honor the sacrifices they have made by serving our country, and also highlight our agency's commitment to providing immigration services to the military community.

"USCIS is grateful to all members of the U.S. military, veterans, and their families who have put their faith and trust in America. We are honored to have a role in supporting non-citizen service members on their citizenship journey, so they can become citizens of the country they have already sworn to protect," said USCIS Director Ur M. Jaddou.

Veterans Day traces its roots to the end of World War I and was originally celebrated as Armistice Day. It was recognized on the "11th hour, of the 11th day, of the 11th month" in 1918. Today, our nation continues to observe the day as Veterans Day each Nov. 11.

USCIS has made great strides in assisting service members and their families who are eager to become naturalized U.S. citizens and is partnering with the U.S. Department of Defense to offer naturalization services early in their military career. In December 2020, USCIS began conducting video interviews for eligible military members and qualifying family members stationed overseas. In March 2021, USCIS began administering the Oath of Allegiance by video for overseas military members and their qualifying family members stationed overseas, allowing USCIS staff to perform the entire naturalization process outside the United States. As of today, USCIS has conducted 2,058 interviews and administered 1,710 Oaths of Allegiance by video. USCIS is also partnering closely with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to raise awareness about the benefits of U.S. citizenship to noncitizen Veterans and their family members who have not yet pursued naturalization.

This year, USCIS will recognize retired U.S. Army Brigadier General Stephen Michael as an Outstanding American by Choice during a naturalization ceremony at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History on Nov. 10. Through the Outstanding Americans by Choice Initiative, USCIS recognizes the achievements of naturalized U.S. citizens who have demonstrated their commitment to this country and to the common civic values that unite all Americans. Full biographies of Outstanding Americans by Choice recipients are available on the USCIS website.

Additional special naturalization ceremonies planned in commemoration of Veterans Day include Nov. 10, Pima Air and Space Museum in Tucson, Arizona; Nov. 10, Baltimore Museum of Industry; Nov. 11, Phoenix Desert Botanical Garden; Nov. 11, Atlanta History Museum; Nov. 12, Atlanta History Museum Nov. 12, Americans Heroes Air Show in Los Angeles, California, and Nov. 13, L.A. Rams at SoFi Stadium.

Following each naturalization ceremony, USCIS encourages new U.S. citizens and their families and friends to share their naturalization photos on social media using the hashtags #NewUSCitizen.

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