After the U.S. Citizenship Test – Denial or Swearing In

You will be given two opportunities to take the English and civics tests and to answer all questions relating to your naturalization application in English. If you fail any of the tests at your initial interview, you will be retested on the portion of the test that you failed (English or civics) between 60 and 90 days from the date of your initial interview.



  • Your application is denied if the USCIS officer decides that you do not meet the eligibility requirements for naturalization. You should receive a letter in the mail called “Notice of Decision” within 120 days after your interview.  
    • The letter will explain why your case was denied.  Depending on the reason for the denial, you may choose to re-apply for naturalization in the future.  
    • The letter will also tell you how you can appeal the denial through administrative review.
  • Administrative review is when you have another naturalization interview with a second USCIS officer to appeal your denial.  
    • The second officer reviews the information on your case or, if you were denied for failing the test, gives you the citizenship test again.  
    • During the appeal interview, you can provide new evidence or give testimony on your case.  The evidence and testimony help to explain why you do meet the requirements for naturalization and why USCIS should approve your application.
  • Within 30 days after you receive the denial letter, you need to file Form N-336, Request for a Hearing on a Decision in Naturalization Proceedings with the required fee.  (Check the USCIS website for the current fee.) 
    • You can file the N-336 after 30 days only if you can show that a hardship prevented you from filing in time.  USCIS will schedule your appeal interview within 180 days after you file the N-336.
  • What happens if USCIS denies my appeal?
    • Depending on the reason for the denial, you may be able to re-apply for naturalization.  For example, if you were denied for failing the citizenship test, you can re-apply for naturalization at any time in the future.  
    • If you wish to appeal a denial of a request for administrative review, the next step is judicial review. 
  •  Judicial review is when a judge in court hears your case.  In naturalization cases, a judge from the federal district court hears your case.  You can file a petition for judicial review if USCIS denies your administrative review.  You must file the Petition for Review with the U.S. district court in the area where you live.  You must file it within 120 days after USCIS denies your administrative review. You will send one copy of the petition to your USCIS district office director and one copy to the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security.  
    • You should get an attorney to help you with the petition and prepare you to appear before a judge.


The Swearing in Ceremony/Taking the Oath

  • If USCIS approves your Form N-400, Application for Naturalization, we will schedule you to take the Oath of Allegiance at a naturalization ceremony. Taking the oath will complete the process of becoming a U.S. citizen.
  • Types of Ceremonies:
    • In a judicial ceremony, the court administers the Oath of Allegiance.
    • In an administrative ceremony, USCIS administers the Oath of Allegiance.

What to expect at your naturalization ceremony:

1. Receive a Notice to Take the Oath of Allegiance

  • You may be able to participate in a naturalization ceremony on the same day as your interview. 
  • If a ceremony is unavailable, we will mail you a notice with the date, time, and location of your scheduled naturalization ceremony on a Form N-445, Notice of Naturalization Oath Ceremony.
  • If you cannot attend your scheduled naturalization ceremony, return the notice, Form N-445, Notice of Naturalization Oath Ceremony, to your local USCIS office, along with a letter requesting a new date and explaining why you cannot attend the scheduled naturalization ceremony. 
  • Failing to appear more than once for your naturalization ceremony may lead to a denial of your application.

2.  Check in at the Ceremony

  • Once you arrive at the ceremony, check in with USCIS. 
  • A USCIS officer will review your responses to the questionnaire, Form N-445, Notice of Naturalization Oath Ceremony. Please complete your responses to the questionnaire before you arrive.
  • To see what items are prohibited on federal properties, you can check the Federal Protective Service’s frequently asked questions web page. 

3.  Return your Permanent Resident Card

  • You must return your Permanent Resident Card to USCIS when you check in for your naturalization ceremony. This requirement is waived if you provided proof during the naturalization interview that the card has been lost and you have attempted to recover it, or if, because of your military service, you were never granted permanent residence. 
  • You will no longer need your Permanent Resident Card because you will receive your Certificate of Naturalization after you take the Oath of Allegiance.

4.  Take the Oath of Allegiance

  • You are not a U.S. citizen until you take the Oath of Allegiance at a naturalization ceremony. You will receive your Certificate of Naturalization after taking the Oath of Allegiance.

5.  Receive Certificate of Naturalization

  • Carefully review your Certificate of Naturalization and notify USCIS of any errors before leaving the ceremony. You may use your Certificate of Naturalization as official proof that you are a U.S. citizen.
  • If you lose your Certificate of Naturalization, you may request a replacement by filing Form N-565, Application for Replacement Naturalization/Citizenship Document. You may request Form N-565 by calling the USCIS Forms Line (1-800-870-3676) or by downloading the form. The fee to file this form is $555.