The United States District Court for the Southern District of New York is honored to take part in the process of Naturalization. Each week, judges of the Court welcome a new contingent of prospective citizens of the United States of America.

What is Naturalization?

Naturalization is the process by which U.S. citizenship is conferred upon a foreign citizen or national after he or she fulfills the requirements established by Congress in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).

The bureau of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) processes all naturalization applications and provides the Court with a list of the candidates selected to be naturalized in the Federal Court.

Currently, the selection consists of only those petitioners who have requested to:

  • participate in the Naturalization Ceremony and swear the oath of allegiance in a formal court proceeding.
  • change their names legally and have their new names appear on the Certificate of Naturalization.

The Naturalization Ceremony

On each Friday, judges of the Court preside over the Naturalization Ceremony that is held in the Ceremonial Courtroom located at the Pearl Street Courthouse.* Beginning at 10:00 a.m. on the day of the ceremony, applicants are processed by USCIS Officers and Deputy Clerks of the Court. Each petitioner should bring the U.S. issued “green card,” U.S. issued visas and all other travel documents. A petitioner who is not fluent in English, but who is age 55 or older and has a U.S. permanent residency of more than 20 years, may be accompanied by someone who can interpret in the petitioner’s native language.

The ceremony begins approximately at 11:30 a.m. and others are invited into the courtroom to witness the petitioners swear the Oath of Allegiance to the United States of America. Pursuant to Local Civil Rule 1.8, no one is permitted to bring a camera, portable telephone or recording device into the courthouse without the written permission of a judge of this Court.

Everyone is expected to comply with federal court rules and any other rules of the court. Please remain quiet during the proceedings and stand when the judge enters or leaves the courtroom. If you must leave while court is in session, please exit quietly.

*Upon entering the courthouse, everyone is required to pass through the security screening. Please allow extra time for the screening process.