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Hosting a Naturalization Ceremony: What to Expect

Naturalization Ceremony Basics

Naturalization ceremonies are held the second Wednesday of each month except December. Ceremonies begin at 11:00 AM and, typically, last one hour. New citizens are asked to arrive at 9:30 AM for final processing. There are usually no more than 40 new citizens naturalized during a ceremony.

Time-line

  • Initial Visit - Meet with a Court representative to ensure host will be able to accommodate all requirements. For first time hosts, this will occur before being put on the ceremony calendar. For those that have hosted in the past, this meeting will occur only if facilities have changed.
  • 60 Days before the Ceremony - Meet with a Court representative to discuss program ideas, parking for the judge, location of tables, chairs, judge robing area, etc.
  • 10 Days before the Ceremony - Meet with a Court representative to finalize plans, go over final changes to the ceremony program, confirm guests, revisit physical space, etc.
  • Day before the Ceremony - Representatives from the Court will arrive at a designated time to set up for the ceremony.
  • Day of the Ceremony - Court representatives will arrive at 9:00 AM. US Citizen and Immigration Services representatives and new citizens will arrive at 9:30 AM.

Host Organization Requirements

  • Facility Requirements
    • Ceremony space large enough to hold the event (auditorium or gym).
    • A separate space large enough to finalize new citizens paperwork.
    • At least three folding tables (two must be a minimum of 6 feet in length, one must be at least 2 feet in length).
    • Two microphones and connecting speakers.
    • Audio/visual system.
    • A podium.
    • American flag and Oklahoma flag.
    • Chairs: 30‐40 chairs for judge, officers of the Court, guests, speakers, etc.
      • If ceremony is in an auditorium, these will be on the stage.
      • If ceremony is held in a gymnasium, these will be on the gym floor. See set up diagram.
    • At least enough seating for new citizens (typically 40 people), their families and friends, and the remaining members of the audience (typically 100‐120 people).
    • Students or volunteers to guide new citizens to appropriate locations.
    • Access to a copy machine.
    • Reserved parking space for judge, officers of the Court, guests, speakers, the new citizens, citizens' family and friends.
  • Facility Access - The Court will need access to the ceremony space the day prior to the ceremony to setup chairs, tables, microphones, etc. During this set-up time, the host organization is required to provide students or volunteers, typically three to five people, to assist in the set-up process.
  • AV Equipment - During the ceremony, the host is required to ensure an audio/visual operator is on site and readily available to immediately troubleshoot and correct any issues with audio or video.
  • Weather - If the host organization closes for inclement weather, the ceremony still MUST take place on the scheduled day at the scheduled location. A naturalization ceremony is a Court proceeding, and it cannot be rescheduled or moved to a different location once the ceremony has been set. Therefore it will still be necessary for the host organization to open the facility and provide the space for the ceremony.

Typical Guests of the Court

Usually, representatives from the following organizations attend naturalization ceremonies:

  • Office of the congressman from the first congressional district
  • League of Women Voters
  • Daughters of the American Revolution
  • Sons of the American Revolution