U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is highlighting clarified guidance for those immigrants wishing to omit portions of the citizenship oath.
USCIS explained Tuesday that while reciting the Oath of Allegiance is part of the naturalization process, immigrant candidates for citizenship may omit portions of the oath if they have certain religious or conscientious objections.
The Oath reads:
I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty, of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen; that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I will bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform noncombatant service in the Armed Forces of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform work of national importance under civilian direction when required by the law; and that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; so help me God.
Under the clarified guidance from USCIS, certain immigrant candidates for citizenship do not need to declare that they will “bear arms on behalf of the United States” and “perform noncombatant service in the Armed Forces of the United States.”
USCIS explains that a candidate:
•May be eligible for modifications based on religious training and belief, or conscientious objection arising from a deeply held moral or ethical code.
•Is not required to belong to a specific church or religion, follow a particular theology or belief, or to have had religious training in order to qualify.
•May submit, but is not required to provide, an attestation from a religious or other type of organization, as well as other evidence to establish eligibility.
The clarification comes as the Obama administration has been promoting immigrants to naturalize.