Naturalization

Ceremonies

Naturalization ceremonies are held at the Warren Rudman U.S. Courthouse located at 55 Pleasant Street, Concord, New Hampshire. Monthly ceremonies are scheduled at the request of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services ("USCIS").

Impact of Weather Conditions on Scheduled Naturalization Ceremony

During the winter season, it is possible that weather conditions may require the delay or cancelation of a scheduled Naturalization Ceremony. In the event of a delay or cancelation, the court will provide notice of that decision on the court's homepage under the icon entitled "Weather Bulletin" and on its information phone line - 800- 776-0320 (Option 3) by 6:30 am on the morning of the ceremony. If no inclement weather announcement is made by that time, persons attending that ceremony should arrive at the courthouse as instructed at 8:00 a.m.

Local USCIS Office

The U.S. District Court is responsible only for hosting the court proceeding. Thus, any inquiries about the naturalization process should be directed to the USCIS toll free telephone number at 1-800-375-5283 or the New Hampshire direct number at 603-606-6600. The New Hampshire office, open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., is located at 9 Ridgewood Rd., Bedford, NH 03110. This office is considered a "walk-in-service" office, so you should visit them in person.

Applications

Applications for citizenship are available at the USCIS office in Bedford, New Hampshire. All naturalization forms are available online at http://www.uscis.gov. That site also gives tips and instructions on assembling the application.

When completed, applications should be mailed, with a certified bank check or money order (personal checks are not accepted) made payable to Department of Homeland Security or U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services in the amount listed for the N-400 form (including the biometrics fee) as found on this link. The application and fees should be sent to the appropriate regional address as listed here

Records and Genealogy Searches

Pursuant to 8 U.S.C. § 1450(b), "[e]ach district office of the [USCIS] in the United States shall maintain, in chronological order, indexed, and consecutively numbered, as part of its permanent records, all declarations of intention and applications for naturalization filed with the office." Thus, official naturalization records for the District of New Hampshire are available through the local USCIS office in Bedford, New Hampshire. The only documents maintained on file at the U.S. District Court for the District of New Hampshire are the original lists of applicants, from 2010 to present, provided by the USCIS on the date of the naturalization ceremony.

Naturalization information available to the public at the courthouse is limited to copies of name changes effectuated on the date of a naturalization ceremony and verification of an individual's date of naturalization, alien identification number, and certificate number. Because federal statute requires that official naturalization records be maintained by the USCIS, the Clerk of Court takes the position that it is not the keeper of the record for naturalizations occurring within the State of New Hampshire and any records in its control are merely copies of the originals maintained by the executive branch. Therefore, after consulting with the Office of General Counsel for the United States Courts, it is the policy of the Clerk's Office that it will not release copies of naturalization records in its control to the public and that all such requests must be made to the USCIS.

Requests to obtain historical naturalization records must be made by appointment through a regional USCIS office using this website. For New Hampshire residents, that regional office is located at 9 Ridgewood Rd., Bedford, New Hampshire.

For information on how to access genealogy records (i.e. historical immigration and naturalization records of deceased immigrants), click here.

Replacement Certificates

If a Certificate of Naturalization is lost or stolen, a replacement certificate may be obtained from (and filed with) the USCIS office in Bedford by requesting a new certificate using form N-565 along with a filing fee in the amount listed for the N-565 form as found on this link. Payment may be made in the form of a money order or certified bank check (personal checks are not accepted) made payable to Department of Homeland Security or U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

USCIS Website

For all other questions regarding the USCIS, go to http://www.uscis.gov. This site provides information regarding necessary forms, online and by mail, and answers to frequently asked questions regarding naturalization application, procedure, and genealogy searches.

Policy on Public Access to Naturalization Records
Effective: 10/24/2008

Since October 1, 1991, the Immigration and Naturalization Service (now United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) has been responsible for producing and preparing naturalization certificates through the power vested in the Attorney General. The Clerk’s Office is responsible for delivering to each person administered the oath of allegiance by the Court the certificate of naturalization prepared by the Attorney General, and to forward to the Attorney General a list of applicants who took the oath at each scheduled ceremony. 8 U.S.C. § 1450(a)(1)-(2).

Under the Immigration Act of 1990 and the 1991 amendments, the Clerk’s Office should maintain evidence of each document issued pertaining to naturalization. This would include, for example, originals of the lists of applicants actually taking the oath at each scheduled ceremony and information concerning each person who is administered the oath by the Court. 8 U.S.C. § 1450(a)(2). Originals of documents pertaining to naturalization proceedings and court orders affecting or relating to naturalization of persons should also be maintained. 8 U.S.C. § 1450(a)(3). Pursuant to 8 U.S.C. § 1450(b), “[e]ach district office of the [Immigration and Naturalization] Service in the United States shall maintain, in chronological order, indexed, and consecutively numbered, as part of its permanent records, all declarations of intention and applications for naturalization filed with the office.”

It is the position of the Clerk’s Office that, since it is not the keeper of the record for all naturalizations occurring within the State of New Hampshire, any records in its control are merely copies of the originals maintained by the executive branch. Therefore, it is the policy of the Clerk’s Office that it will not release copies of naturalization records in its control to the public. The Clerk’s Office has consulted with the Office of General Counsel for the United States Courts and it is not aware of any legal authority that contradicts this policy.

According to the Associate Regional Counsel for the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, all such requests must be submitted in writing to the CIS Associate Regional Counsel and must comply with 5 U.S.C. § 552a(b) (Privacy Act) and its corresponding regulations at 6 C.F.R. Part 5. Those requests should be mailed to the following address:

Office of the District Director
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
Department of Homeland Security
JFK Federal Building, Rm. E-170
Boston, MA 02203
Attn: Associate Regional Counsel

 

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