Become a US Citizen

3. Oath of Allegiance: Special Circumstances

You may choose to recite a different version of the Oath of Allegiance or to not recite it at all if one of the following scenarios applies to you:

1.    You cannot understand, or are not able to express, that you understand the meaning of the Oath of Allegiance because of a physical or developmental disability or a mental impairment. In this case, you can request that the USCIS waive the Oath of Allegiance requirement. If approved, you will not need to recite the Oath. To request a waiver, which you can do at any time before the Oath ceremony, you will need to provide the following two documents (no special form is required):

  • A written request (drafted with the help of your legal guardian, surrogate, or representative — see the USCIS Policy Manual for definitions of these terms).
  • A written evaluation by a doctor who has known you the longest or is most familiar with your medical history (see the USCIS Policy Manual for complete instructions).

2.    You cannot, or are not willing to, perform military service (combatant or noncombatant) because of religious objections. In this case, you may ask to omit those words when taking the Oath. Be prepared to provide documentation from the religious organization of which you are a member that explains this special circumstance and vouches for your good standing in the organization.

3.    You cannot, or are not willing to, recite the Oath if it includes  certain words, such as “on oath” or “so help me God.” In this case, you must notify the USCIS beforehand that you wish to recite a “modified” version of the Oath. You will not be required to provide proof or explanation as to why you would like to make this request.