8 U.S.C. § 1421 - U.S. Code - Unannotated Title 8. Aliens and Nationality § 1421. Naturalization authority
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Authority in Attorney General
The sole authority to naturalize persons as citizens of the United States is conferred upon the Attorney General.
Court authority to administer oaths
Subject to section 1448(c) of this title--
Except as provided in subparagraph (B), each applicant for naturalization may choose to have the oath of allegiance under section 1448(a) of this title administered by the Attorney General or by an eligible court described in paragraph (5). Each such eligible court shall have authority to administer such oath of allegiance to persons residing within the jurisdiction of the court.
An eligible court described in paragraph (5) that wishes to have exclusive authority to administer the oath of allegiance under section 1448(a) of this title to persons residing within the jurisdiction of the court during the period described in paragraph (3)(A)(i) shall notify the Attorney General of such wish and, subject to this subsection, shall have such exclusive authority with respect to such persons during such period.
In the case of a court exercising authority under paragraph (1), in accordance with procedures established by the Attorney General--
the applicant for naturalization shall notify the Attorney General of the intent to be naturalized before the court, and
the Attorney General--
shall forward to the court (not later than 10 days after the date of approval of an application for naturalization in the case of a court which has provided notice under paragraph (1)(B)) such information as may be necessary to administer the oath of allegiance under section 1448(a) of this title, and
shall promptly forward to the court a certificate of naturalization (prepared by the Attorney General).
Assignment of individuals in the case of exclusive authority
If an eligible court has provided notice under paragraph (1)(B), the Attorney General shall inform each person (residing within the jurisdiction of the court), at the time of the approval of the person's application for naturalization, of--
the court's exclusive authority to administer the oath of allegiance under section 1448(a) of this title to such a person during the period specified in paragraph (3)(A)(i), and
the date or dates (if any) under paragraph (3)(B) on which the court has scheduled oath administration ceremonies.
If more than one eligible court in an area has provided notice under paragraph (1)(B), the Attorney General shall permit the person, at the time of the approval, to choose the court to which the information will be forwarded for administration of the oath of allegiance under this section.
Scope of exclusive authority
Limited period and advance notice required
The exclusive authority of a court to administer the oath of allegiance under paragraph (1)(B) shall apply with respect to a person--
only during the 45-day period beginning on the date on which the Attorney General certifies to the court that an applicant is eligible for naturalization, and
only if the court has notified the Attorney General, prior to the date of certification of eligibility, of the day or days (during such 45-day period) on which the court has scheduled oath administration ceremonies.
Authority of Attorney General
Subject to subparagraph (C), the Attorney General shall not administer the oath of allegiance to a person under subsection (a) of this section during the period in which exclusive authority to administer the oath of allegiance may be exercised by an eligible court under this subsection with respect to that person.
Waiver of exclusive authority
Notwithstanding the previous provisions of this paragraph, a court may waive exclusive authority to administer the oath of allegiance under section 1448(a) of this title to a person under this subsection if the Attorney General has not provided the court with the certification described in subparagraph (A)(i) within a reasonable time before the date scheduled by the court for oath administration ceremonies. Upon notification of a court's waiver of jurisdiction, the Attorney General shall promptly notify the applicant.
Issuance of certificates
The Attorney General shall provide for the issuance of certificates of naturalization at the time of administration of the oath of allegiance.
For purposes of this section, the term “eligible court” means--
a district court of the United States in any State, or
any court of record in any State having a seal, a clerk, and jurisdiction in actions in law or equity, or law and equity, in which the amount in controversy is unlimited.
A person whose application for naturalization under this subchapter is denied, after a hearing before an immigration officer under section 1447(a) of this Title, may seek review of such denial before the United States district court for the district in which such person resides in accordance with chapter 7 of title 5. Such review shall be de novo, and the court shall make its own findings of fact and conclusions of law and shall, at the request of the petitioner, conduct a hearing de novo on the application.
A person may only be naturalized as a citizen of the United States in the manner and under the conditions prescribed in this subchapter and not otherwise.
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