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e-CFR data is current as of January 25, 2021

Title 8Chapter ISubchapter CPart 335 → §335.2

Title 8: Aliens and Nationality

§335.2   Examination of applicant.

(a) General. Subsequent to the filing of an application for naturalization, each applicant shall appear in person before a USCIS officer designated to conduct examinations pursuant to 8 CFR 332.1. The examination shall be uniform throughout the United States and shall encompass all factors relating to the applicant's eligibility for naturalization. The applicant may request the presence of an attorney or representative who has filed an appearance in accordance with part 292 of this chapter.

(b) Completion of criminal background checks before examination. USCIS will notify applicants for naturalization to appear before a USCIS officer for initial examination on the naturalization application only after the USCIS has received a definitive response from the Federal Bureau of Investigation that a full criminal background check of an applicant has been completed. A definitive response that a full criminal background check on an applicant has been completed includes:

(1) Confirmation from the Federal Bureau of Investigation that an applicant does not have an administrative or a criminal record;

(2) Confirmation from the Federal Bureau of Investigation that an applicant has an administrative or a criminal record; or

(3) Confirmation from the Federal Bureau of Investigation that the fingerprint data submitted for the criminal background check has been rejected.

(c) Procedure. Prior to the beginning of the examination, USCIS shall make known to the applicant the official capacity in which the officer is conducting the examination. The applicant shall be questioned, under oath or affirmation, in a setting apart from the public. Whenever necessary, the examining officer shall correct written answers in the application for naturalization to conform to the oral statements made under oath or affirmation. USCIS shall maintain, for the record, brief notations of the examination for naturalization. At a minimum, the notations shall include a record of the test administered to the applicant on English literacy and basic knowledge of the history and government of the United States. USCIS may have a stenographic, mechanical, electronic, or videotaped transcript made, or may prepare an affidavit covering the testimony of the applicant. The questions to the applicant shall be repeated in different form and elaborated, if necessary, until the officer conducting the examination is satisfied that the applicant either fully understands the questions or is unable to understand English. The applicant and USCIS shall have the right to present such oral or documentary evidence and to conduct such cross-examination as may be required for a full and true disclosure of the facts.

(d) Witnesses. Witnesses, if called, shall be questioned under oath or affirmation to discover their own credibility and competency, as well as the extent of their personal knowledge of the applicant and his or her qualifications to become a naturalized citizen.

(1) Issuance of subpoenas. Subpoenas requiring the attendance of witnesses or the production of documentary evidence, or both, may be issued by the examining officer upon his or her own volition, or upon written request of the applicant or his or her attorney or representative. Such written request shall specify, as nearly as possible, the relevance, materiality, and scope of the testimony or documentary evidence sought and must show affirmatively that the testimony or documentary evidence cannot otherwise be produced. The examining officer shall document in the record his or her refusal to issue a subpoena at the request of the applicant.

(2) Service of subpoenas. Subpoenas will be issued on the form designated by USCIS and a record will be made of service. The subpoena may be served by any person over 18 years of age, not a party to the case, designated to make such service by USCIS.

(3) Witness fees. Mileage and fees for witnesses subpoenaed under this section shall be paid by the party at whose instance the subpoena is issued, at rates allowed and under conditions prescribed by the Service. Before issuing a subpoena, the officer may require the deposit of an amount adequate to cover the fees and mileage involved.

(4) Failure to appear. If the witness subpoenaed neglects or refuses to testify or to produce documentary evidence as directed by the subpoena, the district director shall request that the United States Attorney for the proper district report such neglect or refusal to any District Court of the United States, and file a motion in such court for an order directing the witness to appear and to testify and produce the documentary evidence described in the subpoena.

(5) Extraterritorial testimony. The testimony of a witness may be taken outside the United States. The witness's name and address shall be sent to the Service office abroad which has jurisdiction over the witness's residence. The officer taking the statement shall be given express instructions regarding any aspect of the case which may require special development or emphasis during the interrogation of the witness.

(e) Record of examination. At the conclusion of the examination, all corrections made on the application form and all supplemental material shall be consecutively numbered and listed in the space provided on the applicant's affidavit contained in the application form. The affidavit must then be subscribed and sworn to, or affirmed, by the applicant and signed by the USCIS officer. The affidavit shall be executed under the following oath (or affirmation): “I swear (affirm) and certify under penalty of perjury under the laws of the United States of America that I know that the contents of this application for naturalization subscribed by me, and the evidence submitted with it, are true and correct to the best of my knowledge and belief.” Evidence received by the officer shall be placed into the record for determination of the case. All documentary or written evidence shall be properly identified and introduced into the record as exhibits by number, unless read into the record. A deposition or statement taken by a USCIS officer during the initial examination or any subsequent examination shall be included as part of the record on the application.

(f) Use of interpreter. If the use of an interpreter is authorized pursuant to 8 CFR 312.4, the examining officer shall note on the application the use and identity of any interpreter. If the USCIS officer is proficient in the applicant's native language, the USCIS officer may conduct the examination in that language with the consent of the applicant.

[56 FR 50497, Oct. 7, 1991, as amended at 58 FR 49913, Sept. 24, 1993; 63 FR 12987, 12988, Mar. 17, 1998; 76 FR 53801, Aug. 29, 2011]

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