Sejour v. Immigration and Naturalization Svce.

Immigration Law

New York Law Journal


District Judge Raymond Dearie

Sejour was denied mandamus requiring a declaration that he was naturalized on Aug. 13, 2001, or reopening his 2001 naturalization application. Se jour did not show a "clear and indisputable" right to mandamus. He only signed a document containing the allegiance oath when initially interviewed on Aug. 13, 2001. Signature of the oath of allegiance during a naturalization examination does not confer citizenship. Sejour's naturalization application was denied in June 2007—six years after his initial interview. Under 8 CFR §336.1, when the Service denies naturalization, it must "serve written notice of denial no later than 120 days after the date of the applicant's first examination on the application interview." Sejour argued that the June 2007 letter was invalid, and that he became a citizen by operation of law at the 120-day period's expiration. The court found no basis for Sejour's proposition. Naturalization law contemplates the possibility of post-interview delay. Rather than citizenship by operation of law, the applicant has the opportunity to seek a federal court's intervention after the 120-day period's expiration. By his own assertion Sejour not only did not seek such relief but rather did not formally inquire into his naturalization status until January 2008.


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