On Saturday October 19th Catholic Migration Services hosted a Citizenship Application Assistance Workshop at St.James Cathedral in downtown Brooklyn, Over 80 permanent residents worked with staff and volunteers to complete their citizenship applications.
CMS is a part of The New Americans Campaign to provide free and much needed access to legally qualified permanent residents to take the critical step to becoming American citizens. The process to obtain citizenship can be confusing and complex. Limited knowledge about the path to citizenship and costly fees can make the process more difficult for legal residents. However, the benefits is worth the trouble. When new Americans gain the rights, freedoms and responsibilities of citizenship they contribute more fully to their communities.
Registered applicants began by signing in and then working with a CMS staff member or volunteer who screened them to ensure that they were eligible for a fee waiver to excuse them from the six hundred and eight dollar government application fee. Applicants then worked with staff and volunteers to fill out the N-400 application. Last, their applications underwent a detailed review and were given specific instructions on the next steps that they should take before mailing out their applications.
Guests began lining up as early as 9 a.m for their 10 a.m appointments. They were enthusiastic about the chance to begin the process of getting their citizenship after having residents for so long. Francisca Gutierrez de Gomez came to the workshop with her husband Nestor Gomez. She heard about the citizenship workshop through CMS’ outreach efforts in St. Micheal’s parish in Flushing,NY. She was pleased by the efficiency, organization and coordination of the event . She said,”I didn’t expect to get everything done so it was a pleasant surprise to see the coordination between each station. Victor the volunteer who assisted me with my application was patient, attentive and respectful to me.” Mrs. Gutierrez de Gomez and her husband Nestor Gomez left feeling optimistic about their application and felt that they were treated with dignity and respect throughout the process.
If you are interested in applying for U.S citizenship , please contact our Queens office at (347)-472-3500 or our Brooklyn office at (718)-236-3000 to make an appointment with an immigration counselor.
To learn more about The New Americans Campaign please click here.
Click here for pictures of the workshop.