Saturday, June 15, 2013
On Saturday, Catholic Migration Services–in collaboration with NALEO Educational Fund, Make the Road NY, and the New Americans Campaign–hosted a free workshop for immigrants eligible to apply for U.S. citizenship at P.S. 19 in Corona.
People began lining up for the free workshop, which began at 10:00am, as early as 8:00am that morning. Participants began the workshop by meeting with an attorney or citizenship application expert, who made sure that they were eligible to apply. Next participants sat down with a volunteer, who helped them complete the 10-page application form. Finally, participants met with another attorney or expert, who examined their application for accuracy and advised them on next steps.
In total, over 100 legal permanent residents (immigrants who hold green cards) attended the workshop and received one-on-one assistance completing their applications. Of these, 57 people left the workshop with a completed citizenship application, ready to mail to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Those with incomplete applications were referred to one of the host organizations for follow-up appointments. More than 40 volunteers, immigration attorneys, and BIA-accredited representatives devoted their time and energy to make this event a success!
The basic eligibility requirements for applying for U.S. citizenship are:
- Be at least 18 years old
- Be a lawful permanent resident for five years (Or, if married to a U.S. citizen, you may need to be a lawful permanent resident for only 3 years)
- Not have left the U.S. for long periods of time during the last 5 years
- Be able to speak, read and write English at a basic level (Exceptions exist for people who are 55 years or older and have had a green card for 15 years & for people who are 50 years or older and have had a green card for 20 years)
Fidelis Care was also on hand, conducting eligibility screenings with participants for their low-cost health insurance programs.
The workshop was also supported by Church World Services, the Human Rights Campaign, HANAC Corona Beacon, La Fuente, Council Member Julissa Ferreras, State Senator Jose Peralta, and State Assembly Member Francisco Moya.
If you are interested in applying for U.S. citizenship, please call our Brooklyn office (718-236-3000) or Queens office (347-472-3500) to schedule a consultation.