As a U.S. citizen, you will be able to:
- Vote in national, state, and local elections. As a citizen, you will have a more powerful voice in your community.
- Run for public office and serve on juries.
- Sponsor family members to immigrate to the United States.
- Gain citizenship automatically for your children (under 18).
- Have a U.S. Passport. You can travel and live overseas without time restrictions or having to obtain a reentry permit.
- Lose your fear of deportation. Unlike people with green cards, a U.S. citizen can never be deported or denied entry to the United States.
- Apply for more employment opportunities. Many government and private jobs require U.S. citizenship.
- Access public benefits. Many government scholarships, loans, and grants are available only to U.S. citizens.
- Solidify your position in the United States. Citizens never have to renew their status or notify USCIS if they move.
In order to be eligible for U.S. citizenship, you must:
- Be at least 18 years old.
- Have been a legal permanent resident (have a green card) for five years. If you are married to a U.S. citizen, you only need to have been a permanent resident for three years.
- Have been physically present in the United States for 30 months during the past five years (18 months if married to a U.S. citizen). You may not have made any trips outside the U.S. longer than six months.
- Have a basic knowledge of English and U.S. History/Civics (age exemptions are available for those who qualify).
- Be a person of good moral character.
Submit an application (N-400 Application for Naturalization) with all supporting documentation.
- Receive a confirmation letter.
- Receive a Biometrics appointment. Get fingerprinted at a USCIS facility.
- Pass the interview and exam. You will have to answer questions about your application and complete a U.S. civics test. The interview and exam is in English, although age exemptions are available for the English requirement.
- Take the Oath of Allegiance. Congratulations, you are now a U.S. citizen!
After making the great decision of becoming a U.S citizen, filling out your application for citizenship (Form N-400 Application for Naturalization) is the next step towards your goal. At Citizenship Maryland, we stand by ready to help you through the application process. All consultations are private and completely confidential. Our citizenship promoters can:
- Guide you through filling out the N-400 Application for Citizenship.
- Help you understand USCIS correspondence.
- Tell you where to go to obtain any necessary documents.
- Refer you to an immigration attorney, if you should you need one.
- Enroll you in a citizenship class.
- Mentor/tutor you to get you ready for your interview.
Our services fees are:
1. Eligibility Analisis : Free for CASA members
( Meeting with an specialist to analyze your case and a complete a prescreen form, your prescreen form will be reviewed by a BIA accredited or Immigration Attorney)
2.Preparing Citizenship application ( completing N400 form)
- No criminal Record ( No amendment required): $50.00
- Some criminal record(written addendum is required): $75.00
- Some criminal record ( legal representation-G28- is advised): $175.00
3. In addition to our Citizenship services we are offering assistance filling out:
- Completing application for certificate of Citizenship ( form N-600):
- $25.00 : if Citizenship application WAS prepared by New Americans Citizenship Project.
- $50.00: if Citizenship application WAS NOT prepared by New Americans Citizenship project.
- Completing application for renewing or replacing green card ( Form I-90) : $50.00
Many of our host organizations offer English and Citizenship classes. We strongly recommend you enroll in citizenship classes before submitting your N-400 Application in order to prepare yourself to take the required U.S. civics and history exam given during your interview. If you would also like to improve your English skills, many of our organizations also offer English classes at many levels.
PREPARE YOURSELF FOR THE INTERVIEW!!
( MATERIALS TO BE READY FOR THE CITIZENSHIP INTERVIEW)
USCIS Citizenship Interview 100 questions link ! : USCIS
Citizenship New form N-400 !! : New Citizenship N-400 form
Recursos para la Naturalización: Recursos para la naturalizacion
Video Entrevista de Ciudadanía( Citizenship Interview Video) : Video Entrevista
Video con las 100 Preguntas en Flash Cards !! ( 100 Citizenship questions on Video) : Video 100 preguntas
Our Citizenship Fairs are designed to be a “one-stop” workshop for legal permanent residents interested in becoming U.S. Citizens. At a Citizenship Fair, residents can obtain information about the naturalization process, receive assistance with the N-400 application, and have a brief legal consultation with an attorney.
How can CASA help me become a U.S. citizen?
CASA offers assistance and guidance through the entire naturalization process. We directly offer application assistance (Form N-400), citizenship classes, mentoring/tutoring sessions, and financial assistance for those who qualify.
- CASA’s program is designed for and centered around individuals in the community. During an appointment for application assistance, the applicant sits one-on-one with an Americorps member and provides the necessary information to complete the application.
- Our citizenship classes are structured around the guidelines provided by USCIS and comprised of U.S History/Civics, reading, and writing portions. The classes prepare you to pass the citizenship exam and become a U.S. citizen.
- Our mentoring/tutoring sessions are designed to simulate rehearsal interviews to prepare you for your interview. We understand that every interview appointment is different, but using the USCIS sample interview, we can create an effective interview atmosphere.
Am I eligible for citizenship?
You must be 18 years and older and:
- You must have been a legal permanent resident (with your “green card”) for at least five years OR have been married to a U.S. citizen for three years.
- You must have been in the country for at least 30 months during the past five years, and you cannot have taken a trip outside of the country the lasted six months or longer without permission from USCIS.
- You must demonstrate English proficiency
Why should I become a U.S. citizen?
There are many benefits that come with U.S. citizenship that you do not have as a legal permanent resident, including the right to vote, access to a U.S. passport, the ability to sponsor family members for residency, and citizenship eligibility for children (under 18). In addition, U.S. citizens are never denied entry to the United States nor face deportation.
Is knowledge of English required to become a U.S. citizen?
Fluency in English is not a requirement, but basic conversational English skills are necessary to pass the citizenship interview and exam. If you need to improve your English, many of our organizations offer English classes for all levels. If you already are conversational in English, our citizenship classes will prepare you by teaching the specific vocabulary necessary for the interview.
Some applicants may take the interview and exam in their native language if they meet the criteria below. To do so, you must bring your own interpreter (who cannot be a family member). To qualify, one of the following must be true:
- You are over 50 years old or older and have had your green card for more than 20 years.
- You are over 55 years old or older and have had your green card for 15 years or more.
- If you are 65 years old or older and have had your green card for 20 years or more, you can take your exam in your native language and only study 20 out of the 100 questions.
How can my children become U.S. citizens?
Upon your naturalization, any of your unmarried children under 18 automatically become U.S. citizens, as long as your children have green cards and you have legal and physical custody of them. You may obtain proof of your child’s citizenship by filing an N-600 or applying for a U.S. passport.
What is the application process like?
You must first file an application for naturalization (Form N-400) with United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The filing fee is $680. Upon receipt of your application, USCIS will contact you about getting fingerprinted. After the USCIS processes all the necessary paperwork, you will be scheduled for your citizenship interview. A USCIS officer will ask you questions about your application and test your knowledge of English and U.S. history and civics. Upon passing your interview, you will go before a judge and take an oath of citizenship. Congratulations, you are now a U.S. citizen!
While time varies from case to case, the average timeline is 3-6 months in Maryland. Thus, we recommend that you enroll in a citizenship class before you submit your application in order to give yourself enough time to prepare for your interview.
Where is the USCIS office in Maryland?
The USCIS Baltimore Field Office has moved! (January 2014)
All citizenship interviews and correspondence are through the Baltimore
3701 Koppers Street
Halethorpe, MD 21227
Application Support Centers in Alexandria (VA), Baltimore, Salisbury, and Wheaton provide fingerprinting services. Residents of other states may be directed to an office in their own state.
How do I check on my application status?
You may check the status of your application by visiting www.uscis.gov or calling 800-375-5283. You may also go to your local USCIS field office. You can schedule an appointment through the USCIS Infopass System.
Citizenship MD’s monthly Citizenship Clinics are possible with the help of dedicated community volunteers like you!
Interested volunteers should read the volunteer description below.
Each month, CASA hosts one or more Citizenship clinics to help Lawful Permanent Residents (or “Green-Card holders”) apply to become U.S. Citizens. Citizenship grants these long-time immigrants with a number of benefits, such as: the right to vote, greater ease in returning from travel abroad, opportunities to unite their families, better employment and scholarship opportunities, and safety from deportation. These clinics are held at a variety of locations, and provide our members who work during the week an opportunity to access our citizenship services on the weekend.
All volunteers are required to attend a training the day of the clinic. You will be helping an immigrant to complete the 21-page application for U.S. Citizenship, so it is mandatory that everyone attend the pre-clinic training. Each volunteer may complete 1 or 2 applications in a day. Any volunteer is welcome to attend just once, or you may want to return month after month. You must RSVP with the program coordinator before the event (contact information above).
We will provide coffee and lunch for volunteers on the day of the clinic.
Our Hyattsville clinics are generally held on Saturdays at CASA de Maryland’s Multicultural Center. These clinics open to the public at 10:00am, and the mandatory volunteer training begins at 9:00am. Please expect to be at CASA from 9:00am-2:00pm or later.
Our Baltimore clinics are generally held on Sundays at CASA’s Baltimore Center. These clinics open to the public at 1:00pm, and the mandatory volunteer training begins at 12:00 noon. Please expect to be at CASA, Baltimore, from 12:00pm-4:00pm or later.
CASA’s Citizenship Program is supported by the service of 13 AmeriCorps volunteers, who serve full- or part-time for one or two years. We are now accepting applications for the 2014-2015 program year, which will begin September 8, 2014, and run through August, 2015. Please see the job description below:
Project Goal Statement and Position Overview:
The Citizenship Maryland AmeriCorps program is focused on citizenship promotion and immigrant integration work, with an emphasis on supporting eligible Legal Permanent Residents (LPRs) through the citizenship process and in receiving some of the benefits of citizenship, including financial education, better employment opportunities and higher salaries, access to educational opportunities, and the ability to petition for family members by becoming U.S. citizens. The project is coordinated by CASA de Maryland as part of the Maryland New Americans Partnership, funded in part by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) and the Maryland Governor’s Office on Service and Volunteerism (GOSV).
Citizenship Maryland AmeriCorps members will provide a range of direct services to LPRs including individual service delivery (tutoring, teaching ESOL/Citizenship classes, N-400 assistance, Citizenship workshops, financial education, referrals to immigrant integration services, and coordinating volunteers).
- Facilitate and/or coordinate workshops and individualized coaching sessions focused on naturalization, financial literacy and economic development, and access to public benefits
- Teach and/or coordinate English and citizenship preparation courses
- Assist Legal Permanent Residents on completing the Citizenship application form (N-400)
- Strengthen and develop organizational partnerships with existing community and faith-based organizations that serve immigrant communities in Maryland
- Conduct needs assessments and provide community education within immigrant community
- Update organizational databases based on activities conducted.
Community involvement/Leadership Development/Volunteer Management
- Serve as active members of communities
Public schools and Parent Teacher Associations
- Develop volunteer opportunities related to immigrant integration and U.S. citizenship
- Train and coordinate volunteers to participate in immigrant integration workshops or Citizenship mentoring
- Ability to perform all of the duties outlined above.
- U.S. Citizen or U.S. Legal Permanent Resident (recently naturalized citizens are encouraged to apply).
- At least 17 years old.
- A high school diploma or GED or agree to obtain one during the service year.
- Excellent English writing and language skills (bilingual in Spanish, French, Korean, Mandarin, Thai, or Hindi preferred).
- Highly organized and efficient, able to manage multiple ongoing projects, “can-do” attitude, flexibility, teamwork, and attention to detail; high degree of initiative.
- Access to personal transportation preferred.
- Pass a national service criminal history check of the national sex-offender registry, state repository check (Maryland and state of residence), and FBI fingerprint check.
- Ability to work independently and as part of a team.
To be considered for the Citizenship Maryland AmeriCorps program, interested individuals must submit an application and current resume to the Manager of Immigrant Integration Programs at CASA de Maryland. Staff will review the application, request an interview (if appropriate), conduct three reference checks, and match a potential applicant with a host site. After the applicant has met with the site supervisor at the host site, the applicant will be responsible for getting a three part criminal history check. Individuals will not be allowed to start orientation or be enrolled in the Citizenship Maryland AmeriCorps program until all appropriate paperwork is received by CASA de Maryland.
Orientation and Training
A two-weeks orientation and initial training will starts on Monday, September 08, 2014, with monthly training days throughout the rest of the year. Optional additional training opportunities may be available through AmeriCorps or CASA de Maryland.
How to apply
For more information and to apply, contact:
Immigrant Integration Programs Manager
8151 15th Ave.
Hyattsville, MD, 20783
Note: The AmeriCorps member will not be allowed to perform duties that violate the AmeriCorps Prohibited Activities (below) or fall outside of the program goals.
During their service hours, an AmeriCorps member may not:
- Engage in any effort to influence legislation, including state or local ballot initiatives or lobbying for your AmeriCorps program; for example, you may not organize a letter-writing campaign to Congress;
- Engage in partisan political activities or other activities designed to influence the outcome of an election to any public office;
- Organize or take part in political demonstrations or rallies;
- Organize or participate in protests, petitions, boycotts, or strikes;
- Assist, promote, or deter union organizing;
- Impair existing contracts for services or collective bargaining agreements;
- Participate in, or endorse, events or activities that are likely to include advocacy for or against political parties, political platforms, political candidates, proposed legislation, or elected officials; for example, you may not print politically charged articles in a Corporation-funded newsletter;
- Perform clerical work, research, or fundraising, except if incidental to your direct service activities;
- Engage in religious instruction; conduct worship services; provide instruction as part of a program that includes mandatory religious instruction or worship; construct or operate facilities devoted to religious instruction or worship; maintain facilities primarily or inherently devoted to religious instruction or worship; or engage in any form of religious proselytization; or
- Provide a direct benefit to a for-profit entity, a labor union, a partisan political organization, a non-profit organization that fails to comply with the restrictions in section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 except that nothing in this section shall be construed to prevent participants from engaging in advocacy activities undertaken at their own initiative or, in general, an organization engaged in the religious activities described in the preceding bullet.
- Conduct a voter registration drive or use AmeriCorps time/funds to conduct a voter registration drive.
- Provide abortion services or referrals for receipt of such services.
- Such other activities as the CNCS or Governor’s Office on Service and Volunteerism may prohibit.
An AmeriCorps member also may not engage in:
- Activities that pose a significant risk to you or other participants;
- Assignments that displace employees;
- Internships with for-profit businesses as part of the education and training component of the program; and
- Any of the prohibited activities mentioned above.
Individuals may exercise their rights as private citizens and may participate in the activities listed below on their initiative, on non-AmeriCorps time, and using non-federal funds. However, the AmeriCorps member may not wear the AmeriCorps logo or other service gear in such instances.