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.
Citizenship MD Classes at our Pine Ridge Center and the Multicultural Center :
8615 Piney Branch Road, Silver Spring , Md 20901 ( Pine Ridge Apts.) and
Multicultural Center ( MCC) 8151 15th Ave. Hyattsville, Md 20783
Citizenship Classes Schedule
Session Period Deadline for Registration
October, 2014 — December, 2014 October 17th ( Closed)
January, 2015- March 2015 January 15th ( Open)
There are several options :
- Citizenship classes in Spanish : Mondays from 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm ( for applicants who qualify for the interview in Spanish language) Pine Ridge Community Center
- Citizenship classes in English : Tuesdays from 9:00 am – 12:00 ( Pine Ridge Community Center)
- Citizenship classes in English : Tuesdays from 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm ( Multicultural Center)
- Citizenship classes in English : Wednesdays from 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm ( Pine Ridge Community Center)
- Citizenship classes in English : Saturdays from 9:00 am – 12:00 ( Pine Ridge Community Center)
- Citizenship classes in English : Saturdays from 12:00- 3:00 pm ( Pine Ridge Community Center)
One class per week, during 11 weeks ( it also include a Financial Literacy class)
Cost: $50.00 + 25.00 ( CASA Membership) . This cost include the Book, CD and DVD.
To register for one of our classes call: Juan Carlos Navarrete 240-491-5765
Please be sure to register as soon as possible!
NEW !! WE HAVE OUR ENGLISH / CITIZENSHIP CLASSES*
Do you feel that your English is not enough? Do you think that you need English classes , but you need Citizenship classes also? CASA de Maryland created an intensive Citizenship course, where you can learn English also !! this course last three months, from Tuesdays to Fridays from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm . It is a combination of Citizenship Classes and English as a Second Language classes, our teachers are bilingual and with huge experience in both ESL & Citizenship Classes. If you need more information please call Juan Navarrete 240-491-5765 or come to visit us to 8151 15th Ave. Hyattsville, Md 20783
Cost is $ 180.00 for three months of classes ( Including books, DVD and CD)
Registrations are open!
* Beginning of classes is conditional until registration will reach a minimum of 15 students.
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.
You should bring the following documents to a citizenship fair in order to be able to send your application the same day:
- Social Security Card
- Green Card
- Driver’s License or a State Issued I.D
- All Passports – Expired and Valid ones
- Check or Money Order for $680 (USCIS Application Fee)
- List of addresses where you have worked and lived during the past five years.
- Court records ( if there are criminal records )
If you would like to apply for our Loan program to pay USCIS fees, please bring:
- Last tax return
- Last two paychecks
- Last Rent/Mortgage bill
- License or State ID
- $ 25.00 ( to be able to obtain your credit report)
- Last bank statement.
If applicable – Spousal information: Your spouse name, Date of Birth, Date of marriage, Immigration Status
Children information: Names, Dates of Birth and Addresses of all your children, whether they live in the U.S or not.
Volunteers are needed in the following general roles for our Citizenship Fairs:
- Immigration Attorneys
Meet one on one with clients to determine eligibility for naturalization, answer questions, review applications for accuracy, and provide further instructions for follow up or filing. Please note that you will not be asked to actually represent anyone and will not be asked to sign on as counsel.
- Application Assistance
Meet one on one with legal permanent residents to help them complete their citizenship application (N-400). No previous experience is needed, but this could be a great opportunity for law students or anybody looking to gain experience in the naturalization process. You do not need to speak a foreign language, although some of our clients have limited English proficiency.
Translate between clients, attorneys, and application assistants. Ensure that those applying for citizenship understand the requirements, forms, and all documents needed for naturalization. Interpreters of all languages are welcome, especially those with Spanish, French, Chinese, Korean, Amharic, and Vietnamese.
- General Support
Ensure the smooth operation of the citizenship fair. Help with registration, pre-application screening, copying and assembling documents, and passing out information. These volunteers are vital to making sure that the Citizenship Fair successfully assists legal permanent residents apply for U.S. Citizenship.
One of the most important barriers to apply for the Citizenship is it cost: $ 680.00 ; CASA de Maryland is offering a loan for citizenship applicants to overcome this barrier; our loan consists in a micro-loan of $ 680.00 to be repaid for the applicant in six installments , our requirements to qualify for this loan are flexible, based in a case by case basis.
Please come to visit us to talk about the loan, in these times of economic distress our help will allow you to improve your family life.
Requirements to apply for our Citizenship Program Loan
1. Last Tax return.
2. Last Bank statement.
3. Last two paychecks.
4. Last mortgage or rent bill.
5. State ID
6. $ 25.00 ( To pull out your credit report)
Contact Juan Navarrete (Loan Program Coordinator) to:
How can Citizenship Maryland help me become a U.S. citizen?
Citizenship Maryland 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.
- The Citizenship Maryland 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.
- Due to rising costs of the Citizenship application fee, Citizenship Maryland came up with a Citizenship Loan Program to help you become citizen. If you would like any of these services, contact a citizenship promoter today!
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 orlder 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.
Will I lose citizenship in my native country if I become a U.S. citizen?
Many countries recognize dual citizenship, although some do not. If you have any concerns, you should contact the embassy of your native country with questions. Below are a few of the countries that do accept dual citizenship:
- Mexico, El Salvador, Honduras, Colombia, Peru, Côte d’Ivoire, Canada, India, U.K.
Interested volunteers should read the volunteer description below, and contact Molly Gavin at firstname.lastname@example.org to RSVP their attendance for upcoming dates and locations.
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.
1. Volunteers must be 18 years old, or accompanied by a parent or guardian.
2. Volunteers must be fluent in English. *Fluency in another language, particularly Spanish, is helpful, though not required.
3. Good handwriting. *These applications are completed by hand – if you do not have legible handwriting, we can still use your help with other tasks that day. Please let the Program Coordinator know you are interested in other tasks.
*This is an excellent opportunity for paralegals and students of law who would like to gain experience with immigration forms. Please remember that only barred attorneys experienced in immigration matters will be giving legal advice at these events.
About Citizenship MD:
CASA has an AmeriCorps-funded, “one-stop” citizenship program called Citizenship Maryland, which offers low-cost services to help Lawful Permanent Residents naturalize to U.S. citizenship. We prepare the N-400 form, provide citizenship classes, and offer a microloan program for those applicants who cannot afford USCIS fees and do not qualify for the I-912 (fee waiver). Our team of 13 AmeriCorps volunteers, together with dozens of community volunteers (that’s you!), helps more than 1,000 people on the path to U.S. Citizenship every year through this program.