On Saturday, September 19th, 2015, the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), GALEO, the Latin American Association (LAA), American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), League of Women Voters of Georgia, Coalition for the People's Agenda, New American Pathways, and ProGeorgia will sponsor "Fall Citizenship Day 2015," a single-day workshop providing FREE assistance to lawful permanent residents eligible for naturalization. The partnership between the groups and the Georgia- Alabama Chapter of AILA have been holding very successful naturalization drives for the past several years. In Atlanta, we assisted an average of 300 people each of the last four years. This year, AILA's Georgia-Alabama Chapter has again partnered with various community based and professional organizations including GALEO, the Latin America Association (LAA), League of Women Voters of Georgia, Coalition for the People's Agenda, New American Pathways and ProGeorgia to provide free assistance with the United States Citizenship application process.
The event will take place at the Latin American Association, 2750 Buford Highway, Atlanta, GA, 30324, from 9:00 A.M. to 3:00 P.M. Eligible legal permanent residents will be required to request an appointment online to receive an appointment time. Assistance will be prioritized to those who meet all the requirements for U.S. citizenship, have all the necessary documentation to move forward, have had no criminal backgrounds, have the $680 fee ready to file the paperwork, and have limited financial means. The links to request an appointment are listed here:
Appointments will be schedule online via the links above and individuals will be contacted to schedule their appointments. There will also be a day announced soon for people without internet access to call and schedule remaining appointments.
To apply for citizenship, a person must be at least 18 years old and have been a lawful permanent resident for five years, or for three years if married to a U.S. citizen. In addition, applicants must demonstrate that they can read, write, and speak in English, have paid income taxes, pass a civics test, and take the oath of allegiance to the United States.
Non-legal volunteers are also needed. Please follow this link to sign up: Link to Volunteer
- Be at least 18 years old by the date you file
- Have been a lawful permanent resident for at least the last five years (or three years, if married to a U.S. citizen).
- Have been present in the U.S. for 2-1/2 of the past five years (or 1-1/2 of the past three, if married to a U.S. citizen), and have not been outside the U.S. for one year or more within the last five years (or three years, if married to a U.S. citizen)
- Have been a resident of the state from which you are filing your application for at least three months
- Be able to speak, read and write ordinary English (Exception: if you are over 50 and have been a permanent resident for 20 years or if you are over 55 and have been a permanent resident for 15 years you may do the interview in your native language, but you have to provide an interpreter. If you are over 65 and have been a permanent resident for 20 years you will also have special considerations in the civics test).
- Be able to pass a U.S. history and government exam
- Be a person of "good moral character" (this will be difficult to establish if you have failed to pay child support, taxes, or have been convicted of certain crimes, among other things)
- Be willing to take an oath of loyalty to the U.S.
What to Bring to Citizenship Day
- Your Permanent Resident Card (Green Card)
- $680 filing fee. (No fee if active military - bring proof of status. Can qualify for fee waiver if (1) recipients of means-tested benefits (i.e. Medicaid, SSI), (2) applicants with household income below 150% poverty guidelines, and (3) applicants with financial hardship (i.e. high medical bills, recent unemployment)). Applicants 75 years of age or older are not charged a biometric fee; their fee total is $595.
- 2 color passport photos - white background
- List of home addresses for the past five years and the dates in which you resided at these addresses.
- List of employer names and addresses for the past five years, including the dates you worked with these employers.
- Dates you have been outside of the U.S. since becoming a permanent resident and the countries you traveled to during these trips.
- Copies of all your children's birth certificates (no matter how old they are; where they were born; or whether or not they are legitimate)
- Your tax returns for the last five years
- If the name on your green card is different than your current legal name:
- Bring the documents that legally changed your name (marriage certificate, divorce decree, or court document).
- If you are applying for US citizenship based upon a marriage to a US citizen bring:
- Proof your spouse had been a citizen for the past 3 years ( spouse's birth certificate, naturalization certificate, certificate of citizenship, US passport, or form FS240 (Consular Report of Birth Abroad);
- Current marriage certificate;
- Proof of termination of all prior marriages of your spouse (divorce decrees, annulment, or death certificates);
- Document showing that you and your spouse are still living together (examples: bank statements, leases, mortgages, birth certificates of your children, IRS-certified copies of income taxes for the past 3 years or IRS tax return transcript for the last 3 years).
- If you have been married more than one time:
- Bring proof that ALL earlier marriages ended (Divorce decree(s), annulment(s), or death certificates(s)).
- If you have taken a trip outside of the US lasting longer than 6 months since becoming a Permanent Resident:
- Bring IRS tax return "transcript" for last 5 years (or last 3 years if married to a U.S. citizen)
- Rent or mortgage payments;
- If you have a dependent spouse or children who do not live with you bring:
- Any court order to provide financial support;
- Evidence of your financial support (examples: cancelled checks, money orders receipt, evidence of wage garnishments, or letter from parent or guardian who cares for your children).
- If you have been cited, arrested, detained, or if you have had to appear before a court for any reason at any point in your life, in the US or abroad:
- Bring ALL documents relating to the arrest, conviction, court appearance, and final disposition.
- If your federal, state, or local taxes are overdue (or you have failed to pay them):
- Bring copies of any documents, letters, or papers you sent to or received from the government about the problem.
- Selective Service: In general, all men ages 18 to 26 present in the U.S. (regardless of citizenship or immigration status) are required to register for the U.S. Selective Service. Only men who are in the U.S. in valid non-immigrant status (i.e. on a student, temporary worker, or visitor's visa) while age 18 to 26 are not required to register. If you were required to register at any time when you were in the U.S., even if you are at an age which does not require you to register now, please bring proof of your registration.
- If you do not have proof of your registration, you can go to the Selective Service web site (www.sss.gov), enter your name, Social Security number, and birth date, and make a print out showing that you registered. Bring this print out with you. Or you can call (847) 688-6888 or 1-(888) 655-1825to get proof that you registered. You should submit this with your naturalization application.
About the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA)
Founded in 1946, the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) is a national association of over 11,000 attorneys and law professors who practice and teach immigration law. Its mission is to promote justice, advocate for fair and reasonable immigration law and policy, advance the quality of immigration and nationality law and practice, and enhance the professional development of its members. AILA is a nonpartisan, not-for-profit organization that provides continuing legal education, information, professional services, and expertise through its 38 chapters and over 50 national committees. For more on the national organization, go to www.aila.org.