Free workshop offers information and help completing naturalization applications
Registration is now open for a free citizenship clinic on Saturday, July 27, in Somerville where residents seeking to become U.S. citizens can receive assistance in completing their naturalization applications or learn more about the naturalization process.
The City of Somerville is teaming up with the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition (MIRA) to hold the clinic on July 27 from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. at Somerville High School, 81 Highland Ave., Somerville. MIRA representatives as well as a legal team will be on hand to assist participants with their applications. The new City of Somerville Language Liaisons will also be on hand to share information in about city programs and services.
Pre-registration is required for the clinic. Participants should register for the free clinic online or by calling MIRA at 617-500-5998.
The citizenship clinic also needs volunteers. Those interested in also volunteering should fill out this online form. Volunteers will help eligible green card holders complete their application for citizenship, share information about the naturalization process and direct them to study materials for the citizenship exam.
All volunteers attend a training that lasts approximately one hour detailing the citizenship application and the specific procedures for the workshop. After completing the training, volunteers are welcome to attend any citizenship workshops that fit their schedule. Workshops are offered on a bimonthly basis, year-round.
“The diversity of Somerville and its immigrant population is deeply treasured by our community and make Somerville the vibrant, industrious community it is today,” Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone said. “I am proud and excited to bring to the city this free opportunity to learn about and receive assistance in applying for citizenship. The process of becoming a naturalized U.S. citizen can be complex. The families in our community who chose to come to America and settle in our community help form the beautiful quilt that makes Somerville such an extraordinary place to live, work, play and raise a family. We should and will help them achieve their dream of becoming full U.S. citizens.”
“There are many reasons why nearly 300,000 eligible immigrants in Massachusetts have not yet obtained their citizenship, including the cost of the application and the daunting complexity of the application itself,” said Sarang Sekhavat, Federal Policy Director at MIRA. “These clinics have helped thousands of people across the state overcome those obstacles, saving them over $1.5 million in application and lawyer fees. We’re very excited to partner with the City of Somerville in this upcoming clinic. Not only does the city rank among the top 10 immigrant municipalities in the state, where nearly one in three residents is foreign-born, but the city has shown a tremendous responsiveness to helping qualified immigrants become citizens.”
Those eligible for citizenship meet the following requirements:
- You are at least 18 years old.
- You have had a green card for at least five years OR have held a green card and been married to a U.S. citizen for at least three years.
- You are able to read, write and speak basic English (unless you qualify for test exemption due to an age/disability waiver)
- You have had NO serious problems with the law.
More details eligibility requirements are available through the MIRA website (www.miracoalition.org). Residents may also take an online interview through CitizenshipWorks to learn if they qualify for U.S. citizenship.
Those participating in the free clinic on July 27 should bring with them:
- Green card
- List of your addresses for the past five years
- List of your employment for the past five years
- If married and/or divorced, all marriage and divorce certificates
- Two passport photos (not required for clinic, but required for application filing)
- Money order for $680.00 (not required for clinic, but required for application filing)
- Social Security Card (optional)
MIRA’s citizenship clinics are generously funded by the Fish Family Foundation and the National Partnership for New Americans.