May 6: FREE LEGAL ASSISTANCE TO APPLY FOR CITIZENSHIP

May 6th!  FREE LEGAL ASSISTANCE TO APPLY FOR CITIZENSHIP
Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Media Contact:

Jerry Gonzalez
Executive Director, GALEO
For Immediate Release

ATLANTA, GEORGIA (April 25, 2017) – On Saturday, May 6th, 2017, the Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials (GALEO), Catholic Charities of Atlanta, and the New Americans Campaign – Atlanta partners will host the “May 6th Citizenship Workshop,” a single-day workshop providing FREE legal assistance to Legal Permanent Residents (green card holders) who are eligible to apply to become United States citizens.

The event will take place at the Archdiocese of Atlanta , 2401 Lake Park Dr , Smyrna, GA, 30080, from 9:00 A.M. to 3:00 P.M.

Eligible Legal Permanent Residents (LPRs) are encouraged to pre-register for the event, but we will also be taking walk-ins on a rolling basis on the day of the event until all available slots have been filled.

Assistance will be prioritized to those who pre-registered, who meet all the requirements to apply for U.S. citizenship (see below), and who have no criminal backgrounds beyond minor traffic violations.

Participants needing legal assistance for applying for U.S. Citizenship may pre-register via this online link: bit.ly/citizenshipmay2017

To be eligible to apply to become a U.S. Citizen you must:

  • Be at least 18 years old by the date you file;
  • Have been an LPR for at least the last five years (or three years, if you obtained your LPR status through marriage to a U.S. citizen);
  • Have been present in the U.S. for 2.5 of the past five years (or 1.5 of the past three, if you obtained your LPR status through marriage 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 you obtained your LPR status through marriage to a U.S. citizen);
  • Have been a resident of Georgia for at least three months;
  • Be able to speak, read and write ordinary English.
    Exceptions:

    • You may complete the Naturalization interview in the language of your choice if:
    • You are over 50 and have been an LPR for 20 years (since 1997);
    • You are over 55 and have been an LPR for 15 years (since 2002).
    • You are over 65 and have been an LPR for 20 years (since 1997), you will special consideration on the civics and history test;
    • ***You will have to provide your own interpreter for the interview. USCIS will NOT provide an interpreter. If you appear for the interview without an adequate interpreter, it will be rescheduled or your application will be denied.***
  • 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)
  • If you are unable to pay, we will be completing Fee Waivers for those who are currently receiving a means-tested benefit, such as Medicaid, Social Security, or Food Stamps. You must bring a copy of your most recent approval letter which shows that you are currently receiving these benefits. In Georgia, such benefits are usually provided through the Department of Human Services or DFCS.
  • You should be prepared to pay the application fee of $725, payable to the Department of Homeland Security via personal check or money order – do not send cash. You do not have to bring this with you.
  • If you are 75 years of age or older your fee total is $640, payable to the Department of Homeland Security via personal check or money order – do not send cash. You do not have to bring this with you.
  • 2 color passport photos – white background
  • List of home addresses for the past five (5) years and the dates in which you resided at these addresses (from May 2012 – May 2017).
  • List of employer names and addresses for the past five years, including the dates you worked with these employers (from May 2012 – May 2017).
  • List of all the countries to which you’ve traveled during the previous five (5) years (from May 2012 – May 2017), with the exact dates of exit and entry, from-to, the United States. You may need to look at your passport to determine the dates.
  • 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). If known, you will also need the addresses for all of your children.
  • If you are married, you will need all biographic information regarding your current spouse, including information regarding their immigration status.
  • If your current spouse has been married more than once, you will need all biographic information regarding their previous marriage(s), such as name, date & place of marriage, date & place of dissolution of the marriage.
  • If you have been married more than once, you will need all biographic information regarding your former spouse(s), such as name, date & place of marriage, date & place of dissolution of the marriage. .

Other documents
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;
  • Pay stubs.

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) 655-1825 to get proof that you registered. You should submit this with your naturalization application.

If people have other questions, they may  call 1-888-54GALEO (1-888-544-2536) to leave a message with a specific question or send an email to harvey@galeo.org.

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About GALEO

GALEO’s mission is to increase civic engagement and leadership development of the Latino/Hispanic community across Georgia.

CORE BELIEFS: Inclusive, Non-Partisan, Diversity, Responsive

Website: http://www.galeo.org

About Catholic Charities Atlanta

Since 1953, Catholic Charities Atlanta has been providing help and creating hope for those in need.  We offer professional services that eliminate barriers to self-sufficiency, stabilize families, and transform lives.

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About the New Americans Campaign (NAC) – Atlanta Chapter

The New Americans Campaign is a nonpartisan, groundbreaking national network of legal-service providers, faith-based organizations, businesses, foundations and community leaders that is paving a better road to citizenship. We are modernizing and streamlining access to naturalization services, so that greater numbers of legally qualified permanent residents take the critical step to becoming American citizens. The local organizations are the Latin American Association (Chair), Asian Americans Advancing Justice Atlanta, Catholic Charities Atlanta, Center for Pan Asian Community Services, GALEO, International Rescue Committee Atlanta and New American Pathways.

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