Free permanent residency help for immigrants

Immigrants with permanent residency who want to become U.S. citizens will be able to get free help on Saturday, November 1 during Citizenship Now! Application Assistance Day, which is being sponsored by New York State Senator Toby Ann Stavisky and The Queens Courier.
For the last 11 years, the CUNY Citizenship and Immigration Project has been providing free immigration law services to the community. Along with having nine centers, it also goes out into all five boroughs to hold events.
For the upcoming Application Assistance Day, the project will be at the Sheraton LaGuardia East Hotel in Flushing. There will be English and Spanish speaking representatives.
In order to be eligible for the citizenship application assistance, the person has to have been in the United States for five years a permanent resident and have been physically in the country for about half of that time. If they are married to a citizen and living with them, then the requirement is three years.
Additionally, the person must be at least 18 years old.
Although the application assistance is free, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service does require a $675 filing fee.
“The goal is to help as many people as possible become U.S. citizens,” said Allan Wernick, the Chairman of the CUNY Citizenship and Immigration Project.
During the event, members of the project will help people fill out the application forms, interview them to make sure they meet the qualifications, advise them of potential concerns and even take their photo.
Wernick estimated that the project has helped about 15,000 people become citizens. However, through all of the ways they assist people, he said probably a total of 100,000 have been helped in some way or another.
Citizenship Now! Application Assistance Day will be help from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, November 1. Wernick said that it is best to come early, though, because they do have a cut off point, typically around 2 p.m.
Admission is free.
The Sheraton LaGuardia East Hotel is located at 135-20 39th Avenue in Flushing.
For more information, call 718-455-0004 or visit www.cuny.edu/citizenshipnow. Anyone interested in volunteering with the CUNY Citizenship and Immigration project can also do so through the website.