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Citizenship and Immigration Program

Last updated 

Our impact

In one year, the IRC assisted:

14,098

The IRC immigration network assisted 14,098 clients in applying for a historically high 17,081 applications in FY18.

Ready to apply for citizenship? Need assistance sponsoring a family member? The IRC can help.

Make an appointment today.

The IRC can help you to petition to bring your family members to the U.S., apply for citizenship, green cards, work authorization, travel documents, and more. 

**IRC now offers online legal services**

Book an appointment online

Please note: All IRC in Northern California employees are currently working remotely. Client services, workshops, and information sessions are being provided online and by phone until further notice. 

Quick Links

Photo: IRC / Harkin

Click on any of the links below to be directed to more information on those topics.

Citizenship

Citizenship Workshops

Community Partnerships

Immigration Consultations

Green Cards

Family Sponsorship

Volunteer Opportunities

Contact Us

Community Resources

 

Who We Are

The International Rescue Committee (IRC) is an international non-profit organization founded in 1933 at the request of Albert Einstein. The IRC is at work in more than 40 countries and each year our programs serve 23 million people worldwide. The American Institute of Philanthropy CharityWatch gives the IRC an A+ rating and Charity Navigator awarded the IRC its highest rating. 

The IRC is recognized by the U.S. Department of Justice to provide immigration legal services. Our comprehensive immigration services are available in 23 U.S. cities and are provided by accredited immigration staff. We can provide eligibility consultations, full case management services, and legal representation.

 

Apply for U.S. Citizenship 

Are you ready to become an American citizen? The IRC can help all eligible legal permanent resident to apply for naturalization. You do not have to be a refugee or asylee client to take advantage of our services. To get started with a case, make an appointment online.

Learn more about...

Benefits of U.S. Citizenship

Eligibility for Citizenship

Citizenship Workshops

Documents & Information Needed to Apply

Preparing for the Test

Fee Waivers & Reduced Fees

 

Benefits of Naturalization

Becoming a U.S. citizen opens the door to many new opportunities. Start your naturalization application today so you can have access to all the privileges and protections that come along with being an American citizen including:

Forced to flee violence in Iraq, Bushra Naji and her family came to the U.S. in 2008. Five years later with the help of IRC, Bushra became an American citizen. Photo: IRC / Donna Alberico
  • Voting and running for office
  • Security against deportation
  • Bringing more family to the U.S.
  • Increased job opportunities
  • Traveling with a U.S. passport
  • No more paperwork and fees
  • Access to public benefits

Ready to apply? Register to attend a citizenship workshop online. At workshops, IRC will prepare your N-400 application, fill out your fee waiver or reduced fee form if applicable (I-912 or I-942), and provide you study materials for the naturalization test. At most workshops, legal service fees are waived.

 

Eligibility for Naturalization

In general, individuals may be eligible for citizenship if they:

  1. Are at least 18 years old;
  2. Have had lawful permanent resident status (“Green Card”) for at least five years, or three years if married to a U.S. citizen;
  3. Have been physically present in the United States for at least 30 months out of the last five years;
  4. Have continuously resided in the U.S.;
  5. Have lived for at least 3 months in the state or USCIS district where you're applying; 
  6. Are able to pass the English proficiency and American civics test (See exceptions); 
  7. Demonstrate good moral character;
  8. Are willing to take the Oath of Allegiance.

Depending on your situation, there may be different requirements that may apply. Not sure if you are eligible? Make an appointment.

 

Naturalization Through Military Service

The naturalization requirements may be diminished or waived for qualifiying U.S. military service members and certain veterans. Qualifying service is generally in the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, and certain components of the National Guard and the Selected Reserve of the Ready Reserve. Spouses and children of military members may also be eligible for expedited or overseas naturalization. Get detailed guidance on naturalization through military service on the USCIS website or contact your local IRC office to receive an eligibility screening.

 

Citizenship Workshops

Take the hassle and worry out of applying for citizenship: get legal review from IRC's DOJ Accredited Representatives. Registration is required. Use the link below to sign-up.

  • Every 1st Wednesday of the month, 3:30pm - 6:30pm, VIRTUAL (IRC San Jose), Register online.
  • Every 2nd Tuesday of the month, 9am - 12pm, VIRTUAL (IRC Nor Cal), Register online
  • Every 2nd Wednesday of the month, 2pm - 5pm, VIRTUAL (IRC Sacramento) Register online
  • Every 3rd Monday of the month, 1pm - 5pm, VIRTUAL (IRC San Jose), Register online
  • Every 3rd Tuesday of the month, 1pm - 6pm, VIRTUAL (IRC Oakland), Register online
  • Every 4th Tuesday of the month, 1pm - 6pm, VIIRTUAL (IRC Turlock, Register online 

 

What You Need to Apply

Below is a list of documents and information that you will need for your naturalization appointment with the IRC. Most of this information, you will fill out on Citizenshipworks.

  1. Your Legal Permanent Resident Card ("Green Card")
  2. Your Social Security Card (or a copy)
  3. Your Driver's license or State-issued ID
  4. List of all trips you took outside of the U.S. since you became a permanent resident
  5. List of all your addresses for the last 5 years (with dates of move in and out)
  6. List of all your employers or schools for the last 5 years (with addresses and dates of starting and ending)
  7. List of all your children (including adopted, missing, deceased, and step children) with current addresses, Alien numbers (if applicable), dates of birth, and countries of birth
  8. List of all your marriages and your current spouse's prior marriages (if applicable), including names of spouses, dates of marriage, and dates of termination of marriage
  9. Information about your parents, if they are U.S. citizens
  10. If you've ever been arrested, been to court, had a conviction, had immigration problems, or traffic violations, bring a list of incidents and obtain your Certified Court Dispositions (or DMV records for traffic offenses)
  11. Payment to USCIS: check, cashier's check, or money order for $725 payable to “U.S. Department of Homeland Security." Credit card payment is also accepted.
  12. For Fee Waiver or Reduced Fee requests, bring proof of low income (an IRS tax transcript, recent tax returns and pay stubs for all working members of the household). 

 

Fee Waiver & Reduced Fee Requests

The USCIS application fee for naturalization is currently $725. However, fee waivers and reduced fee options exist. To determine if you are eligible to apply for a Fee Waiver or Reduced Fee, register for a citizenship workshop.

 

English and Civics Exceptions

You are exempt from the English language requirement if you are age 50 or older and have lived as a lawful permanent resident in the United States for 20 years (“50/20” exception), or if you are age 55 or older and have lived as a lawful permanent resident in the United States for 15 years (“55/15” exception). If you are age 65 or older and have been a lawful permanent resident for at least 20 years, you may also be given special consideration regarding the civics test.

You may also qualify for an exception from the English language or civics requirements if you have a physical or developmental disability or a mental impairment that prevents you from being able to learn English or demonstrate knowledge of civics. If you are considering requesting an exception on this basis, we encourage you to receive a legal consultation before applying.

 

Naturalization Test Preparation

New! The IRC offers free virtual citizenship preparation classes. Call (209) 250-9251 or email Kanissia.Davis [at] Rescue.org to sign up for an upcoming class! 

 

Community Partnerships

The International Rescue Committee (IRC) partners with many schools, libraries, labor unions, and other community organizations across Northern California to provide accessible immigration services. Request a free training or educational event about immigrant rights, naturalization, family petitioning, and other immigration processes by emailing Ketaki.Srivastava [at] Rescue.org

The IRC is a nationwide partner of the New Americans Campaign (NAC), a diverse nonpartisan national network of respected immigration organizations, legal services providers, faith-based organizations, immigrant rights groups, foundations and community leaders. The Campaign transforms the way aspiring citizens navigate the path to becoming new Americans. In Santa Clara County, the NAC collaborative members include: Asian Law Alliance; Center for Employment Training (CET); International Rescue Committee (IRC); International Institute of the Bay Area; and Services, Immigrant Rights and Education Network (SIREN). In the East Bay, the NAC collaborative includes API Legal Outreach; Catholic Charities of the East Bay; East Bay Sanctuary Covenant; Filipino Advocates for Justice; International Rescue Committee; Jewish Family and Community Services East Bay; and Korean Community Center East Bay.

The IRC in San Jose is also a member of SBLISN (South Bay Legal Immigration Services Network) which includes: Services, Immigrant Rights and Education Network (SIREN), Asian Law Alliance, Catholic Charities of SCC, Center for Employment Training, International Rescue Committee, Step Forward Foundation, Pangea Legal Services, and Community Legal Services of East Palo Alto.

 

Open Hours

**IMPORTATNT NOTE: OPEN HOURS ARE CURRENTLY CANCELLED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE DUE TO COVID-19** 

Please book a consultation online at our website

Oakland: Every Monday from 1-4pm at 440 Grand Ave, Suite #500, Oakland, CA 94610. $30 Consultation Fee. Book now

San Jose: Every Tuesday from from 10am-12pm & 1:30-4:30pm at 1210 S. Bascom Ave., Suite #227, San Jose, CA 95128. $30 Consultation Fee. 

Sacramento: Every Wednesday from 10am-4:30pm at 2020 Hurley Way, Suite #420, Sacramento, CA 95825. $25 Consultation Fee.

Turlock: Every Wednesday from 9am-12pm at 3446 N Golden State Blvd, Suite A,Turlock, CA 95382. $25 Consultation Fee. 

 

Apply for a Green Card

Photo: IRC / M Cohen

The IRC helps individuals to apply for legal permanent residency (green cards) through the adjustment of status process. To detemine if you or a family member are eligible to apply for an adjustment of status, book an appointment

 

 

Petition for Family Members

Photo: IRC / Goncalves

U.S. Citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents (Green Card holders) may bring their eligible family members to live in the United States by filing an immigrant visa petition on behalf of their qualifying relative. Among other requirements, petitioners must show that the relationship with their family member satisfies immigration law and that they are able to financially support their relative in the United States. To receive an eligibility consultation and detailed guidance on sponsoring your family member, make an appointment.

Which family members can I bring to live in the United States? 

U.S. citizens may petition to bring children, spouses, parents, and siblings. Legal Permanent Resident may only petition to bring spouses and unmarried children. 

How long will the process take? 

Processing times vary based on a number of factors, including the beneficiary's legal/family relationship to the petitioner, status of the petitioner (U.S. Citizen vs. Legal Permanent Resident), and the beneficiary's country of origin. 

 

Volunteer Opportunities

In Northern California, the International Rescue Committee helps refugees, asylees and immigrants to become permanent residents, apply for citizenship, and petition on behalf of family members, and volunteers are needed in all locations to support immigration caseworkers and ensure the effective management of our offices. To learn more about how you can help IRC provide high quality, low cost immigration services while gaining experience with casework, client follow-up, database management, and community outreach and education, click on your local office below:

Volunteer in San Jose

Volunteer in Oakland

Volunteer in Sacramento

Volunteer in Turlock

 

Contact Us

To get in touch with an IRC immigration caseworker, reach out directly to a caseworker listed below. 

 

Emmir Escorcia

*Se habla español

DOJ Accredited Representative in San Jose

(408) 599-0809

Emmir.Escorcia [at] Rescue.org 

 

Manal Ali 

DOJ Accredited Representative in Oakland

(510) 910-9179

Manal.Ali [at] Rescue.org

 

Grecia Sandoval

DOJ Accredited Representative in Oakland

(916) 764-0244

Grecia.Sandoval [at] Rescue.org

 

Monica Contreras

*Se habla español

DOJ Accredited Representative in Turlock 

(209) 250-9251

Monica.Contreras [at] Rescue.org

 

Julissa Salcedo

*Se habla español

Immigration Caseworker in Turlock

(209) 403-7008 

Julissa.Salcedo [at] Rescue.org

 

Assadullah Hanif

*Speaks Farsi/Dari & Pashtu

من فارسی/دری صحبت میکنم

زه پشتو خبری کولای شم

DOJ Accredited Representative in Sacramento

(916) 413-6859

Assadullah.Hanif [at] rescue.org

 

Kayla Ladd

Community Outreach Coordinator for Northern California

Kayla.Ladd [at] Rescue.org

 

Jillian Shiba

Intake and Outreach Specialist for Northern California

(408) 472-3675

Jillian.Shiba [at] Rescue.org

 

Ketaki Srivastava 

Immigration Manager for Northern California

Ketaki.Srivastava [at] Rescue.org

 

 

Other Resources

  • ImmigrantInfo.org: A collaborative project, sponsored by the Santa Clara County Office of Immigrant Relations and the South Bay Consortium for Adult Education (SBCAE) to support successful integration of immigrants and refugees into the community. The website contains a searchable database of current ESL and citizenship classes, public events, and government as well as non-profit educational resources in Santa Clara County.
  • Have friends or family living outside of Northern California? Visit the general IRC Immigration Website to find an immigration specialist in another U.S. city!
  • The International Rescue Committee is a member of the New Americans Campaign, a nonpartisan, innovative and unprecedented effort led by the Immigrant Legal Resource Center that brings together a coalition of funders, leading national immigration and service organizations, and over 100 local service providers to help aspiring Americans reach their dream of citizenship. Visit the NAC events site to find nationwide citizenship and immigration workshops near you!