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Announcement

Citizenship and Immigration Services in Northern California

Last updated 

The IRC's Immigration Department can help you to petition to bring your family members to the U.S., apply for American citizenship, green cards, work authorization, travel documents, and more. The IRC is recognized by the U.S. Department of Justice to provide immigration legal services. 

Our immigration services are available to any immigrant population in Northern California. Make an appointment today by calling your local IRC office:

IRC in San Jose: call (408) 277-0255 x17 or send an sanjoseimmigration [at] rescue.org (subject: Immigration%20Question, body: Name%3A%20%0A%0AContact%20Number%3A%20%0A%0AEmail%20Address%3A%20%0A%0AQuestion%3A%20%0A%0A%0A) (email)

IRC in Oakland: call (510) 852-8914 or send an Manal.Alli [at] rescue.org (subject: Immigration%20Question, body: Name%3A%20%0A%0AContact%20Number%3A%20%0A%0AEmail%20Address%3A%20%0A%0AQuestion%3A%20%0A%0A%0A) (email)

IRC in Turlock: call (209) 667-2378 x1 or send an Monica.Contreras [at] Rescue.org (subject: Immigration%20Question, body: Name%3A%20%0A%0AContact%20Number%3A%20%0A%0AEmail%20Address%3A%20%0A%0AQuestion%3A%20%0A%0A%0A) (email)

IRC in Sacramento: call (916) 473-5950 or send an Assadullah.Hanif [at] rescue.org (subject: Immigration%20Inquiry%20, body: Name%3A%20%0A%0AContact%20Number%3A%20%0A%0AEmail%20Address%3A%20%0A%0AQuestion%3A%20%0A%0A%0A) (email) 

Photo: IRC / Harkin

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Who We Are

The International Rescue Committee (IRC) is an international non-profit organization founded in 1933 at the request of Albert Einstein. IRC is at work in more than 40 countries and 28 U.S. cities 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. 

Our comprehensive immigration services are available in 23 U.S. cities and are provided by qualified staff accredited by the U.S. Department of Justice. 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. Call us today to make a private appointment or register online for one of our free workshops. Your case will be expertly managed by a Department of Justice accredited representative who will complete and file your naturalization application, serve as your legal representative with USCIS, alert you to updates in your case, and provide you trusted advice throughout the entire process. 

Learn more about...

Benefits of U.S. Citizenship

Eligibility for Naturalization

Documents & Information Needed to Apply

Exceptions to English or Civics Requirements

Preparing for the English and Civics Tests

Fee Waivers & Reduced Fees

USCIS Forms 

What to do After You Become a Citizen

Free Naturalization Workshops

 

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

 

Eligibility for Naturalization

In general, individuals are 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 continusouly resided in the U.S.; 5) Are able to pass the English proficiency and American civics test; 6) Demonstrate good moral character; 7) Are willing to take the Oath of Allegiance. For full eligibility requirements, call IRC or drop by our weekly walk-in immigration clinic every Tuesday from 2-4:30pm in the IRC San Jose office. 

 

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.

 

English and Civics Exceptions

You are exempt from the English language requirement if you are age 50 or older and have lived as a 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 permanent resident in the United States for 15 years (“55/15” exception). If you are age 65 or older and have been a 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. To request an exception on these grounds, you must submit the Form N-648 Medical Certification for Disability Exceptions.

 

Documents Needed to Apply

Below is a list of documents and information that you will need in order to complete your N-400 application. To help, IRC has made a citizenship application worksheet that you can fill in and print. 

  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. However, if you receive public assistance such as SSI, Medi-Cal, Cal-Fresh (SNAP/ "Food stamps"), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), CalWORKs, Healthy Families (SCHIP) or your household earns is very low income, you qualify to request a full fee waiver or reduced fee. Learn about fee waivers.
  12. For Fee Waiver or Reduced Fee requests, bring a "Verification of Benefits" or "Notice of Action" letter from the county Department of Human Services or bring proof of low income (recent tax returns and pay stubs for all working members of the household). 

Start Your Application Now!

Start your application online on Citizenshipworks or register to attend a FREE citizenship workshop. At workshops, IRC will prepare your N-400 application and your fee waiver or reduced fee request (I-912 or I-942), if applicable. Guidance on the naturalization legal process, eligibility requirements, and interview will also be provided. Your case will be reviewed by a Department of Justice accredited representative who will serve as your legal representative with USCIS, alert you to updates in your case, and provide you trusted guidance and advice throughout the entire naturalization process. All services are free! 

 

Fee Waiver & Reduced Fee Requests

The USCIS application fee for naturalization is currently $725. However, if you receive public assistance such as SSI, Medi-Cal, Cal-Fresh (SNAP/ "Food stamps"), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), WIC, CalWORKs, Healthy Families (SCHIP) or your household earns at or less than 150% of HHS Poverty Guidelines, you qualify to request a full fee waiver. If your household income is between 150% and 200% of the federal poverty level guidelines, you qualify to request a reduced application fee, which is $320. To request a full fee waiver or reduced fee, you must show supporting documents like a Verification of Benefits Letter or Notice of Action or your most recent tax returns.

USCIS Fee Waiver Request Form (I-912)

USCIS Reduced Fee Request Form (I-942)

USCIS Fee Waiver Guidance

USCIS Reduced Fee Guidance

Income Guidelines for Fee Waiver Request

Income Guidelines for Reduced Fee Requests

 

USCIS Forms

USCIS Application for Naturalization (Form N-400)

Document Checklist for Form N-400

USCIS Request for Certification of Military or Naval Service

USCIS Appeal Form (Form N-336)

 

Free Citizenship Workshops

Take the hassle and worry out of applying for citizenship: let IRC's experienced staff handle all the paperwork, forms, and follow-up. Just reserve your spot at a free workshop online, or text (408) 658-9206. Registration is required. 

  • Monday July 17, 5 - 7:30pm | Citizenship Application Workshop at Santa Clara City Library I 2635 Homestead Rd, Santa Clara, CA 95051. Register online
  • Wednesday August 2,  3:30 – 6:30pm | Citizenship Workshop at Alum Rock Library I 3090 Alum Rock Ave, San Jose, CA 95127. Register online.   
  • Thursday August 3, 6:30 – 8:30pm | Citizenship Workshop at Mitchell Park Library I 3700 Middlefield Rd, Palo Alto, CA 94303. Register online.
  • Saturday August 12, 1:30 – 4pm I Citizenship Application Clinic at Hillview Branch Library I 1600 Hopkins Dr, San Jose, CA 95122. Register online
  • Monday August 21, 5-7:30pm | Citizenship Application Workshop at Santa Clara City Library I 2635 Homestead Rd, Santa Clara, CA 95051. Register online
  • Saturday September 2, 2 – 6pm I Citizenship Application Clinic at Edenvale Branch Library I 101 Branham Ln, San Jose, CA 95111. Register online
  • Wednesday September 6,  3:30 – 6:30pm | Citizenship Workshop at Alum Rock Library I 3090 Alum Rock Ave, San Jose, CA 95127. Register online.
  • Thursday September 7, 6:30 – 8:30pm | Citizenship Workshop at Mitchell Park Library I 3700 Middlefield Rd, Palo Alto, CA 94303. Register online.
  • Wednesday September 13, 3:30 – 6pm I Citizenship Application Clinic at Tully Branch Library I 880 Tully Rd, San Jose, CA 95121. Register online.
  • Monday September 18, 5-7:30pm | Citizenship Application Workshop at Santa Clara City Library I 2635 Homestead Rd, Santa Clara, CA 95051. Register online.
  • Saturday October 21, 3:30 – 5:30pm I Citizenship Application Clinic at Seven Trees Branch Library I 3590 Cas Dr, San Jose, CA 95111. Register online.

Naturalization Test Preparation

Many libraries in the Bay Area offer free U.S. civics classes, mock interview evenings, and ESL classes to help you prepare for the citizenship interview.

List of Free Civics and ESL Classes in the South Bay

Reading Vocabulary List 

Writing Vocabulary List

Flashcards for Writing Vocabulary Test

Flashcards for Reading Vocabulary Test

U.S. Civics Questions for the Naturalization Test

Preguntas de educación cívica del Examen de Naturalización

Mga Katanungan sa Sibika (Kasaysayan at Pamahalaan) para sa Iksamen para sa Naturalisasyon

Các Câu Hỏi về Công Dân (Lịch Sử và Tổ Chức Công Quyền) cho Trắc Nghiệm Nhập Tịch

公民(歷史與政府)歸化試題

미국 시민권 시험 인터뷰 질문 (역사와 정부)

 

After You Become a Citizen

Now that you're a citizen, make sure that you apply for your U.S. passport, register to vote, update your Social Security record, obtain a certificate of citizenship for your children, and learn how to sponsor your family members to join you in the U.S.

Rights & Responsibilites of U.S. Citizens

Get Your Passport

Register to Vote at the DMV

Sponsor a Relative to Come to the U.S.

 

Weekly Walk-in Immigration Clinic

Get a legal consultation at IRC in San Jose's weekly walk-in immigration clinic held every Tuesday from 2-4:30pm. No appointment necessary! The IRC in San Jose is located at 1210 S. Bascom Ave., Suite 227, San Jose, CA 95128. We can help you with: 

  • Family sponsoring 
  • Citizenship/Naturalization
  • Green cards
  • DACA renewals
  • Travel documents
  • Work authorization
  • Freedom of Information Act Requests
  • ..and more!

 

Apply for a Green Card

Photo: IRC / M Cohen

The IRC helps refugees, asylees, and immigrants 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, call: 

IRC in San Jose: call (408) 277-0255 x17 or send an sanjoseimmigration [at] rescue.org (subject: Immigration%20Question, body: Name%3A%20%0A%0AContact%20Number%3A%20%0A%0AEmail%20Address%3A%20%0A%0AQuestion%3A%20%0A%0A%0A) (email)

IRC in Oakland: call (510) 852-8914 or send an Manal.Alli [at] rescue.org (subject: Immigration%20Question, body: Name%3A%20%0A%0AContact%20Number%3A%20%0A%0AEmail%20Address%3A%20%0A%0AQuestion%3A%20%0A%0A%0A) (email)

IRC in Turlock: call (209) 667-2378 x1 or send an Monica.Contreras [at] Rescue.org (subject: Immigration%20Question, body: Name%3A%20%0A%0AContact%20Number%3A%20%0A%0AEmail%20Address%3A%20%0A%0AQuestion%3A%20%0A%0A%0A) (email)

IRC in Sacramento: call (916) 473-5950 or send an Assadullah.Hanif [at] rescue.org (subject: Immigration%20Inquiry%20, body: Name%3A%20%0A%0AContact%20Number%3A%20%0A%0AEmail%20Address%3A%20%0A%0AQuestion%3A%20%0A%0A%0A) (email)

 

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.

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. For updated information, call your local IRC office.

 

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, call your local IRC office or reach out directly to a caseworker listed below. 

IRC in San Jose: call (408) 277-0255 ext 17 or 18, or send an sanjoseimmigration [at] rescue.org (subject: Immigration%20Question, body: Name%3A%20%0A%0AContact%20Number%3A%20%0A%0AEmail%20Address%3A%20%0A%0AQuestion%3A%20%0A%0A%0A) (email)

IRC in Oakland: call (510) 852-8914 or send an Manal.Alli [at] rescue.org (subject: Immigration%20Question, body: Name%3A%20%0A%0AContact%20Number%3A%20%0A%0AEmail%20Address%3A%20%0A%0AQuestion%3A%20%0A%0A%0A) (email)

IRC in Turlock: call (209) 667-2378 ext 1 or send an Monica.Contreras [at] Rescue.org (subject: Immigration%20Question, body: Name%3A%20%0A%0AContact%20Number%3A%20%0A%0AEmail%20Address%3A%20%0A%0AQuestion%3A%20%0A%0A%0A) (email)

IRC in Sacramento: call (916) 473-5950 or send an Assadullah.Hanif [at] rescue.org (subject: Immigration%20Inquiry%20, body: Name%3A%20%0A%0AContact%20Number%3A%20%0A%0AEmail%20Address%3A%20%0A%0AQuestion%3A%20%0A%0A%0A) (email)

 

Ketaki Srivastava 

Immigration Coordinator in San Jose

(408) 277-0255 Ext. 17

Ketaki.Srivastava [at] Rescue.org

 

Emmir Escorcia

*Se habla español

Immigration Caseworker in San Jose

(408) 277-0255 Ext. 18

Emmir.Escorcia [at] Rescue.org 

 

Manal Ali 

Immigration Caseworker in Oakland

(510) 852-8914

Manal.Ali [at] Rescue.org

 

Monica Contreras

*Se habla español

Immigration Caseworker in Turlock 

(209) 667-2378 ext 1 

Monica.Contreras [at] Rescue.org

 

Assadullah Hanif

*Speaks Farsi/Dari & Pashtu

من فارسی/دری صحبت میکنم

زه پشتو خبری کولای شم

Immigration Caseworker in Sacramento

(916) 473-5950

Assadullah.Hanif [at] rescue.org

 

Amir Musić

Regional Immigration Manager

(510) 852-8916

Amir.Music [at] Rescue.org

 

Kayla Ladd

Community Outreach Specialist

(408) 277-0255 Ext. 21

Kayla.Ladd [at] Rescue.org

 

News and Features

Keep up-to-date with current immigration policies by signing up for IRC's Immigration Newsletter.  

 

Additional workshop date

To help aspiring citizens apply for U.S. citizenship prior to the fee increase coming into effect on Dec. 23, IRC has opened up an additional citizenship workshop date on Dec.19. To learn more and register, click here

 

USCIS fee increase

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service increased the fees required for many immigrant applications and petitions, including the application for U.S. citizenship on Dec 23, 2016. Read the article.

 

Stay connected

Keep up-to-date with IRC's work both locally and internationally by connecting with us on social media.

Sign up for our Newsletter

Like us Facebook

Follow us on sanjoseimmigration [at] rescue.org (subject: Immigration%20Inquiry) (T)witter

Follow us on Instagram

 

Other Resources

  • USCIS Website
  • San Jose Public Library Events 
  • Palo Alto City Library Events 
  • Santa Clara County Library Events
  • 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!
  • Foothill Community Health Center is a non-profit 501© Federally Qualified Health Center serving all individuals regardless of ability to pay or legal status. They provide primary Medical, Dental, Behavioral Health and Optometry services at their 12 Community Clinic locations. Open seven days a week with extended hours of operation. Call 408-729-9700 for appointments or more information.