For refugees coming to the United States, the process of attaining citizenship is long and challenging. Refugees can apply for citizenship five years after they arrive in the United States. From then, it takes six to twelve months for the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services to decide an application. The IRC’s legal services team helps refugees and immigrants prepare the necessary documents, follow up with government agencies, and prepare for the citizenship test.   

Katharine Waples, an IRC legal representative, said “We get to see the journey of people integrating into the community, starting from when they first arrive and helping them bring their family over to applying for their green card, and finally their citizenship.” Over the past year, the IRC immigration services department assisted over 500 individuals, 62 of whom submitted applications to become citizens.   

If you or someone you know need immigration legal services, please contact the IRC in Silver Spring at 240-258-8244. The IRC can help you bring qualifying family members to the U.S., apply for permanent residency (green card) or U.S. citizenship, and more.