On Saturday, June 23, the IRC in Atlanta's Community Integration program—in partnership with Catholic Charities Atlanta and New American Pathways—hosted a free citizenship workshop as part of the ongoing efforts of the New Americans Campaign (NAC). NAC is a national network of organizations committed to connecting lawful permanent residents (LPRs) to trusted legal assistance and critical information that simplifies the naturalization process.
For the first time, citizenship workshops were held over three different sites to better serve potential applicants across the Metro Atlanta area. In total, 93 people were assisted with citizenship applications, with 60 individuals being “ready to file” that day. Workshops like these allow LPRs to access expert assistance completely free of charge and receive support with applying for fee waivers for the hefty $725 filing fee. One applicant stated, "I'm happy that opportunities like this exist to allow anyone, despite their financial situation, to get assistance with filing for citizenship."
Another applicant, R.J., has been a permanent resident for over 10 years and said that in the current political climate he wanted to become a citizen to feel safer. However, the cost associated with the process had always been a barrier. "Because the workshop was free, there was no reason for me not to pursue becoming a citizen," he added, "I'm very grateful for the help I received."
As the NAC website states, "There are nearly 9 million LPRs eligible for citizenship, but only 10 percent naturalize each year." The IRC in Atlanta is proud to be working with nonprofit partners and the Atlanta Mayor's Office of Immigrant Affairs to remove barriers to naturalization for eligible LPRs, so they can complete their new American journey and become citizens of the country they call home.
To learn more about the work of the IRC in Atlanta and for information on how you can get involved with the IRC as a donor or volunteer, please contact Development Manager, Kalie Lasiter, at Kalie.Lasiter [at] Rescue.org or 678-636-8941.