Monday, March 19, 2007




Los Angeles – The Los Angeles County Naturalization Coalition (LACNC) will host a free citizenship application assistance workshop for many Los Angeles County residents on Saturday, March 24, 2007.

The event, which begins at 9:00 a.m. and ends at 2:00 p.m., will be held at 9372 Telstar Ave , El Monte , CA 91731 .

Appointments are required; interested applicants should call Neighborhood Legal Services of Los Angeles County, (800)433-6251 x257, Asian Pacific American Legal Center, (213)977-7500 x217 or Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles, (213)640-3918

At the workshop, attendees will receive assistance with their citizenship forms from staff and volunteers of LACNC members which include: Asian Pacific American Legal Center (APALC), International Rescue Committee (IRC), Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles (LAFLA), and Neighborhood Legal Services of Los Angeles County (NLS).

Applicants will be given study guides to help them prepare for their interviews. LACNC then files the papers with USCIS on behalf of the applicants.

Due to restrictions imposed by the state, only those individuals who live in the Los Angeles County area may attend the workshop.

Although the application assistance is provided at no charge, applicants must pay the required application and “biometrics” fees (total $400; applicants 75 years of age or older pay $330). Personal checks or money orders should be made payable to “U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services”; cash will not be accepted. Applicants must also bring two identical passport-style photos.

Before making an appointment, applicants should make sure they are eligible for citizenship by visiting the USCIS website at “”, and clicking “Services and Benefits”, “Citizenship”, and “Naturalization Information.” They may also get the information from any adult school citizenship class or by calling LACNC members.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently proposed a fee increase for citizenship applications. The citizenship application fee, currently set at $330, would jump to $595.

The “biometrics” or fingerprinting fee (required of applicants under 75 years of age) would increase to $80, making the total cost to most citizenship applicants $675. The new fee, if implemented, would effectively prevent many immigrants from reaching their dream of citizenship, explained Mark Yoshida, staff attorney with APALC.

“Immigrants work hard to support their families, learn English, and contribute to our communities,” said Yoshida. “We are concerned the proposed fee increases may prevent qualified immigrants from achieving the highlight of their immigration experience.”

APALC citizenship outreach coordinator, Cevadne Lee, added, “We suggest that immigrants who are qualified for citizenship now to consider applying sooner rather than later,” this is because USCIS said the fee increases may go into effect in June. “The workshop is a great place to get help with applying for citizenship.”

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