Ahead of USCIS fee hikes, local Asian American organization offers virtual assistance on citizenship applications

North Carolina Asian Americans Together will be hosting a rolling, virtual series of naturalization assistance sessions for eligible applicants for citizenship.

September 17 is recognized as Citizenship Day in the U.S. New immigrants make up a fast growing segment of the population, and NCAAT is offering eligible green card holders free, virtual naturalization assistance before a fee increase rule goes into effect on October 2, 2020. Applicants for citizenship will benefit from this remote service safely from their homes by receiving free assistance and review on the N-400 application from volunteer attorneys and law students on a rolling basis.

The rule published last year by USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) permits a rise in the naturalization application fee to $1,160 —an increase of more than 80%— and eliminates fee waivers. The fee hikes will price out many immigrants and their families from citizenship, while other fee increases in the same rule will create barriers to lawful permanent residency, work permits, asylum, and many other applications.

Among Asian Americans in North Carolina, the foreign born population has grown by 41% from 2010 to 2017. This is the largest increase in Asian American foreign born population in the country.

“Naturalization is a crucial step toward gaining the right to vote for foreign born immigrants who have made the U.S. their home,” NCAAT Executive Director Chavi Khanna Koneru said. “Barriers to citizenship — from a 20-page application form to rapidly increasing fees — will essentially bar many immigrants and their families from having a voice in local governments. NCAAT’s free virtual assistance with the citizenship application will help those who are eligible now to go through the naturalization process before the impending fee increase.”

For those who are interested in NCAAT’s free naturalization assistance offering, visit http://ncaatogether.org/naturalization for more information.

North Carolina Asian Americans Together (NCAAT) is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization committed to supporting equity and justice for all by fostering community among AAPIs and allies in North Carolina through civic engagement, leadership development, grassroots mobilization and political participation. Learn more at www.ncaatogether.org

Facebook – facebook.com/ncaatogether | Twitter – @ncaatogether | Instagram - @ncaatogether