April 20, 2012 > Citizenship Assistance
Submitted By Judy Schwartz
The Fremont Family Resource Center (FRC) is hosting a Citizenship Application Fair on Saturday, April 28 in partnership with the International Institute of the Bay Area and Asian Pacific Islander Legal Outreach. Lawyers, citizenship assistants and local bilingual volunteers will help Tri-City immigrants apply for citizenship. Since the Tri-City area does not have many local immigration service providers that offer free application assistance, applicants usually travel to Oakland or San Jose for help which can be inconvenient or even a hardship. This is Fremont's first citizenship assistance fair and Fremont Mayor Gus Morrison proclaimed April 28, 2012 to be "Citizenship Day."
In light of proposed regulatory changes that will streamline the process for some undocumented family members of U.S. citizens to apply for their green cards, local non-profits are urging eligible permanent residents to become citizens. Under current rules, family members of both U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents often have to leave the country, sometimes for a year or more, before getting their green cards. The proposed change would simplify the process, but it will only benefit family members of U.S. citizens. The federal government plans to implement the change by the end of 2012.
According to Kyra Lilien, Immigration Attorney at Centro Legal de la Raza, U.S. citizens have increased opportunities for family reunification, even under current law. "Only U.S. citizens can sponsor their parents and siblings, and petitions for spouses and children are much faster for U.S. citizens than for permanent residents," explains Lilien.
Screeners can help answer pre-event questions. Applicants must bring many required documents to the event as listed at www.fremont.gov/Calendar.aspx?EID=996. Additionally, participants must bring a $680 application fee (if 75 years or older, the fee is $595). Fees can be paid by check or money order, payable to "Department of Homeland Security.
Citizenship Application Fair
Saturday, April 28
9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Family Resource Center
39155 Liberty St, Building EFGH, Suite #H830 (Caribbean Room), Fremont
(510) 451-2846, x301 (for English and Spanish)
(510) 251- 2846 (Asian languages)
(510) 656-4206 x108 (Farsi)
Application fees: $680; $595 if 75 or older
PRE-REGISTRATION IS MANDATORY