Clinic to provide pro bono naturalization services

As many as 60 legal permanent residents will be assisted with naturalization applications Saturday morning by volunteer attorneys from the Neighborhood Christian Legal Clinic’s Immigrant Justice Program.

The clinic is partnering with Washington Township Adult Education to recognize Naturalization Day at 9:30 a.m. Saturday at the clinic, Trinity Outreach Center, 3333 N. Meridian Street, Suite 201. Volunteer lawyers and other volunteers will provide pro bono assistance in completing naturalization applications and preparing for the naturalization interview.

Naturalization Day aims to address a growing need in the Indianapolis immigrant community – that of helping legal permanent residents apply for citizenship without the financial burden of hiring private legal assistance. The event is intended for people interested in naturalization who have been legal permanent residents for at least five years, or at least three years if married to a U.S. citizen.

Legal permanent residents can meet with an attorney, fill out their naturalization application, have passport photos taken, and sign all documentation so that applications are complete and ready to send to the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services. Washington Township Adult Education representatives will also help applicants on English language requirements and provide guidance on resources to prepare applicants for the civics portion of the naturalization exam.

Clinic staff, Washington Township Adult Education representatives, volunteer attorneys, law students, interpreters, translators, and a photographer will join together for this one-day event.  “These events are special,” said Neighborhood Christian Legal Clinic staff attorney Rachel Van Tyle. “It’s amazing what a group of volunteers can accomplish and how much it can change the life of both the volunteer and the immigrant.”

Eligible legal permanent residents interested in attending Naturalization Day must sign up in advance by calling (317) 429-4131, ext. 174, or by emailing immigrant justice program manager Brandon Fitzsimmons at [email protected]  Participants must provide their full name, phone number, whether or not they speak English and, if not, the phone number of an English-speaking person who can speak on their behalf, and their native language.

Attendees must also bring the following information with them:
• A completed Naturalization Clinic Day handout available from the clinic;
• Lawful Permanent Resident Card (Green Card);
• Any criminal records/paperwork (if applicable); and
• An interpreter, if possible, for non-English-speaking participants.


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