USCIS Expands Efforts to Highlight Naturalization in Light of Citizenship Day
History of Citizenship Day
Citizenship Day is celebrated each year on September 17th, which is also the anniversary of the signing of the Constitution in 1787. United States citizenship was first recognized for its significance in 1940 on the third Sunday of May known as “I Am an American Day”. However, in 1952 the date was switched to September 17th and was renamed “Citizenship day”. Then in 2004, congress changed the full name to “Constitution Day and Citizenship Day”.
USCIS Improvements on Customer Service
Beginning on September 19, 2015, naturalization applicants are now able to use credit cards to pay the Form N-400 Application for Naturalization fee of $595 and if necessary a biometrics fingerprinting fee of $85. To pay by credit card, applicants also need to complete the new Form G-1450, Authorization for Credit Card Transaction. Also on September 19th, USCIS established a formal partnership with the U.S. Department of Agriculture for the Farm Services Agency, to provide services to areas with significant numbers of immigrants who are not located near a USCIS office. USCIS has also developed new online tools for green card holders that offer help in preparing for naturalization, locating English and citizenship classes, determining eligibility, and applying for naturalization. Lastly, nearly $10 million in funding was awarded to 40 organizations in order to help green card holders prepare and apply for citizenship, which will last through September 2017.
Awareness and Outreach
The Citizenship Public Education and Awareness Program, launched in July of 2015, is now expanding into six additional states, which include Arizona, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Virginia, and Washington. For more information on the Citizenship Public Education Awareness Program visit click here.
Today, USCIS provides resources and information to help promote outreach, training, technical assistance, and citizenship education through its partnership with eight municipal partners. USCIS is also a keen supporter in the White House’s campaign for Building Welcoming Communities, which are towns, counties, or cities that strive to create a positive environment for all residents by bringing together immigrants, refugees, and native-born individuals.
Celebrating Citizenship Day in Buffalo
On Monday September 14th, 2015, 30 individuals representing 16 countries became U.S. Citizens at the Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural National Historic Site on Delaware Avenue in Buffalo. Besides receiving their naturalization papers, they also received encouragement and information on obtaining U.S. passports, registering to vote, and engaging in jury duty.
If you are interested in immigrating to the United States and would like to explore your options, please contact our office to speak with one of our knowledgeable attorneys today!