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ALLAN WERNICK: Free help getting U.S. citizenship available at CUNY event on April 30 – New York Daily News

It’s that time of year again. Get free help applying for U.S. citizenship at CUNY Citizenship Now!’s 25th anniversary event, April 30 at John Jay College, CUNY.
For an appointment, call (646) 664-9400 or text (929) 334-3784. For free citizenship help throughout New York State, call the state Office for New Americans hotline, (800) 566-7636. Nationwide, try the Immigration Advocates Network at bit.ly/2fYRIZI.
Here’s an overview of the main naturalization requirements. Many rules have exceptions. Consult an expert if you’re not sure you are eligible.
Continuous Residence: To naturalize, you must have resided in the United States as a permanent resident continuously for five years. It’s three years if you have been married to, and living with, the same U.S. citizen for the last three years.
Physical Presence: You must have been physically present here as a permanent resident for half the five years (or half the three years under the rules for the spouse of a U.S. citizen).
Get free help applying for U.S. citizenship at CUNY Citizenship Now!’s 25th Anniversary citizenship event, April 30 at John Jay College, CUNY. (Mark Lennihan/AP)
Good Moral Character: You need good moral character for the five (or three years) prior to filing your application. If you have ever been arrested or charged with a crime, you should see an immigration expert before filing your naturalization application. Sometimes U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services naturalization officers will excuse minor crimes. You may also have trouble meeting the Good Moral Character requirement if you have failed to pay child support, you failed to register with Selective Service, or you failed to file required tax returns.
Civic Knowledge: You must show a basic knowledge of U.S. government and history. If you have a disability that prevents you from answering civic knowledge questions or from learning the material, the USCIS can waive this requirement.
English Language: You must be able to read, write and speak simple English. The law exempts you from this requirement if you are at least age 50, with at least 20 years’ permanent residence, or you are at least age 55, with at least 15 years’ permanent residence. If a disability prevents you from complying with this requirement, the USCIS can waive it.
Age: You must be at least 18 years of age. If you are a permanent resident, but not yet age 18, you may get U.S. citizenship automatically when a parent naturalizes.
Allan Wernick is an attorney and director of the City University of New York’s Citizenship Now! project. Email questions and comments to questions@allanwernick.com. Follow him on Twitter: @awernick.
Copyright © 2022, New York Daily News
Copyright © 2022, New York Daily News

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