Immigrant Advancement resources
Due to public health concerns, this event may be subject to change. For more information, please email the Mayor's Office for Immigrant Advancement or call us at 617-635-2980. You can also read Mayor Walsh's guidance on City of Boston events, as well as Governor Baker's statewide order limiting large gatherings.
FIND IMMIGRATION LEGAL INFORMATION
Come to an immigration clinic at Boston City Hall to get free one-on-one information about immigration law from volunteer lawyers:
1 City Hall Square, Room 806
Boston, MA 02201
Volunteer lawyers are available on the first and third Wednesday of every month from 12 p.m. - 2 p.m.
First-come, first-served (there are no appointments). Please call at least one week in advance for interpretations (other than Spanish) and disability accommodations. The volunteer lawyers can only offer information for 15-20 minutes.
U.S. Citizenship and Naturalization process
Becoming a U.S. citizen is a very important decision. Permanent residents have most of the rights of U.S. citizens. However, there are many important reasons to consider U.S. citizenship. When you become a citizen, you will receive all the rights of citizenship. You also accept all of the responsibilities of being an American. As a citizen you can:
- Vote. Only citizens can vote in federal elections. Most states also restrict the right to vote — in most elections — to U.S. citizens.
- Serve on a jury. Only U.S. citizens can serve on a federal jury. Most states also restrict jury service to U.S. citizens. Serving on a jury is an important responsibility for U.S. citizens.
- Travel with a U.S. passport. A U.S. passport enables you to get help from the U.S. government when overseas, if necessary.
- Bring family members to the U.S. U.S. citizens generally get priority when petitioning to bring family members permanently to this country.
- Obtain citizenship for children under 18 years of age. In most cases, a child born abroad to a U.S. citizen is automatically a U.S. citizen.
- Apply for federal jobs. Certain jobs with government agencies require U.S. citizenship.
- Become an elected official. Only citizens can run for federal office (U.S. Senate or House of Representatives) and for most state and local offices.
- Keep your residency. A U.S. citizen’s right to remain in the United States cannot be taken away.
- Become eligible for federal grants and scholarships. Many financial aid grants, including college scholarships and funds given by the government for specific purposes, are available only to U.S. citizens.
- Obtain government benefits. Some government benefits are available only to U.S. citizens.
Before you apply for naturalization, you must meet a few requirements. Depending on your situation, there are different requirements that may apply to you. However, generally, an applicant for naturalization must:
- Be at least 18 years old at the time of filing Form N-400, Application for Naturalization.
- Be a permanent resident (have a “green card”) for at least five years.
- Have lived within the state or USCIS district with jurisdiction over your place of residence for at least three months prior to the date of filing Form N-400.
- Have continuous residence in the United States as a lawful permanent resident for at least five years immediately preceding the date of filing Form N-400.
- Be physically present in the United States for at least 30 months out of the five years immediately preceding the date of filing Form N-400.
- Be able to read, write, and speak basic English.
- Have a basic understanding of U.S. history and government (civics).
- Be a person of good moral character.
- Demonstrate an attachment to the principles and ideals of the U.S. Constitution.