about JFS citizenship program
JFS provides citizenship and naturalization services to people of all faiths in partnership with United States Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS). Our two accredited naturalization specialists and 16 volunteers help legal permanent residents complete and send the Application for Citizenship (N-400). Citizen applicants are tested on their knowledge of U.S. history & civics, and their ability to read, write, and speak in English. Therefore, we offer free classes and group tutoring in preparation for the citizenship test and interview for all English levels.
Since October 1, 2017- June 30, 2018, we submitted 135 citizenship applications. 95% of all individuals pass the exam and become U.S. citizens!
we need sponsors
We are seeking sponsors to underwrite our Citizenship Program for FY2019. Our goal is to strengthen and expand our citizenship and immigration services. For FY19, we are planning to provide citizenship instruction to 250 lawful permanent residents and naturalization application assistance to at least 225 lawful permanent residents in Hampden County. We plan to expand our services to include assisting refugee and immigrant clients to become lawful permanent residents and reunite family members. We will expand our accreditation so that we can represent clients in immigration court, particularly clients seeking asylum, seeking protection under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), and protection under Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).
To sponsor our citizenship program, click here.
To read more about JFS and our partnership with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), click here.
JFS empowers individuals and families in Western Mass achieve fulfilling lives. Jewish history and values guide our work; therefore, we provide exceptional social services to people of all backgrounds and also have a responsibility to meet the particular needs of Jews in the area. We are a highly responsive agency of 50 staff and 40 volunteers, overseen by an engaged 15-member board, and operating in four counties, with an annual budget of $2.9 million. Each year, we assist over 5,000 people with:
- Counseling & in-home therapy
- Refugee resettlement & immigration services
- Citizenship services & ESL classes
- Jewish life enrichment programming
- Guardianship & older adult services
- Caregiver support groups
Meet Juan. Juan is a 34 year old lawful permanent resident from Guatemala who came to us for help to become a U.S. citizen. He’d been living in Springfield for five years, and was now eligible to apply for citizenship yet he didn’t know where to start. His friend told him about JFS and how they helped him become a citizen. So, Juan called JFS and met with Robert, our Citizenship Program director who went over the process with him and enrolled him in ESL classes (led by JFS-trained volunteers) so he could improve his English language skills. After four months, Juan was ready to fill out the application. He brought all the needed paperwork and together with Robert, they filled out the naturalization application and sent it out. Meanwhile, Juan was matched with a JFS volunteer tutor to learn about U.S. history and civics to prepare him for the naturalization test and interview. Juan and his tutor met in a small group with other students and practiced citizenship and interview questions. As his interview date was approaching, Juan was feeling confident and well-prepared. After the interview, he called JFS excited that he passed and invited Robert to his oath ceremony.
Your support of our Citizenship Program will allow us to help more legal immigrants like Juan become U.S. citizens! “The program began as a response to a glaring unmet need in our community. Today, JFS is a well-respected and trusted partner in engaging the immigrant community in Hampden County,” said Maxine Stein, JFS CEO. JFS is a leader in helping those on the path to becoming U.S. citizens in Western Mass and relies on support from community members and partners to promote this work.