CUNY Citizenship Now! has developed an event model to bring immigration services to New York’s neighborhoods. The model is a basic set-up that can be adjusted to provide assistance with various immigration benefits, from Citizenship to TPS to Deferred Action. At a typical event, services include evaluating participants’ eligibility for the immigration benefit in question, assisting them in completing the application form, giving them a list of supporting documents to be included in the application packet, providing them with free photographs (if needed), and having an attorney or Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) accredited representative review their complete application packet.

Participants at our events usually start at a screening station where trained attorneys and BIA accredited representatives determine their eligibility for the benefit they are seeking. Participants then move to an application assistance station where our volunteers and staff go over each question on the application forms. Next, they move to a photo/photocopy station, and last to a checkout station where we double-check the participants’ eligibility and the completed application packet.

One station is a unique feature at our citizenship events: we always have a fee waiver station to help those who meet certain criteria apply for a waiver of the application and biometrics fees.  Not every participant goes through this station, but only those who are determined to be fee-waiver eligible at the screening station.

CUNY’s events distinguish themselves by the volume of applicants served in one single event. We have adapted our model to help from 75 to close to 450 people in a single day, and we are continuously praised by volunteers and partner organizations about how orderly our events are.


CUNY Citizenship Now! in partnership with New York City Council members, the New Americans Campaign (NAC), the National Association of Latino Elected Officials (NALEO) and other officials, holds Citizenship Application Assistance events in New York’s neighborhoods one or two times every month. At these events, our staff and volunteers typically help more than 100 participants. Preregistration is required to attend our events.

What to Bring to a Citizenship Event

The New Americans Campaign Logo
NALEO Educational Fund Logo


With the announcement of Deferred Action programs for undocumented immigrants by President Obama, we held many events to provide assistance to people applying for those benefits.  For information about Deferred Action, please click here.


In 2010 an earthquake struck Haiti and this tragedy triggered the Obama administration to designate Haiti for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Haitian nationals in the United States. We held various events to assist Haitian nationals apply and/or reapply for this benefit. Watch this video produced by CUNY TV to learn about our Haitian TPS Application Assistance Events.