Los Angeles works to ease the path to a green card

| Feb 4, 2016 | US Permanent Residency |

Immigrants who are in California or elsewhere in the United States legally may have a number of options when it comes to becoming a permanent resident. According to Vice News, while not everyone wants to obtain a green card, federal and state officials and non-profit groups are working to make it easier for those who are interested.

Already, about 1.1 million people acquire green cards annually, and Los Angeles now has a local office focused on overcoming some of the issues that may be roadblocks to naturalization to increase those numbers. Nearly 750,000 immigrants in the city currently qualify for citizenship. Officials point out that some of the benefits to these people include stability, better income and the ability to have a voice in their own communities.

People who struggle with the English language may have trouble understanding what they need to do to complete the citizenship process. They may worry that a lack of fluency will make it difficult to complete the steps, as well. There are already programs in the city that provide assistance with the citizenship application and test, and future funding could also increase language education.

Some immigrants may be concerned with the naturalization fee of $685. However, there may be help in this area, too. For example, federal funding programs may make waivers available to those who do not have the money. It addition, the White House Task Force on New Americans reports that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has made it possible to use a credit card to pay the fee, so people do not have to have the money upfront.

The task force is also working to provide more educational, health care and business resources to assist documented immigrants in becoming successful U.S. citizens.