Long lines and costly parking fees associated with visiting Immigration and Naturalization Service offices in Downtown Los Angeles are a thing of the past for some Valley residents seeking to become citizens.
Those who already have their resident-alien status can visit one of several INS-approved outreach citizenship centers to complete their application and take a 20-question civics exam.
“Especially for the elderly people, it’s such a service to them not to have to go Downtown,” said Geneva Ruiz-Hyatt, immigration program coordinator at the East Valley Multipurpose Senior Center.
Since the program began in June, nearly 60 people have visited the center to apply for citizenship. After the center has received 100 applications, an INS official will visit to conduct interviews with applicants.
On their initial visit to the senior center, applicants must bring their green card, Social Security card and other vital information, along with a $95 check for the INS, $42 in cash for the center and $15 to pay for photos and fingerprinting taken at a nearby location. There also is a $26 fee for taking the civics exam, which is offered monthly at the center.
Appointments to complete the initial paperwork are available Monday through Saturday at the East Valley Multipurpose Senior Center, 5000 Colfax Ave., North Hollywood.
For more information, call (818) 766-5165 between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.
In addition, the Thai American Citizens Alliance provides citizenship services at Wat Thai of Los Angeles, 8225 Coldwater Canyon Ave., North Hollywood. A workshop is planned Sunday. For more details, call (213) 668-0015.
Catholic Charities operates two local citizenship centers. One is located at the Catholic Charities Community Center, 4322 San Fernando Road, Glendale. For more information, call (818) 409-3080.
The other is at the Catholic Charities Santa Rosa Community Center, 511 Kalisher St., San Fernando. For details, call (818) 365-3194.