Critical to the successful attainment of U.S. citizenship the Citizenship Program will conduct a careful screening and application assistance process. If eligibility is established, the applicant will be referred for an individual appointment with a professional PAA staff member. At the time of application assistance, the caseworker will conduct a more detailed screening around legal issues that may place a client at risk. Workshops will be organized by PAA to be held on a monthly basis conducted at a variety of locations on different days of the week and times of day. In conjunction with the eligibility screening, an assessment of English skills for preparation for the USCIS exam and interview will be conducted. After a thorough assessment of the client’s eligibility for citizenship, the application will be completed and the applicant will be oriented to the citizenship process and procedure. An information packet, including basic preparation materials for the citizenship exam and interview will be provided. If the client is medically disabled and requesting a medical disability waiver, the caseworker will discuss the processes and procedures involved and review the completed waiver application. Completed applications will be submitted to PAA Immigration Services for final preparation, where trained professional and support staff will review and assemble each application according to USCIS specification. Two photocopies of each application will be made – one copy is kept in the agency client file; the other is sent to the client. Applications will be sent by certified, return receipt mail to the USCIS Nebraska Service Center. Client information will be entered into the agency database for ongoing monitoring. The offered services would be at convenient and accessible times and locations, and with curriculum designed to meet the particular needs of this group.
Immigration services of PAA have been in existence since 1985 and serve approximately 400 clients a month. These services consist of: information and outreach, citizenship applications, photographs, translation of documents, assistance in all kinds of immigration matters, including petitions for relatives in Poland, applying for permanent residency, student visas, notary public. Our staff also makes it a priority to keep the community informed about current USCIS policies and procedures.
PAA immigration services are respected by the community and acknowledged by INS. In January 1995, PAA and its immigration services were accredited by the National Board of Immigration Appeals to represent clients at USCIS. USCIS invites PAA immigration services staff to meetings, workshops, conferences.
PAA has the City of Chicago Limited Business License to provide immigration services.