The nonpartisan immigrant-rights advocacy group Voto Latino is dedicated to empowering young Latinos to help them build better futures for their communities and themselves in the United States. The organization has joined with the groups Pro Bono Net and Immigration Advocates Network to develop Citizenshipworks, an online provider of user friendly Internet tools that are aimed at assisting low and moderate income foreign nationals in deciphering the complex U.S. immigration laws in order to determine if they qualify for citizenship.
According to the organizations, Citizenshipworks is an online platform that works to reduce the existing geographic, language, and economic barriers faced by foreign nationals and in particular the Latino millennial demographic. The new platform will include a mobile app for use on a smart phone or similar devices, and will assist lawful permanent residents (green card holders) in determining their eligibility to become U.S. citizens through a legal process called naturalization. If it is determined that a lawful permanent resident qualifies for naturalization, the platform will also assist the resident in completing the required application. There will also be a function that will allow interested users to connect with local nonprofit legal services providers.
Voto Latino will work to promote the new online platform within the Latino millennial community. The initial outreach efforts will be based out of New York and the final goal is to release the platform and mobile app on a national scale by the middle of the year.
The Possible Benefits of the Online Platform
The naturalization process is anything but simple. Becoming a U.S. citizen is very complex as applicants must make sure they meet confusing eligibility requirements, submit the required documents, pay the correct application fee, and pass both a naturalization and English language proficiency examination. If an applicant makes any mistake along the way, the applicant may be severely delayed or denied, which would require the applicant to start all over again, which can be a lengthy and expensive process.
Due to these complexities, the new online platform would likely benefit a great many permanent residents by helping them determine their naturalization eligibility before they spend great deal of time and money on the application.
Additionally, by helping its users learn more about the naturalization process, the online platform is also working to spread valuable knowledge about this complex process throughout the foreign national community as a whole, thereby decreasing the chances that a foreign national will be cheated or taken advantage of by a notario posing as a helpful immigration attorney.
We at ImmigRantings applaud the efforts of Voto Latino, Pro Bono Net and the Immigration Advocates Network in creating Citizenshipworks. Technology is a great way to spread awareness of important immigration issues, and hopefully this initiative will pave the way for future mobile applications and online platforms aimed at helping foreign nationals navigate the complexities of immigration law. Continue to check with our blog for the most up to date news on the executive action and all other immigration-related issues.
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Problems with the H-1B visa: From Work Horse to Show Pony, ImmigRantings, February 13, 2012