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Citizenship drive set for today in Gainesville
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The American Immigration Lawyers Association is sponsoring a nationwide Citizenship Day today aimed at starting citizenship paperwork for legal immigrants. Gainesville is one of five metro Atlanta areas participating.

The Naturalization Drive and information session is sponsored by the Atlanta chapter, in partnership in Gainesville with Catholic Charities. The event will be held locally from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. today at the Gainesville Community Outreach Center at 430 Prior St., S.E., in Gainesville.

Those attending today’s event can get free advice on completing naturalization paperwork, but there is a $675 fee for filing completed paperwork.

Those who become a U.S. citizen can petition for more family members, become eligible for more jobs and vote.

To be eligible for basic naturalization, one must:

  • Be at least 18 years old by the date you file.
  • Have been a lawful permanent resident for at least five years, or three years, if married to a U.S. citizen.
  • Be able to speak, read and write ordinary English.
  • Be able to pass a U.S. history and government exam.
  • Be a person of "good moral character."
  • Be willing to take an oath of loyalty to the U.S.

The following items are required to start naturalization proceedings:

  • Permanent Resident Card (Green Card)
  • $675 filing fee (no fee if active military, but bring proof of status)
  • Two color passport photos
  • List of home addresses for the past five years and the dates in which you resided at these addresses
  • List of employer names and addresses for the past five years, including the dates you worked with these employers
  • Dates you have been outside of the U.S. since becoming a permanent resident and the countries you traveled to during these trips
  • If possible bring an interpreter to translate