Project Citizenship began as the Greater Boston Citizenship Initiative, a collaboration of community partners in Massachusetts seeking to increase naturalization rates in Massachusetts. The initiative was created by a committed group of immigrant, community-based, and direct service organizations to educate immigrants about the benefits of citizenship and to provide the services and resources necessary for eligible legal permanent residents (LPRs) to overcome the barriers to naturalization.
Project Citizenship’s mission is to educate immigrants about the benefits of citizenship, and to help eligible, legal permanent residents to overcome barriers to naturalization.
According to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, only 20,000 of the eligible 30,000 LPRs became citizens in Massachusetts each of the last ten years. Each year, an estimated 10,000 LPRs in Massachusetts who are eligible to become U.S. citizens do not apply for citizenship. Currently, there are approximately 40,000 LPRs in Boston who are eligible to become U.S. citizens, but have not completed the process. The significant number of eligible persons not becoming U.S. citizens is at odds with the benefits of obtaining such status. Citizenship confers important rights, including eligibility for certain federal jobs, federal grants and scholarships, and other federal public benefits. But most importantly, citizenship helps build stronger, more united communities by encouraging civic participation, engagement, and a more representational government. Naturalized immigrants are voting in increasing numbers.
Project Citizenship provides free assistance to eligible permanent residents who seek to become U.S. citizens. Project Citizenship and its partner organizations offer regular citizenship workshops in Massachusetts, Rhode Island and New Hampshire. In addition, Project Citizenship partner organizations civics and English instruction.
At its frequent citizenship workshops, Project Citizenship assists eligible LPRs to complete citizenship applications. Project Citizenship provides screening, advice, legal guidance, referrals and materials needed to successfully complete the citizenship application. Project Citizenship also provides materials to help applicants pass their citizenship tests, and to later become fully integrated and engaged U.S. citizens. At these workshops, immigration lawyers, Department of Justice (DOJ) accredited representatives, law students and other trained volunteers screen applicants for eligibility, make needed referrals and guide applicants through the entire application process
Citizenship Day in Boston is the largest annual citizenship workshop in New England, drawing over 450 citizenship applicants and over 400 community volunteers, law students and pro bono attorneys. Citizenship Day is an annual event hosted by Project Citizenship and the Mayor’s Office for Immigrant Advancement to commemorate Constitution Day. Since the first Citizenship Day in 2014, thousands of applicants have applied for citizenship at these events with the help of volunteer attorneys, law students, and community members.
Project Citizenship invites all eligible permanent residents who would like to apply for citizenship or learn more to call us at 617-694-5949.