New Americans Initiative: Becoming a Citizen

[Above: Governor Quinn assisting NAI's 50,000th applicant in applying for US Citizenship.]

The New Americans Initiative is a non-profit partnership between the State of Illinois and the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights to help you through the process of becoming a U.S. citizen, with FREE assistance.

U.S. citizenship is the path to full participation in our nation. You can vote, travel freely, protect yourself and your family members from the possibility of deportation, petition to unite with other family members, hold a wider range of jobs, and have access to all of the rights, benefits, and responsibilities of a full member of the United States of America.

We can answer your questions about:

  • Who is eligible for citizenship and who is not?
  • How much does it cost and how long does it take?
  • Do I need to speak English?  How well?
  • What is on the Citizenship Test? How do I prepare?
  • What are the benefits of U.S. citizenship?

We can assist with your citizenship application with:

  • Citizenship workshops for application assistance and legal advice.
  • A checklist of the documents you must submit.
  • Referral to qualified attorneys, if necessary.
  • Referral to citizenship and English classes, if necessary.
  • Help with materials to prepare you for the citizenship test.
  • Help with financing the citizenship process.


If you are considering becoming a U.S. citizen, we strongly urge you to do it now. The cost of citizenship is increasing every year, and there are many efforts in Washington to make the test much more difficult and the process even more bureaucratic.

We also encourage you to volunteer with the New Americans Initiative, assisting others to become U.S. citizens and participate in our Democracy.

So...for yourself, for your family, and for your community, take the step to become a U.S. citizen. Continue your American Dream. The Opportunity is Now! Participate. Become A Citizen. Vote.