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Citizenship fees paid by state of New York for 700+ immigrants

People from other countries often come to the United States in search of a better life. New York's history as a state that welcomes immigrants is still seen today, particularly in an initiative promoted by Governor Andrew Cuomo known as NaturalizeNY to help those in need obtain citizenship. The program paid the naturalization fees of more than 700 immigrants last year, and the governor has indicated that it may continue beyond the three years it has existed.

NaturalizeNY is a program that seeks to pay the naturalization application fee, by offering a lottery for qualified immigrants. A quarter of New Yorker's were not born in the United States, according to recent statistics. Supporters say that immigrants who become citizens contribute to the state economy due to the higher wages they can earn, resulting in more tax revenue and less need for public assistance. Governor Cuomo has made it clear that the state welcomes those from other countries and that he stands in direct opposition to the current presidential administration, which has been accused of being anti-immigration.

In the last three years, NaturalizeNY has paid $1.2 million to cover the application fees for naturalization of almost 1,700 immigrants. It also assists people with free naturalization eligibility screening, exam prep and the actual application itself. In 2018, 1,400 people qualified for the lottery, and anyone who wasn't was directed to the federal fee waiver program. Governor Cuomo also issued pardons for 22 immigrants who would have been otherwise ineligible for citizenship due to their criminal record.

NaturalizeNY is available for low income families, but not everyone will be eligible for the program. Those who are not may wish to seek the advice of an experienced immigration attorney who can guide them through the naturalization process. Citizenship comes with a great deal of benefits, including being a part of a country that can offer a brighter future.

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