Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Arlington Partners with the American Immigration Lawyers Association to Host Citizenship Day Application Workshop

Assists More Than 30 Eligible Green Card Holders in Journey to U.S. Citizenship


September 13, 2019

ARLINGTON, VA – Today, Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Arlington partnered with the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) in hosting a Citizenship Day Workshop. The workshop is one of 10 AILA is offering in Virginia, Maryland and Washington D.C. in the lead-up to national Citizenship Day and Constitution Day on Tuesday, September 17. Today’s workshop was at full capacity, assisting more than 30 qualified individuals in their efforts to become U.S. citizens.


Art Bennett, Catholic Charities’ President and CEO, said, “Catholic Charities’ and AILA’s partnership on this workshop helps men and women working, often at great personal cost to themselves and their families, to achieve the dream of U.S. citizenship. Each participant is a story of courage and hope. Our mutual commitment to working with these immigrants demonstrates our respect for the dignity of each and every human person and a desire for them to flourish in our country.”


The 2019 Citizenship Day Workshops provide practical assistance to those who wish to become U.S. citizens, including consultation, application preparation and postage. 


“Our annual Citizenship Day Workshops are a hallmark of what we do to help the immigrant community navigate the path to citizenship. We appreciate this important partnership with Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Arlington to provide local, professional, hands-on assistance to immigrants seeking to become U.S. citizens,” added Ofelia Calderon, Treasurer for the DC-MD-VA chapter of AILA.


Catholic Charities’ annual partnership with AILA adds to the approximately 8-10 workshops that Catholic Charities hosts each year, in conjunction with the New Americans Campaign, helping an average of 250 individuals. For Catholic Charities’ next workshop, please click here.


General naturalization eligibility, as prescribed by the Immigration and Naturalization Act, includes:

  • Being at least 18 years old;
  • Having been a lawful permanent resident, commonly referred to as a “green card holder,” for five years, or three years if married to a U.S. citizen;
  • Being physically present in the U.S. for at least half of the last five years;
  • Living as a resident of the state in which the application is being filled out for a least three months;
  • Having the ability to speak, read and write in English;
  • Being able to pass a U.S. history and civics exam; and
  • Having “good moral character” – applicants who have been convicted of certain crimes, have not paid their taxes, have not financially supported their children, have presented false information on any previous immigration applications or misrepresented themselves to any government agency, or have failed to register for the Selective Service when required, among other things, may not meet this requirement and so may not be eligible for naturalization.

For additional information, contact Amber Roseboom, Director of Media Relations, Catholic Diocese of Arlington, at (571) 215-8731 or


# # #


Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Arlington serves the poor and vulnerable who live within the 21 counties and seven cities of the Diocese of Arlington, which is led by Bishop Michael F. Burbidge. Catholic Charities provides food for the hungry, a free medical clinic for adults including prenatal care, adoption services, transformational housing for the homeless, mental health counseling, emergency financial assistance, prison ministry, workforce development, and immigration and refugee services. Catholic Charities serves all, regardless of faith.