The City of Bloomington and Indiana Legal Services are teaming up to create a six-week “Citizenship Preparation Course” designed for newcomers, green card holders and anyone interested in becoming a U.S. citizen. The course will offer instruction on U.S. history, local and federal government and the importance of voting and citizenship.
City of Bloomington Special Projects Assistant Melissa Britton said students will have the opportunity to do practice tests and learn course preparation in a group setting.
“That’s something that, you know, you could do on your own if you wanted to study the course material,” Britton said. “But doing it in a group setting makes it so much more effective, and that’s what this class will offer.”
After the course has ended, the Indiana Legal Services office will host a free clinic on Citizenship Day, April 30th, where volunteer attorneys will advise permanent residents on the citizenship application process and help them prepare naturalization forms. Indiana Legal Services spokeswoman Christie Popp said the course will save participants anywhere from several hundred to several thousand dollars that a private attorney would normally charge for the same services.
“A lot of people don’t go to see attorneys when they want to do immigration forms, and the reason is that they don’t want to pay the cost of an attorney. So this encourages people to talk to an attorney before filing,” Popp said.
The deadline to be one of the course’s ten participants is March 11th.