Citizenship clinic Mar2016Your life is in the U.S. Why not make the most of it? Find out today if you’re eligible to become a U.S. citizen!

Becoming a U.S. citizen brings important advantages, including the ability to confer citizenship on minor children and sponsor family members for immigration, unrestricted travel abroad, and the ability to vote and fully participate in civic life, among others.

More than half the foreign-born residents of Massachusetts are U.S. citizens, and many more are eligible for naturalization. Working with local and national partners, the MIRA Coalition makes the citizenship process more accessible to immigrants across the Commonwealth through our citizenship clinics – group processing sessions that offer free legal assistance for eligible legal permanent residents who want to become citizens.

We have also compiled a list of agencies all across Massachusetts that provide citizenship assistance, English and civics classes, and other valuable services.

You can start with an overview of the citizenship process.

Frequently asked questions about citizenship

New American with certificate
A newly sworn-in U.S. citizen poses with his certificate outside Faneuil Hall in Boston.

Why should I apply to become a U.S citizen?

U.S. citizens enjoy many rights and privileges, including the right to vote, stay in the U.S., apply for federal jobs, obtain government benefits, and run for office. Citizens can also travel with a U.S. passport, petition to bring family members to the U.S., and obtain citizenship for their children. In addition, citizens are eligible for federal grants and scholarships and may be called to serve on a jury.

What are the processing times for the application for citizenship?

5.5 to 13.5 months for the Boston field office. For the Lawrence office, about 6.5 to 14 months.

How many years do you have to wait before applying for citizenship?

5 years, or 3 years if you have been married to a U.S. citizen. You may submit your application up to three months before you are eligible for citizenship.

What do you have to do to become a U.S. citizen?

You have to fill out a detailed application form (20 pages, available 11 languages), and submit it together with the required documents (see next question). Once the application is submitted, you will receive an appointment for your background check, which will be conducted by running your fingerprints through an national criminal database. The final step is an interview where you will be asked about the information you included in your application and be tested on your English skills and knowledge of U.S. history and civics.

Read more: Citizenship FAQs

El proceso de naturalización

¿Está listo para hacerse ciudadano de E.E.U.U.? Aquí le explicamos el proceso.

La ciudadanía de E.E.U.U. le otorga importantes ventajas, incluyendo la posibilidad de extenderle la ciudadanía a sus hijos menores de edad y de auspiciar la inmigración de otros miembros de su familia. También puede viajar fuera del país sin restricciones, votar, y participar completamente en la vida cívica del país.

Más de la mitad de los residentes de Massachusetts que nacieron en el extranjero ya se han hecho ciudadanos, y muchos más son elegibles para la naturalización. La Coalición MIRA trabaja con socios locales y nacionales para facilitarle el proceso a los inmigrantes en todo el estado. Ofrecemos clínicas gratuitas donde ofrecemos ayuda legal, y también tenemos una lista de agencias que ofrecen servicios legales, clases de inglés y de cívica, y otros servicios para ayudarle con su naturalización.

Read more: El proceso de naturalización 

MIRA citizenship clinics

Want us to help you with your citizenship application? Learn more about our process.

Project CitizenshipIn partnership with Project Citizenship and the state Citizenship for New Americans Program, MIRA helps make the naturalization process more accessible through free clinics at our Boston offices and, periodically, across the state.

We’ll guide you through the naturalization form, step by step, including a waiver for the federal fees if you qualify. When you attend a clinic, you will join 20–40 other individuals who are also applying for citizenship. Our Citizenship Team works together with a group of trained volunteers to go through the N-400 Application for Naturalization with you one-on-one.

At a clinic you will go through four stations:
      1) Check-in and registration
      2) Screening for eligibility
      3) Completing the application
      4) Quality control.

The whole process takes between two and three hours. We will keep a copy of your documents in our office, and receive U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) notices about your citizenship appointments.

If you have any additional questions, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

We look forward to assisting you!

Read more: MIRA citizenship clinics

Citizenship service providers

Are you ready to become a U.S. citizen? The agencies below provide citizenship classes and other services to help qualified applicants. Click here to learn more about the process.

Greater Boston



Action for Boston Community Development
178 Tremont Street
Boston MA 02111


ESOL classes
Assistance with citizenship and naturalization applications, green card and other renewals, fee waivers, and citizenship workshops

Agencia ALPHA
(CLJ Social Transformation Center)
62 Northampton St., Boston, MA 02118


Beginner and intermediate citizenship classes
Citizenship application assistance includes N-00, N-600, N-648 disability and I-912 fee waiver; interview and test preparation, and support services at two sites: Boston and East Boston

Asian American Civic Association
87 Tyler Street
Boston, MA 02111


ESOL classes
Assistance with naturalization application, counseling on Initial entry into the U.S. Immigrant visa processing, change of status from immigrant or refugee to permanent resident, application procedure for citizenship

Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center
885 Washington St.
Boston, MA 02111


ESOL classes
Assistance filling out citizenship applications

Cape Verdean Community UNIDO
492 Dudley St.
Roxbury, MA 02199


Weekly orientation and ESOL classes
Citizenship classes
Workshops and voter registration efforts
Creole classes

East Boston Ecumenical Community Council (EBECC)
50 Meridian St., Suite. B-1
East Boston, MA 02128


ESOL/civics classes with pre- and post-test
Citizenship application assistance including N-648,N-400, fee waiver, interview and test preparation, as well as support services

Haitian American Public Health Initiatives (HAPHI)
1603 Blue Hill Ave. PO Box 260386
Mattapan, MA 02126


Beginner-level ESOL/civics classes
Citizenship application assistance includes N-648, N-400, fee waiver, interview and test preparation
Referral to legal services

Irish International Immigrant Center
100 Franklin St., LL-1
Boston, MA 02110


Beginner and intermediate ESOL/civics classes
Free Consultation with Immigration Lawyer
Help with family-based permanent residence
Family reunification through visa petitions and consular processing
Green card applications for asylees and refugees
Petitions for asylee and refugee relatives
Naturalization Temporary Protected Status applications
Renewal of permanent residence cards
Violence Against Women Act petitions
Provisional waivers
Citizenship application assistance includes N-648, N-400, fee waiver, interview and test preparation and support services

International Institute of New England
1 Milk St.
Boston, MA 02109


Citizenship exam preparation and naturalization application help

Sites in Boston, Lowell, Lynn

Jewish Vocational Services
29 Winter St., Suite 500
Boston, MA 02108


Green Card Renewal
EAD application
Preparation for the Citizenship Interview and Test
N-400 application assistance
N-600 application assistance

Massachusetts Alliance of Portuguese Speakers (MAPS)
1046 Cambridge St.
Cambridge, MA 02139


ESOL/civics classes
Citizenship application assistance includes N-648, N-400, fee waiver, interview and test preparation

Sites in Cambridge, Dorchester, Somerville, Brighton, Framingham, Lowell

Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition
105 Chauncy St., #901
Boston, MA 02111


Technical Assistance to CNAP providers
Citizenship application assistance includes N-648, N-400, fee waiver

Project Citizenship
4 Faneuil South Market Building
3rd Floor, Suite 4025
Boston, MA 02109


Provide free, high quality services to legal permanent residents to help them become U.S citizens
Free workshops, eligibility screening, application assistance, legal referrals and all materials needed to apply for U.S. citizenship

Somali Development Center
203-205 Green St
Jamaica Plain 02130


ESOL classes
Citizenship application assistance includes N-648, N-400, N-600, fee waiver, interview and test preparation and other vital support services

Vietnamese-American Civic Association, Inc.
1452 Dorchester Avenue
Dorchester, MA 02122


Immigration services: Renewal of permanent resident status, removal of conditional green card, petition for family member, citizenship application

Read more: Citizenship service providers