Volunteer with the san francisco

pathways to citizenship initiative! 

HOW TO get involved 

Join our volunteer listserve to receive alerts about upcoming volunteer opportunities: 

Join Our Listserv

 

Sign up to volunteer at the next workshop here. 


Our free citizenship workshop are possible because of the dedication and enthusiasm of our volunteers! Learn more about our workshops and the process here. 

Volunteers are needed to assist in a variety of capacities, from assisting with filling out the citizenship form to checking in participants at registration and logistical support. We encourage pro bono attorneys, immigration legal professionals and law students to volunteer their time with us, but legal expertise is not required to in order to volunteer.

If you speak Spanish, Russian, Cantonese, Mandarin, or any other second language including American Sign Language, your interpretation assistance for limited English proficient applicants is needed and appreciated!


VOLUNTEER Roles and Responsibilities

All volunteer training will be provided via email communication and on the day of the workshop. Volunteer questions about naturalization and our internal process and policies will be answered by “floater” staff at each station. 

 

registration:

Registration is where participants start the workshop process by providing basic information and stating their language preference. Volunteers at this station will welcome participants and collect this basic information, then provide them with a blue participant packet and a workshop participant number.

 

 

screening: 

At screening, participants will answer a few questions about themselves to determine if they are eligible to apply for citizenship. Volunteers at this station will go through a checklist of information with the participant, determining if the participant is eligible to naturalize, flagging any common legal issues, and assessing their English language capability.
This role is essential in assessing each incoming participants’ needs, so that they may be directed to the next appropriate stations in the workshop process.

 

 

ATTORNEY CONSULTATION:

Immigration Attorney and BIA Accredited Representative Volunteers Only 

If any issues are flagged in the screening process, the participant will receive a one-on-one consultation with an immigration expert to determine whether they should apply for citizenship or if they need to obtain further assistance beyond the workshop, using SF Pathways to Citizenship policy and guidelines. This workshop is intended for simple cases. Complex cases will be referred for a free follow-up consultation with one our immigration provider partners.

 

 

FORM FILLING: 

If the participant is ready to start their application to citizenship, they will sit down with a volunteer for one-on-one assistance filling out the citizenship application (N-400) and fee waiver form (if applicable). This station requires the longest amount of time to complete.

Volunteers at the form filling station play a crucial role in the workshop– assisting the participant with their application. Each volunteer will be matched with participants as they become available and according to language capability. Interpreters may also be available for English-only volunteers.

 

 

FINAL REVIEW:

Immigration Attorney and BIA Accredited Representative Volunteers Only 

All of the participant’s forms (citizenship application, fee waiver application, and other supporting documents) are reviewed by an immigration expert to determine if they’re ready to submit their application. At this station, volunteer attorneys will review the participants’ applications to ensure no mistakes or legal red flags still exist.

 

Packaging & Check out 

All participants will check out at this station. If their application is complete and has been reviewed, volunteers at this station will help them package their documents in a ready-to-mail envelope. Volunteers will also explain to participants instructions about the next steps they need to take in order to mail in and submit their application.

Even if a participant is not ready or eligible to submit their application, volunteers will assist everyone to check out at this station and return their participant packet and get resources and information before exiting the workshop.

 

 

OTHER VOLUNTEER ROLES:

rUNNER

Volunteers who are “runners” play a crucial role in guiding every workshop participant from one station to the other.

INTERPRETER

Volunteer interpreters provided language assistance as needed throughout the various workshop stations.