Madison Path to Citizenship is a collaborative effort among community organizations to offer free citizenship education, legal consultation, and citizenship application services for lawful permanent residents (people with green cards) who want to become U.S. citizens.
Our citizenship work, in collaboration with the City of Madison, is part of Cities for Citizenship, a national campaign led by the mayors of New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles to create and strengthen citizenship programs throughout the U.S.
Why is citizenship an issue?
There are 8.8 million immigrants who live and work in the U.S. legally today but have not become U.S. citizens. In Dane County an estimated 12,000-15,000 legal immigrants (people with green cards) currently live & work here without advancing to citizenship—despite their right to become U.S. citizens.
Why don’t permanent residents become citizens?
There are several big barriers to citizenship:
- The $725 application fee (prohibitive for many applicants)
- Inadequate English language abilities (the citizenship test is in English)
- Hard to find a knowledgeable, trustworthy, and affordable lawyer
- The path to U.S. citizenship can be long and confusing
- Many are not confident about the content of the citizenship test
So we created Madison Path to Citizenship to overcome the barriers to citizenship and to strengthen naturalization services available locally. Citizenship allows permanent, legal residents to fully participate in life here in the U.S. And by creating a welcoming environment we improve the quality of life for all of us today, and for future generations.