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Free legal help available for Phoenix-area residents applying for US citizenship

An American flag rests on a Certificate of Citizenship during a naturalization ceremony at the Lower East Side Tenement Museum, Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2016, in New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

PHOENIX — Legal permanent United States residents in the Phoenix area can now get free help with their citizenship applications.

Citizenship Now, a program started by the City University of New York, launched in the Valley this week. The program provides permanent residents with free legal services and document organizing as they apply to become citizens.

“When people find out [about the program] they’re surprised and sometimes they think it’s too good to be true,” Noriana Hermes, Arizona’s Citizenship Now coordinator, said.

Hermes said the process is not difficult for those who are eligible to become citizens and there is a strong need in Arizona for these services.

“Just in Maricopa County, there’s over 100,000 legal permanent residents that are already eligible to become U.S. citizens,” she said.

Hermes said they are scheduling appointments at their Phoenix offices and will hold a free citizenship application workshop on Dec. 10 at the Virginia Piper Auditorium in downtown Phoenix.

Those looking to become citizens can make an appointment for the event which runs from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

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