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Congressman Pastor sets citizenship drive for fall

Rep. Ed Pastor’s annual Citzenship Day has been scheduled for Oct. 20.

Trained volunteers assist eligible, permanent legal Arizona residents with filing the necessary paperwork in the U.S. citzenship process. The services are free. Potential applicants must make an appointment with the congressman’s office beforehand.

A Homeland Security processing fee, due with the turned-in application, is $680.

Pastor, D-Ariz., has been sponsoring the citizenship drive since 1993. According to Pastor’s office, the drive has helped more than 2,500 legal residents become U.S. citizens.

“Individuals often are overwhelmed by the application process, or find it difficult to comprehend,” Pastor said.

Potential applicants are screened via a series of questions that help determine their eligibility. Once registered, applicants will receive a list of documents and information that will be required Oct. 20.

Among the requirements for eligibility:

• Have been a legal permanent resident of the United States for at least five years, or

• Have been married to a U.S. citizen for at least three years and been a legal permanent resident for at least three years.

• Speak, read and write English unless one qualifies for an exemption.

• Have no criminal record.

Pastor’s office can be reached at (602) 256-0551.