Thinking of Becoming a U.S. Citizen? Our Citizenship Program Can Help

Becoming a U.S. citizen can be complicated, but the 1199SEIU Citizenship Program, jointly administered by the 1199SEIU Benefit and Pension Funds and the 1199SEIU Training and Employment Funds, is here to support you as you navigate the application process. Last year, the program helped more than 500 members become citizens. (To read one of our member’s stories, see below.) The program offers counseling, exam and interview prep classes, and workshops to help keep you organized throughout the application process.

We’re with you every step of the way, providing:

  • Assistance with application preparation for you and your eligible family members;
  • One-on-one counseling and legal advice;
  • Classes to prepare you for the naturalization interview and test;
  • Classes for English as a Second Language (ESL); and
  • Help with other needs, such as Green Card renewals, fee waivers and more.

Schedule an appointment by calling (646) 473-8915 or by emailing 1199SEIUCitizenship.Program@1199Funds.org. Appointments are available throughout the week and on select Saturdays. Services are available in English, Spanish, Russian, Mandarin, Cantonese, Haitian Creole and French.

One Member’s Journey to Citizenship

Raymund Paolo Cordero had grown up in the Philippines, where life, he said, was “challenging.” He earned his BA in Nursing, but employment prospects were dim. His wife, Maria, whom he’d met in nursing school, had emigrated to the U.S. in 2008, and encouraged him to join her. “I was so excited,” Raymund said. He landed his first job in healthcare at a non-1199SEIU dialysis center, working 16-hour days. When he was offered a position as an acute hemodialysis nurse at Mount Sinai Brooklyn, he took it. The salary that would take him a month to earn in the Philippines he was suddenly making in three hours. And he’s now able to provide for his family, which has grown to include his 4-year-old, daughter, Iris, and his 1 1/2-year-old, son, Rafael. In 2017, Raymund took advantage of the 1199SEIU Citizenship Program and became a U.S. citizen in 2018. Now he’s set his sights on earning his master’s degree in Nursing Management. “Everyone has a purpose,” Raymund said. “Everyone can make a contribution.”

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