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Hope CommUnity Center offers citizenship preparation classes to lawful permanent residents of the U.S. in our Pathways to Citizenship program. These classes are offered in 15-week cycles and combine civics and English language instruction.
Classes are offered twice a week:
- Tuesdays from 6 to 8:30 p.m.
- Saturdays from 9:30 a.m. to noon.
The same content is offered on both Tuesday and Saturday each week. Students can attend one or both weekly class meetings.
Call 407-880-4673 ext. 240 for additional information about registering.
What To Expect
Adults seeking to enroll in the Pathways to Citizenship classes at Hope CommUnity Center are given placement tests in both civics and English and then placed in Level 1, Level 2, or Level 3. Students progress through the various levels until they and their instructors determine that they are ready to successfully take and pass the Naturalization Test and become United States citizens.
Level 1 – This entrance level course is intended for students with limited ability to speak and understand English and little understanding of American History and the working of the United States government.
Level 2 – This intermediate level course is intended for students with a moderate command of the English language and a basic understanding of American History and government.
Level 3 – This advanced level course is intended to give English-speaking students the confidence they need to read, write, and answer questions about American History and civics during their interview for citizenship.
Review and Practice – This multi-level course meets only on Saturday afternoons. Students who are enrolled in our Level 1, 2 or 3 classes are invited to review and practice the English language aspects of the citizenship interview, with emphasis on the N-400 form.
With prior notification, Hope CommUnity Center provides babysitting for children while their parents are taking classes.
U.S. Citizenship Myths
Myth 1: Citizenship Costs Too Much
The current USCIS filing fee for applying for citizenship is $680. This is expensive, but its more expensive to stay a permanent resident. As a permanent resident, you are required to renew your green card every 10 years. This alone costs $450. Plus, if your green card is lost, stolen or damaged, you’ll need to pay another $450 to replace it. Once you become a U.S. citizen, you’ll never have to file a USCIS form again.
Myth 2: Citizenship Tests are Too Hard
The English and civics tests may be challenging for some, but you can pass them. In fact, you get a second chance to take the tests if you fail the first. Today, there are also many free resources to help you prepare for the U.S. citizenship tests.
Myth 3: There’s No Benefit Over Permanent Residence
Permanent resident status is a great thing, but there are significant benefits to being a U.S. citizen. For instance,
- U.S. citizenship can’t be taken away, and you cannot be deported
- Citizens have the privilege of getting priority if you want to help more family members immigrate to America.
- Your minor children will automatically become citizens and will have access to more student aid and job opportunities
- And of course, you will have the right to participate in U.S. elections that decide how our country moves forward on important issues like immigration reform, healthcare and the economy.
Hope CommUnity Center’s Citizenship Programs and 2014 USCIS Grant
Hope CommUnity Center, in partnership with Catholic Charities of Orlando, was awarded a highly competitive grant from the Department of Homeland Security United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). This grant offers us the ability to offer FREE citizenship classes to eligible permanent residents as well as application assistance and legal services to those preparing to become United States citizens. Hope CommUnity Center offers English and civics classes in preparation for the naturalization test at its center in Apopka. Catholic Charities offers legal assistance at its facility in Orlando.
The Pathways to Citizenship project builds on the over 40 year history of advocacy, service and trust that Hope CommUnity Center (HCC), formerly the Office for Farmworker Ministry (OFFM), has built with Central Florida’s low-income immigrant community. HCC is a “Service Learning Community” dedicated to the empowerment of Central Florida’s immigrant and working poor community through education, advocacy and spiritual growth.
Population Served: The lawful, permanent resident population served by HCC is an underserved, low literacy and low income population living in rural/semi-rural communities in Orange, Seminole, Osceola, Volusia and Lake Counties. Many of our students are Latino, Haitian, and Caribbean Islanders with little formal schooling in their own language who work in low-paying jobs in horticulture, agriculture, landscaping, domestic services and tourism. These students encounter multiple obstacles in attending formal classes, and Hope CommUnity Center has designed its citizenship program to overcome obstacles and achieve success.