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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Education
Where can I find a class to prepare for my citizenship test?
Where can I find a class to learn English?
Where can I learn about enrolling my child into a NYC public school? 

Immigration Applications 
Who can answer my questions about my immigration application?
Where can I find immigration application forms? 
How can I get a visa? 
Where can I get information about the Diversity Visa Lottery Program?
Where can I apply for/renew my US passport?
I need a US passport as soon as possible! Where can I obtain one quickly? 
I need a passport for another country. Where can I get one?
How can I follow up on my immigration application?
It's been over six months. Who can help me figure out my status? 
How can I check on the application status of my relative outside of the US?
Where can I go to get a medical exam for my immigration application?    

Immigration Court
Where can I find an immigration court? 
How can I get information about my immigration hearing? 
Who is responsible for judging an immigration case? 

Immigration Fraud
Who can help vicitms of immigration fraud?  

Language Assistance 
How can I get information in my language?
Who can I contact to request language assistance on behalf of the City agency I work for?
Where can I find City forms in other languages?   

Legal Representation 
Who can represent me in immigration court? 
Where can I get more information about free legal services and rights?  

Research Information 
Where can I find information about immigrants in New York City? 

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Education

 Where can I find a class to prepare for my citizenship test?

The City University of New York (CUNY) Citizenship Now! Test Preparation Classes
CUNY Citizenship Now! will be providing free English and civics classes to Lawful Permanent Residents (LPRs).  
Get the listing of classes and enrollment directions

The classes are open to LPRs to help them develop their English speaking skills and knowledge of U.S. history and government and are a great tool for individuals who recently applied for U.S. Citizenship, or are planning to apply, so don't wait!
Learn about other free or low-cost test preparation classes

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Where can I find a class to learn English?

The City University of New York (CUNY) Adult Literacy Classes
The Adult and Continuing Education Divisions at 15 CUNY colleges offers free English language classes, as well as basic literacy and GED High School Equivalency classes in Spanish and English to help students prepare for jobs and further education.
Visit the website to learn more
Learn more about free CUNY ESOL classes 
More fee or low-cost English (ESL) classes 

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Where can I learn about enrolling my child into a NYC public school?
Students must be residents of New York City in order to be entitled to attend a New York City public school. Children may not be refused admission to a public school because of race, color, creed, national origin, gender, gender identity, pregnancy, immigration/citizenship status, disability, sexual orientation, religion, or ethnicity.
Learn about the NYC Department of Education

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Immigration Applications

Who can answer my questions about my immigration application?
Many organizations can provide help with immigration applications. Below are some groups that can of help:

CUNY Citizenship Now!
For free immigration assistance, contact any one of the nine CUNY Citizenship Now! centers located throughout New York City. Immigration attorneys and paralegals are available for confidential, one-on-one consultations on all issues, including naturalization, adjustment of status, family-based petitions, and more.
Learn more about CUNY Citizenship Now! Centers 

To receive citizenship application assistance on the weekend, attend a Citizenship Now! event.  
Learn about upcoming events 

New York Immigration Hotline
The New York Immigration Hotline is a state-wide information and service referral program.
Call (800) 566-7636. Lines are open, Monday – Friday 9:00 am to 6:00 pm

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Where can I find immigration application forms?
United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
USCIS provides immigration applications through its website and automated request line (800) 870-3676.
Download forms
Learn more 
(Please note that USCIS does not provide direct assistance.)

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How can I get a visa?
U.S. Department of State
A citizen of a foreign country who seeks to enter the United States (U.S.) generally must first obtain a U.S. visa, which is placed in the traveler’s passport, a travel document issued by the traveler’s country of citizenship.

The type of visa you must obtain is defined by U.S. immigration law, and relates to the purpose of your travel. There are two main categories of U.S. visas:

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Where can I get information about the Diversity Visa Lottery Program?
U.S. Department of State
The congressionally mandated Diversity Immigrant Visa Program makes available 50,000 diversity visas (DVs) annually, drawn from random selection among all entries to persons who meet strict eligibility requirements from countries with low rates of immigration to the United States.
Learn more about the Diversity Visa Lottery Program 

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Where can I apply for/renew my United States passport?
U.S. Department of State
Find the nearest location to apply or renew your passport
Get general Information about passports

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I need a United States passport as soon as possible! Where can I obtain one quickly?
New York Passport Agency
One New York Passport Agency Office issues the US Passport Card onsite. You must bring the ticket that proves you are travelling in the next 10 days. 

376 Hudson Street, New York, NY 10014 (Great New York Federal Building)
Hours: 7:30 am - 3:00 pm, local time, M-F, excluding Federal holidays
Schedule an Appointment 24/7: 1 (877) 487-2778

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I need a passport for another country. Where can I get one?
Commission for the United Nations Consular Corps & Protocol

Passports for other countries can be attained by visiting the respective country's New York City based Consulate office. 
Find Consulates in New York City 

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How can I follow up on my immigration application?
United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
USCIS allows those who have an application receipt number to check the status of their immigration application online. Enter the receipt number in the “Case Status” area on the left side navigation of the USCIS site.
Check on the status of your application 

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I applied over six months ago. Who can help me figure out my status?
In some cases, MOIA may be able to make an inquiry about a backlogged application. Please provide detailed information about your application by emailing our office or calling 311. 

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How can I check on the application status of my relative outside of the US?
For delays in immigration applications for relatives outside of the US, contact the National Visa Center (NVC). The NVC’s email address is NVCINQUIRY@state.gov 
*Email is the NVC’s preferred method of communication.
Note: Use your personal email account to contact the NVC.

In order to ensure a prompt response:
- Enter your NVC Case Number in the Subject Line of the email.
- Provide the applicant’s name and date of birth and the petitioner’s name and date of birth.
- If you are an attorney, include the name of the law office requesting the information.
- If the petition is employment-based, include the employer's company/organization name.
- Ask about only one case per email.
Read about the National Visa Center 

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Where can I go to get a medical exam for my immigration application?
Most applicants for adjustment of status are required to have a medical examination. The medical examination must be conducted by a civil surgeon who has been designated by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

The USCIS provides an official list of civil surgeons. 
Locate a civil surgeon

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Immigration Court

Where can I find an immigration court?
US Department of Justice (USDOJ)
The Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) conducts immigration court hearings in 59 immigration courts nationwide. Immigration court hearings are generally open to the public.
Read about observing immigration court hearings 
Find immigration courts in New York 

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How can I get information about my immigration hearing?
There is an automated line for Immigration Court information: (800) 898-7180
Make sure to have the Alien Registration Number available.

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Who is responsible for judging an immigration case?
Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR)
EOIR is responsible for adjudicating immigration cases. Specifically, under delegated authority from the Attorney General, EOIR interprets and administers federal immigration laws by conducting immigration court proceedings, appellate reviews, and administrative hearings. EOIR is committed to providing fair, expeditious, and uniform application of the nation’s immigration laws in all cases.
Learn more about EOIR 

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Immigration Fraud

Who can help victims of immigration fraud?
If you have been a victim of immigration service’s fraud, please contact the Attorney General's Immigration Services Fraud Unit Hotline at (866) 390-2992 or visit www.ag.ny.gov.
Visit the Attorney General's website 

You can also call 311 and request to file a complaint with the NYC Department of Consumer Affairs.
Complaints can be filed anonymously in any language.

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Language Assistance

How can I get information in my language?
Dial 311 or 311 Online
Mayor Bloomberg introduced New York City's 311 multilingual service line as a way to access information about City services. Operators are able to respond to questions in 170 languages. By calling 311 and requesting assistance in a language of preference, you can get the information you need.

To call 311 from outside New York: (212) NEW-YORK [(212) 487-2710]
Visit 311 Online 

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Who can I contact to request language assistance on behalf of the City agency I work for?
Volunteer Language Bank (VLB)
The Volunteer Language Bank is a database of City employees who volunteer as translators and interpreters.
Contact us (MOIA) for more information 

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Where can I find City forms in other languages?
NYC Language Gateway
The NYC Language Gateway offers access to New York City programs, services, and activities in English, Spanish, Chinese, and Russian. The site provides essential City resources for New Yorkers in many areas of city life: business; education and child care; employment and taxation; health and public safety; housing; immigration; social services; and transportation and safety.
Visit the NYC Language Gateway 

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Legal Representation

Who can represent me in immigration court?
Board of Immigration Appeals Accredited Organizations (BIA) & BIA Recognized Individuals
Federal regulations specify that only attorneys, recognized organizations, accredited representatives, other qualified representatives, and free legal service providers can represent aliens in immigrant proceedings. BIA manages a listing of organizations and attorneys that provide free legal services and/or referrals for services to indigent individuals in immigration removal proceedings. Some of these organizations may also charge a nominal fee for legal services to certain low-income individuals.
Get the BIA listings for New York
Learn who can represent aliens in immigration proceedings (in PDF) 

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Where can I get more information about free legal services and rights?
Free and low-cost immigration information or assistance is available throughout New York City. To find an organization near you, call 311. Information through 311 is available in 171 languages.
 
All New Yorkers should be aware of organizations and not-for-profits providing immigration services for exorbitant fees and without proper accreditation. A list of free and low-cost immigration services that are authorized to provide immigration services can be found through the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA).
Get the list

LawHelp NY 
LawHelp NY is an online tool for helping low-income New Yorkers solve their legal problems. The service provides, and promotes access to, high-quality online information about free legal services throughout New York, about legal rights in a broad range of substantive areas, about the court system, and about related advocacy, government, and social service organizations.
Visit LawHelp NY 

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Research Information


Where can I find information about immigrants in New York City?
United States Census Bureau (US Census)
US Census has a Quick Facts section that you can browse, which provides population, housing, economic, and geographic data.
Visit the research section on the US Census site 
Go to US Census Quick Facts 

The New York City Department of City Planning (DCP)
DCP conducts planning and zoning studies to promote strategic development in communities throughout the city. The Department assists both government agencies and the public by providing policy analysis and technical assistance relating to housing, transportation, community facilities, demography, and public space.
Learn more about DCP

DCP also Issues the Newest New Yorkers Report
It uses census information and other data to take a look at the characteristics of the foreign-born population in the five boroughs.
Read the Newest New Yorkers Report 

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MOIA Bulletin Sign-up
Language Gateway
311 Online
We are NY