A new report answers questions about what happens to lawful permanent residents (LPRs) after they receive naturalization assistance through the New Americans Campaign. The results are powerful. The vast majority of immigrants who receive assistance through a New Americans Campaign partner go on to submit their naturalization applications and become U.S. citizens.
The study was conducted by LTG Associates and involved the New Americans Campaign collaborations in Charlotte, Detroit, Miami, and San Jose.
The study found that nearly all applications (96.7 percent) completed with assistance from a New Americans Campaign partner were submitted to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for adjudication. 89 percent of applicants submitted their applications even when Campaign partner staff did not provide legal representation in the case. Of the LPRs who did not submit their application (only 21 individuals), the most common reason they cited was lack of money for the fee.
The study also found that USCIS approved 93 percent of the cases it had adjudicated at the time of the study. For the small number of LPRs who were denied, the English and civics exams were the main barriers. The vast majority, 90 percent, of LPRs with approved naturalization applications had also already become U.S. citizens. The balance were waiting for their oath ceremony.
Submission and Approval Rates and Service Delivery Models
The New Americans Campaign promotes the use of innovative and efficient service models, including group processing workshops and technology, and this study validated these methods as effective. Individual assistance predictably yielded the highest submission rates, but 87 percent of LPRs served in group workshops submitted their applications. And, at 91 percent, the approval rate for workshop applicants was higher than the rate for applicants who received individual help completing the form and had no ongoing legal representation. The high success rates confirm the effectiveness of the Campaign’s group workshop approach.
Looking specifically at group service delivery models, the most notable finding of the study was that citizenship applicants who received assistance from a New Americans Campaign partner in a large group event (100 or more attendees) had, at 90 percent, a very high rate of application submission and an approval rate of 100 percent. In fact, applicants served in large groups had higher submission and approval rates than those served in small group settings (between 2 and 49 attendees). Most large events are organized collaboratively by New Americans Campaign partners, underscoring the value of collaborative approaches to service delivery.
Innovative service delivery models involving technology were also shown to be successful. Applicants who used a drop-in computer lab or the online application completion tool Citizenshipworks both had a 92 percent submission rate.
About the Methodology
Outcome data were collected in the last quarter of 2015 for over 600 citizenship applicants who received services from New Americans Campaign partners in the second half of 2014, using a combination of surveys and administrative data. Surveys were conducted by phone or web in English, Spanish, Haitian Creole and Vietnamese. If you are interested in seeing all the breakdowns by outcomes and service delivery models, and a description of the methodology, you can find the full report here.