The USC Community Citizenship Initiative encourages and assists people to become U.S. citizens by providing free legal assistance in completing the naturalization application and, if needed, by providing free English and Civics classes to USC staff. Free legal assistance is available to members of the public and USC staff, contract staff, students, faculty. Since 2016, we have helped more than 200 lawful permanent residents become U.S. citizens. The Citizenship Initiative is supported and funded by the Office of the Provost, the State of California Department of Social Services, and the USC Gould School of Law.

Free legal services

After being screened for eligibility, you will be scheduled to attend a free Saturday citizenship clinic or, if necessary, for an individual appointment. You will be provided with information about the documents and information you need to gather before attending the clinic. Your naturalization application and supporting documents will be completed and prepared at one of our citizenship clinics and you will then file the completed application with USCIS. If you have a complicated case and if otherwise eligible, we may be able to provide you with free legal representation at your USCIS naturalization interview.

Basic Citizenship Requirements

  • Be a lawful permanent resident (green card holder)
  • Be at least 18 years old (if under 18, you may be able to naturalize if your parents are applying to naturalize)
  • Continuously reside in the U.S. for at least 5 years since becoming a permanent resident (or 3 years if married to a U.S. citizen)
  • Be physically present in the U.S. for at least 2 1/2 out of past 5 years
  • Be of good moral character
  • Be able to understand, speak, read and write basic English
  • Understand U.S. government and history concepts

English and Civics classes

If needed, we will provide you with information about free or low-cost English and Civics classes to assist you with passing the citizenship test. USC will provide free 12-week classes to USC employees and contract employees. To sign up or for more information on the classes, click here

Paying the USCIS filing fee

While our legal assistance is free, the USCIS naturalization application has a $725 fee. The USC Credit Union provides no-fee, low-interest loans if desired. The fee can also be paid by credit card. Some people may be eligible for a full or partial fee waiver.

Ready to become a U.S. Citizen?

Please call 213-821-9627 or email for an eligibility consultation.

Need more information on becoming a U.S. Citizen?

Please attend a monthly Information Session on “How to Become a U.S. Citizen.” Monthly Information Sessions are held on University Park and Health Sciences campuses over the lunch hour usually on the last Tuesday or Thursday of the month. See our Events page for additional details.