Capalino Supports NYC’s Immigrant Communities through a Partnership with CUNY’s Citizenship NOW!


Senior Compliance Associate Bartin Peguero and Executive Assistant Valerie Coburn-Lichtenstein

Written by Jeanne Mullgrav, Executive Vice President of Capalino and leader of our Corporate Social Responsibility practice. 

Capalino is proud to support New York City’s immigrant families. Immigrants make our City stronger, through both their contributions to their communities as well to the City’s economy. That’s why Capalino joined more than 400 volunteers at the 2017 CUNY/Daily News Citizenship NOW! Call-In, where volunteers assisted New Yorkers seeking confidential and multi-lingual advice on immigration regulations and policies via hotline. For 15 years, CUNY Citizenship NOW! and the New York Daily News have hosted the call-in, a week-long event. This year, the event received a record-breaking 13,716 calls.

Vice President Kristin Palmason and Executive Vice President Richard Barth

In addition to the annual call-in, CUNY Citizenship NOW! hosts naturalization application assistance events throughout the year, which are designed for permanent residents seeking support as they undergo the naturalization process. At these events, trained volunteers help immigrants with completing and filing forms, reviewing eligibility requirements, and gathering necessary documentation. Capalino staff have been trained to assist at these events, and volunteer throughout the year.

Senior Vice President Ben Kleinbaum and intern Anthony Rodriguez

Our staff looks forward to participating at the organization’s next application assistance event on July 15th. The event is already at capacity for participants, and will be hosted at John Jay College of Criminal Justice from 10 AM – 3 PM. For more information on how your company can get involved, please click here.

We’re delighted to share some of the most frequently asked and answered questions from our participation with CUNY Citizenship NOW! this year. As a reminder, this is information (not legal advice)!

Q: I want to apply for citizenship, but I know that there is a fee of several hundred dollars. I don’t have the money to pay this fee. Are fee waivers or financial aid available?

A: Yes. Along with your Application for Naturalization (Form N-400), all applicants who wish to waive the application fee can submit Form I-912. This form asks questions about employment status, income, tax information, and the like.

Executive Vice President George Fontas

Q: I have been in the United States as a Legal Permanent Resident (LPR) for several years, and I do not speak much English. I want to apply for naturalization, but I know that there is a civics exam. Can I take the exam in my native language? 

A: To take the exam in one’s native language, an applicant must meet one of either two requirements:

If the applicant only meets one of the provisions for either requirement, the applicant must take the citizenship exam in English. Certain exceptions are made for those with medical and/or learning disabilities.

Director of Communications Lindsay Safran

Q: I am seeking to apply for naturalization, but hold citizenship status in my home country. If I become a US citizen, will I have to give up my citizenship status of my home country?

A: Yes and no. Some countries allow new US Citizens to hold dual citizenship, but not all. Check the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website ( and search for the country of which you are a citizen.

Want to see more? View our photos on our Facebook album. 

Capalino assists companies doing business in New York City with actively giving back their time, talent and resources to the communities in which they operate. Our team will help you create a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) agenda aligned with your company’s strengths and mission that boosts visibility and improves employee morale while strengthening connections to consumers and clients.

To see how Capalino’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) team can take your business to the next level, contact Executive Vice President Jeanne Mullgrav at

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